Caves provide an essentially diﬀerent kind of setting than surface architecture, typically dealt with in art historic studies. Cave art however, mainly address paintings, petroglyphs and hieroglyphics as found in caves of Mesoamerica, the southern highlands and lowlands of Mexico, the Peten of Guatemala and the Maya Mountains of Belize.
Among known caves in the Maya lowlands, Balankanchè received less attention than it deserves perhaps because, with the exception of few positive hand prints, it lacks other painted motives, hieroglyphic paintings or petroglyphs. It is an integral part of the great complex of Chichen Itza, for which it bears its name: “Throne of the Tiger Priest” . (E. Willis Andrews IV, 1970).
The cave was intermittently used from the Formative period, until up to contact with the Europeans, a span of about 3000 years. It is during the Modiﬁed Florescent phase (860BC +/-‐ 90), with the strong continental Mexican inﬂuence referred to as the “Rise of the Toltecs”, the period of most intensive use as identiﬁed in ceramic and stone oﬀerings, that illustrate complex and sustained rituals.
Balankanchè’s signiﬁcance can fully be understood when set within the monumental secular site above ground, integrating the religious seat of spiritual power underground, Cha’ak ancestral domain (Annex.1). The interaction between the surface elements and those of the cave, shed an unusual light, on the life of the great metropolis. The scope of the lecture shows the last great ritual that took place in 1959, the ceremony of Tsikul T’an Ti’Yuntsiloob, photos and surface sketch of the site never published before, and explain the role and importance of the cave within Chichen Itza cultural complex.
Actun Usil, Oxkintok – Puuc Area, Edo. Yucatan – Caves are central to world cultures’ cosmologies and used by humans from the Upper Pleistocene (or before), to our days. They are places where benevolent and malevolent deities, protectors and disruptors of communities and individuals’ lives, are believed to be associated with powerful natural forces and food crops. They are also adobe of the ancestors that are believed to dwell in caves. The dual personality of gods and dei.es manifest both positive and negative aspects in perpetual balance, often antagonistic.
So let’s visit one of these great caves, where deities and men struggled over this unbridgeable gap between Fields of Opposite, or between Nature and Culture.
Balankanchè geographical location, and E. Wyllys Andrews IV descrip.on below, relates the discovery, mapping and Importantly, the ceremonies that took place in the cave to placate de Lords in 1959, is the only record of such event from which this presentation draws; the author gratefully acknowledge MARI-Middle American Research Institute – Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. The cave is located3.9 km. SW of Chichen Itza archaeological site, and its name can either be written: Balankanchè, Balam Ka’anchè or Canchè Ba’alamthe ﬁrst is the one most commonly used.
Map Courtesy Monclem Ediciones SA de CV, Mexico DF
Chichen Itza – Uuc Yab’nal “Mouth of the Well of the Water Magicians” (Román Piña Chan, 1980), also “Mouth of the Well of the Itzaes”, was a secular and religious power center whose history spans from Late to post-‐Classic. Its Sacred Cenote (sink hole), was dedicated to rituals while the other cenote, the Xtoloc (iguana), supplied water to the community. Close proximity to Balankanchè shows that the cave was an integral part of Uuc‘yab’nal, the city’s ancient name, for religious and traditional rituals and ceremonies.
