This Sunday the third Mayan World Alive! event will be held, this time in San Rafael, California at the Pickleweed Community Center. The event is free. (The previous two openings were held at the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco and the Governor’s palace in Merida, Mexico). This cultural event and exhibit will feature activities, music, dancing and a photographic exhibit showing some of the photographs we took for the Traditions of the Sun project last year. NASA’s website has more on the traveling photo exhibit.
Below are a few of the images we took for the project. (Update: 10-22-06. You can learn more about the Traditions of the Sun: The Yucatan book and Traditions of the Sun: The Yucatan interactive in the ideum portfolio.)
Sunrise at Dzibilchaltun in the northen Yucatan. The building is known as the Sun Temple or the House of the Seven Dolls. This Late Classic building functioned as an observatory by marking the equinoxes, as well as the summer and winter solstices.
The Caracol, or Observatory at Chichen Itza served as an observatory for gathering astronomical data about the sun, moon, and planet Venus. Having the opportunity to shoot aerial photos was one of the highlights of the project. There is a slideshow with more aerial photograhs.
The Great Palace of Sayil is a beautiful and often overlooked struture. Sayil is located just a few kilometers from the more famous site of Uxmal.
El Castillo, or Castle, is the central pyramid of Chichen Itza. Notice the shadow on the right side of the pyramid. This appears as a great serpent which descends the staircase throughout the afternoon hours during the equinox. This photograph was taken in Spring of 2005. As you can see, huge crowds come to witness the event.