Sunday, June 7, 2009

American archeological sites

Turning to another LEGO exhibit, this one at the Suria KLCC shopping complex at the base of the Petronis Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we find two sites that were significant in the religions of different American cultures. Machu Picchu is one of the most significant archaeological sites from the Incan Empire, located atop a mountain in Peru. This site was constructed in the 15th century, but was soon abandoned, perhaps because of a smallpox outbreak. The location of Machu Picchu is centered among mountain peaks that line up with astronomical events significant to the faith system of the Incans, and temples that were in this complex seem to relate to the cycles of the sun. El Castillo, the main pyramid at the Chichen Itza site in southern Mexico, was built between the 11th and 13th centuries as part of the Mayan empire. If you climb up the 365 steps (days of the year), ascending through 9 layers (number of underwolds in their mythology), you'll come to a temple to Kukulcan, their equivalent of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl.

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