Chichen Itza is Yab’nal in the Itza language. The Chontal, also called Putuun from southern Campeche and Tabasco (of Yocotan dialect), on the periphery of the Classic Maya period, were not as advanced in art, architecture and astronomy as their Maya neighbors. They controled the sea routes around the Yucatan peninsula, where a branch of their people, the Itza, seEled on the island of Cozumel and, from Polè (Xcaret), Xhelha and other Yucatan coastal caribbean loca.ons, had their foothold on the con.nent, peneratred inland and conquered a number of ci.es, including Yab’nal (+/-‐ 918AD), an historic event referred to as the “big descent”. (Lizana: 1893:3-‐4, Roys:1933:204, Thompson:1970:11).SeEled at Chichen Itza, they opened trade communica.on South and West, and since they already were under Mexican inﬂuence and spoke Nahuatl, they received Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl (K’uk’ulkan in Yucatek and Waxak’lahun Uba’Kan’ among the Classic Maya), ﬂeeing from his enemies in Tula Grande on the central plateau of Mexico, 1100-‐1150AD. The Toltecs came with their re.nue of gods and dei.es, among them Tlaloc that will take precedence over local dei.es, among which was Cha’ak god of rain, storms and thunder, with similar powers as those of the Tula deity. This second group coming from the West, brought stronger Mexican inﬂuences, with those of Tula dominant, and is referred to as the “liCle descent”. (Lizana:1893:3-‐4, Thompson:1970:4-‐10, Román Piña Chan, 1980:13-‐15). ©MWIBalankanchè is a strikingly beau.ful work of nature; the high place of a culture now seen, and partly understood, through the foggy veil of.me, that consigned its myths and beliefs in gods, dei.es and the ancestors, to the mineral world. ©MWIBalankanchè – Unpublished par.al surface map by Luis Pentora – INAH, courtesy Edward B. Kurjack, Ph.DEast of the cave main entrance (blue arrow), is shown structure 51 at right marked Cueva Cave (red arrow), probably another access to one of the passageways (at end of Group VI?), not accessible from Group-‐1 now sealed, nor iden.ﬁable above ground.© Luis Pentora – INAH-‐Ins5tuto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico May 1998, courtesy Edward B. Kurjack, Ph.DSurface scaEered mounds and remains of structures are what is le_ a_er the work of stone robbers over the years. The collec.on of surface broken poEery sherds were iden.ﬁed from the Yucatan Forma5ve to the Florescent; the overwhelming bulk is assigned to the Second Modiﬁed Phase (1100-‐1200AD) of the Florescent (800-‐1000AD). Remains of veneer stones, but no boot shaped stones, indicate the absence of vaults. The structures are similar to those found at Mayapan and Chunchucmil. ©MWI Sec.on of the Circular Tulum or for.ﬁed wall, was12 feet wide at the base; es.mated height: 4 feet rock base plus 6+ feet of perishable material enclosure. ©MWIRemains of the dry Masonry circular for.ﬁed wall enclosing the entrance to the cave. The reason for such a strong defensive wall is not known, and may pre-‐date Toltec arrival. Diameter: 115+ feet, width: 12 feet at the base, es.mated height: 10+ feet – with enclosure. ©MWI The cave entrance at the center of the circular walled area on the surface, (may not be the original); from ground level one abruptly goes down to a depth of 30_/10m, then the corridor branches oﬀ. ©MWI C·· · ·i·ft··.:v·e·· ..: : :· j ·.:..-4•:: ; ; NE; ;T; ;IC; ; .—·,·.:S fl.):(CflOlJPH)( aw1i fro:m cKenz:ie il (1974))0. •J-. – – iiim¾lmi- iii M!.iiiiOCl:llilU,l( ii ilf-lMain Corridor – the explored parts of the cave consist of more than a mile of passageways, that vary considerably in shape and size, from broad and ﬂat as much as 30 feet wide and 15 feet high, or narrow to crawling spaces, others are no longer passable. ©MWISec.ons of main tunnels, some of which reach the water table at 70+ feet deep from the surface in at least four places; water depth vary with seasonal rains. There may be another corridor under the main ones, half submerged and diﬃcult of access.G.E. Stewart schema.c in E. Wyllys Andrews IV, Courtesy MARI Tulane University, 1970, Fig.3Balankanche -‐ DiscoveryIn 1958, Jose Humberto Gomez’ past .me had been, for ten years, the explora.on of the cave; a_er this much .me, he discovered whatseemed to be a false sec.on of the wall of one of the chambers; on examina.on it turned out to be crude masonry sealed with mortar that covered a small access way to the newly discovered chambers; previous archeological expedi.ons had come within feet of the wall not realizing what lay beyond. ©MWIBalankanchè team project 1959-‐1960: NaHonal Geographic Society with MARI-‐M
Group-I – Ceremony Tsikul T’an Ti’Yuntsiloob – “Reverent Message to the Lords”, on early hours of October 13th, 1959. Gree.ngs and oﬀerings to the Yum Balames: Oxteskuntaba Yuntsil “Be They Blessed Three Times” those Oxlahun Yuntsiloob, the 13 Lords, and Mistun Balam of the Green Tree of Abundance, oﬀering them the Sisol T’an (sacred cakes), while the Its’aks sprayed Ba’alche’, a ceremonial drink fermented with honey.E. Wyllys Andrews IV in Balankanche, Throne of the Tiger Priest – Courtesy MARI Tulane University, New Orleans, a-‐1970:180/60b and b-‐1970:177/Fig.57a Tsikul T’an Ti’ Yuntsiloob or “Reverent Message to the Lords” Ceremony was believed to be necessary for the safety of the visitors who violated the sacred cave, because the Yum Balames were displeased with the intrusion, a_er all, they are the Lords of Xibalba (Metnal in Yucatec), as described in the Popol Vuh, and needed to be paciﬁed. Gi_s to the Yum Balames were: 1 turkey and 13 chickens, presented live to the Lords at the “Altar”, then ritually sacriﬁced outside the cave, their cooked meat presented again to the Lords at the “Altar”, together with Ba’alche and sacred cakes. The ceremony lasted two and half days, with prayers, incanta.ons and gi_s to the dei.es to spare “those who have penetrated these sacred places without permission of the gods”, alternated frequently between Group-‐I and Group-‐IIIE. Wyllys Andrews IV in Balankanche, Throne of the Tiger Priest – Courtesy MARI Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:177/Fig.57bGroup III – H’men (priest-‐shaman) Ho’il and Its’aks (assistants), prayed in the chamber invoking the Ah Kanan Sayahoob Balam – guardian of the springs. Their prayers and incanta.ons alternated for two days between Group I and Group III, since bodies of water, those underground in the Yucatan in par.cular, are believed to be vehicles of life and the embodiment of Cha’ak ©MWIIn agrarian communi.es of Mesoamerica, the milpero (farmer) and his family rely on the H’men prayers to bring rains and a boun.ful harvest of maize, or the family will go hungry. Because maize (corn) represent the major daily energy intake of present-‐day Mayas. Rain, wind and ﬁre however, are fundamentals to the culture of maize, and integral to the milpero spiritual core beliefs since Cha’ak, the ancestors and the dei.es are believed to be guardians of the harvest, as wriEen in the sacred book the Popol Vuh, (Annex.3), where, at the begining of .mes, gods made humans from corn dough. Life formula for the milpero very existence is therefore simple: no rainno cornno soul ©MWITzolkin Ceremonies – Momostenango, Totonicapan – Guatemala, 2001Celebrated on the ChuT Sabal hill by Rigoberto Itzep Chanchavac highly respected day keeper and Aj’quij, priest-‐shaman in Guatemala and Chiapas Mexico. Lowland and highland Maya milperos rely on their H’men, and community leaders, to help them understand their world, reach out to their Ancestors and appease gods, dei.es and invisible forces through regular oﬀerings , prayers and rituals, such as here during the 260 days Tzolkin sacred calendar ceremonies; mastering the mys.cal construct of communi.es, their beliefs and pantheon of gods and dei.es from the sacred book, the Popol Vuh, is fundamental to answer individual, family and community anxie.es and spiritual needs . ©MVICenotes or sink holes, are mirrors of two worlds such as here at Yaxuna, Yucatán. To this day, cenotes are believed to be Cha’ak’s dwellings and holders of life, as they are, given the scarcity of surface water. An important ceremony, the Cha’ Cha’ak, to conciliate the gods, the chaakoo’b for a boun.ful corn harvest, take place whether it rains or not each year in the Yucatán. The mythical power of the gods of rain, andthe milpero profoundly mys.cal rela.onship to maize, is a view of life totally foreign to outsiders. ©MWIHochob, Edo. Campeche – Structure II, South FaçadeIn Mesoamerica, as in other world cultures, cave myths and associated gods and dei.es are fashioned in stone, bone or wood. Depic.on of the symbolic entrance of caves to the underworld, where gods of rain, clouds, wind, thunder and ligh.ng live, is reproduced here architecturally as the cave entrance, the “mouth of the earth monster”. To this day, natural events are believed to be actually created in caves. ©MWIOLMEC Altar-‐4 -‐ 1100 400BC – La Venta Park – Villahermosa, Edo. TabascoBeliefs in caves as powerful mythological loca.ons, are common and widespread. The zoomorphic Witz mask above the niche or entrance to the “cave”, is found in all Olmec tabletop altars, and is in.mately associated with ancestors, dei.es and the duality of life. ©MWI• Chichen Itza – Dzonot the “Sacred Cenote” was used exclusively for ritualis.c purposes. The front room of the structure held ﬁgurines of all known gods of the .me. Dzonot is the gateway to Cha’ak, the Lords’ domain, where adults and children, o_en their hearts torn out, were thrown in as sacriﬁce, in par.cular during severe drought. The small structure back room was used as a steam bath for puriﬁca.on rites before sacriﬁcial ceremonies. ©MWIK’uk’ulkan pyramid aka El Castillo, Chichen Itza / Uuc’Yab’nal – Its reﬂec.on illustrate the mental make up of the Maya and other cultures, past and present, as an Inverse View, or Counter-‐Image of the Universe. Life and death occur at the liminal zone, at the base of the pyramid perceived to be the point of contact between this world and the “Other” world, the Field of Opposites. ©MWIActun Usil Cave – Oxkintok, Edo. Campeche – The World Below the ‘Olon Balamil of the Tzotzil Maya in Zinacantán. Caves are places where ancestors, gods and dei.es of the underworld live, and interact with the world above. No less than the sacred earth, caves are believed to be the mee.ng grounds between humans and the divine, between the profane and the sacred. ©MWIThe Pyramid: The World Above – the ‘Osil Balamil of the Tzotzil-‐Chenalho of the Valley of San Lorenzo, Zinacantán; surrogate mountain and counter image of the cave in the endless cycle of life. Each morning the rays of the Sun light the top of the pyramid ﬁrst, the blessing of Culture by Nature repeated daily, re-‐aﬃrms the powers vested in the Lords and the Priests, by the Gods. ©MWIBalam Ka’ Anchè, “Throne of the Tiger Priest” ©MWIA n n e x B i b l i o g r a p h firstname.lastname@example.orgA n n e x – 1Cha’ak, Maya god of rain, lightning, storms and thunder; associated with life’s sustaining water and crops, speciﬁcally corn, the mythological and actual sustenance of mankind.Like all gods and dei.es, Cha’ak’s dual nature is both benevolent and malevolent. It is the most venerated god of yesteryears, and today in Maya land. He is One as Yaxal Cha’aK in the center of the cosmos, and the four corners of the universe.He is related to god G.1 in the tablet of the Temple of the Cross at Palenque, where he is shown as the ﬁrst born in the divine triad.There are more that one Cha’ak. Each manifesta.on of the deity dedicated to the task of controlling nature and overseeing mankind compliance with the god’s commands. The best known is the red Cha’ak of the east, Chak Xib Cha’ak.It is represented in stone, on ceramics and the Codices, and ancient texts from the post-‐Classic that depict scenes of gods, dei.es and their powers over man and nature; from the world above and the world below.Shown on Page.6 of the Madrid Codex are depic.ons of Cha’ak in its role of supplying water to mankind, who is aware that the liquid sustaining life may be withheld, or hail destroying crops sent, at the god’s will.Cha’ak – The Nunnery, Chichen Itza V ©MWI Madrid Codex P.6:a+b A n n e x – 2Tlaloc “second tenant” deity in Balankanchè is the Toltec god of rain, storm, ligh.ng and thunder. The deity originates from Tula on the central plateau of Mexico and is associated with caves, springs and mountain tops. Tlaloc (MNA, Mexico City) and Xipe Totec are central Mexico dei.es well known and documented, while rela.vely liEle is known about Yucatán dei.es and fer.lity gods, which points to the fact that the cave may have been the focus of agrarian folk cults (Kurjack:2006, personal communica.on).The ﬁrst tenant was probably Cha’ak a Maya deity with mythological aEributes similar to Tlaloc. In Toltec and Aztec mythology, the deity was the Lord of the Third Sun, whose roots go back to Teotihuacan and, farther in .me, to Olmec cosmology. This would explain Toltec ceramics and Xipe Totec carved stone censers, the only archaeological ar.facts recorded in the cave, to the exclusion of Cha’ak, or other Maya deity. The new comers seEled in power centers and towns, while tradi.onal Maya-‐Yucatec dei.es and gods remained unchanged in the countryside, as they are to this day. Tula Grande “Place of Reeds” – Pyramid B, 980-‐1170AD, Edo. Hidalgo
A n n e x – 3 The Ceiba (Ceiba pentandra), the Wakah-‐Chan tree, the Tree of Life or yax che’, First or Green Tree, the world tree central to Maya mythology; the axis mundi or world axis. Its roots are believed to sink deep into the underworld, while its branches are ladders that reach to the heavens. There are five Ceiba trees, the Pillars of the Sky. Planted at the four corners of the village, are trees of the Cha’aks held by the four pillars of the sky, the Bacabs, as memorials of the successive cycles of destruc.on of the world: . Zac Xib Cha’ak the White Cha’ak Imex Che of the North . Ek Xib Cha’ak the Black Ek Imex Che of the West . Kan Xib Cha’ak the Yellow Kan Imex Che of the South . Cha’k Xib Cha’ak the Red Zac Imex Che of the East . Ya’ax Imix Che is the Green Ceiba mother tree of abundance, planted in the middle of the village, to record the second destruc.on of the world, is also the mixik’ balamil, the “navel of the world” of the Maya Zinacantecos (Freidel, et al. 1993:254). The Ceiba flowers bloom in January-‐1st week February; they are the replicas of the earflares worn by Classic Maya kings, as the embodiment of the Wakah-‐Chan, the very human manifesta.on of the Central Axis of the world. (Schele, 1993:394).
A n n e x – 4 Xibalba , the World Below, is described in the Maya K’iche’ sacred book, the Popol Vuh as a court below the surface of the Earth associated with death and a cohort of dei.es of the underworld. There are twelve gods or powerful lords known as the Lords of Xibalba. The hero twins Hunapuh and Xbalanque are portrayed here baEling the Lords of the Underworld at the ballgame and…win! (ar.st unknown), defying death for the survival of humanity.
B i b l i o g r a p h y
1. Maya History and Religion – J. Eric S. Thompson – University of Oklahoma Press, 1970
2. Popol Vuh – Traduccion Quiche-Castellano, R.P. Fray Francisco Ximenez – Editorial J. Pineda Ibarra, 1973
3. Edward B. Kurjack – personal correspondence, photos and 1998 Luis Pantoja’s Balankanche surface site map.
4. Relación de las Cosas de Yucatan – Fray Diego de Landa – Biblioteca Porrua, 1959
5. Ritual of the Bacabs – Ralph L. Roys – University of Oklahoma Press, 1965
6. The Major Gods of Ancient Yucatan – Karl A. Taube – Dunbarton Oaks Library – Washington, DC 1992
7. Maya Shamanism Today – Bruce Love – Labyrinthos – Lancaster, CA 2004
8. Les Formes Èlèmentaires de la Vie Religieuse – Èmile Durkheim, CNRS Èditions, Paris, 2007
9. Maya Cosmos: 3000 Years on the Shaman Path – D. Freidel, L. Schele & J. Parker – W. Morrow & Co., 1993
10. Balankanche: Throne of the Tiger Priest – E. Willis Andrews IV – MARI @ Tulane University, 1970.
11. Chichen Itza . La Ciudad de los Brujos del Agua – Roman Piña Chán – Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1980
12. The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel – Ralph L. Roys – University of Oklahoma Press, 1967
13. At the Edge of the World – Cave and Late Classic Maya World View” – K. Bassie-Sweet – UofOK Press, 1952
14. Shamanism, Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy – Mircea Eliade, Princeton University Press, 1972
15. Explorations in the Gruta de Chac, Yucatan, Mexico – E. Willys Andrews IV – Tulane University / National
Geographic Society – The Ford Foundation, 1965.
16. Images from the Underworld – Andrea J. Stone – University of Texas Press, 1995
17. From the Mouth of the Dark Cave” – Karen Bassie-Sweet – University of Oklahoma Press, 1952
18. Reiko Ishihara, U.C. Riverside, Karl Taube’s student, PhD dissertation; correspondence on spindle whorls
19. La Grotte Chauvet – J.-M. Chauvet, E. Deschamps, Ch. Hillaire, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 2001
20. The Olmec Riddle – James C. Gruener, Vengreen Publications, 1987
21. La Grotte Cosquer – Jean Clottes & Jean Courtin, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1994
22. Twin Tollans: Chichen Itza, Tula and the Epi-Classic – Kowalski and Kristan-Graham, Dumbarton Oaks, 2011
23. Diccionario Maya Cordemex – Alfredo Barrera Vásquez, Ediciones Cordemex, Mèrida, Yucatán, 1980
24. Historia Mayab’ . Cosmocimientos y Practicas Mayas Antiguas – Asociacion Maya Uk’Ux’B’e – Guatemala, 2008
25. Ch’umilal Wuj – El Libro del Destino – Cholsamaj, Guatemala City, 1999
Photos and Graphics – Credits
Slide # C r e d i t s and T h a n k s to:
1 Cha’ak glyph (reformat) – Michael D. Coe & Mark Van Stone, Thames & Hudson, London, 2001:111
3 Map (reformat) – Courtesy, Monclem Ediciones, SA de CV, Mexico, DF
7 Balankanchè surface map (reformat), Luis Pentora, INAH, Mexico, DF. Courtesy Edward B. Kurjack, PhD., 1998
12,20,31,34,38 Cave maps – redrawn from McKenzie, Reddell & Willey, 1974
14 Schematic section drawn by George E. Stuart – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:3/F.3
16 Ceremony – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:180/F.60a
18a Positive Hand Print – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:169/F.49a
18b La Grotte Chauvet, Positive Hand Print – Courtesy Editions du Seuil, Paris, 2001:82/F.74
19a The Cave Beneath the Sea – Courtesy Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1994:70/F.39
19b Ca’actun Cave – Andrea J. Stone, Courtesy University of Texas Press, Austin, 1995:72/F.4-58
22,27 Edward B. Kurjack, PhD – Personnal Communications.
23 Offertory – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:166/F.46a
26b Group.I – Schematic by George E. Stewart, Courtesy MARI @ Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:10/F.4
28 Xipe Totec – Courtesy Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:172/F.52e
30 Ceiba – Courtesy Cyark.org
33 Group.II, Storeroom – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:165/F.45a
37 Group.II, Miniatures – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:165/F.45b
39a Group.IV, Waterway.1 – Schematic by George E. Stewart (reformat), Courtesy MARI @ Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:14/F.7
39b Group.IV, Waterway.2 – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:167/F.47b
42 Group.I, Ceremony.1 – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:180/F.60d
43a Group.I, Ceremony.2 – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:180/F.60b
43b Group.I, Ceremony.3 – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:177/57a
44 Group.I, Ceremony.4 – Courtesy MARI-Tulane University, New Orleans, 1970:177/57b
56 Courtesy, Arqueologia Mexicana, Mexico, DF
57 Annex.1 – Madrid Codex, P.6 a+b
60 Annex.4 – Xibalba Ball Game – Color Drawing, Author Unknown
00 Photos referenced @MWI are from Maya World Images own Library.
Our special thanks to the Middle American Research Institute (MARI), at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA – www.mari.tulane.edu for the use of photos from E. Wyllys Andrews IV, early 1960s archaeological investigations at Balankanchè., and in particular for the photos taken during the one and only recorded ceremony that took place in the cave on October 17, 1959. (“Balankanche,Throne of the Tiger Priest”, E. Wyllys Andrews IV, MARI Publication 32, 1970) Maya World Images (MWI) “Lectures” are offered to the public and students’ interest in the Maya world, as well as other historical and traditional cultures of North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean basin. Lectures aim at education and information; they could not be possible without the cooperation and support of institutions, archaeologists and scholars from the United States, Mexico and other countries, who contributed data and research papers on archaeological sites’ history and architecture. Ethnological research of people traditions and ancient belief structures, together with contemporary community ceremonies, bring a deeper understanding of past and present cultures of the Americas, still very much alive today. Visitors to MWI may add facts, figures, maps, latest discoveries, photos or any relevant topic regarding the archaeological scene or location in reference. Please let us know, we will review the data, update our lecture page and recognize the person or organization contribution. Archaeology and related sciences, regularly uncover new relevant aspects in perspectives and discoveries, in the field or in the lab. It is then to be expected, that the “Lectures” series be amended for time-to-time. For any question regarding this lecture, please contact email@example.com. Photos, drawings and maps in the “Lectures” series are not for sale to the public. Accredited institutions or scholars may request the release of documents or photos, in writing. Only photos identified as ©MWI in the “Portfolio” page of the site, are available for purchase.