Tzompantli in Chichen Itza

Tzompantli in Chichén Itzá

The inhabitants placed on the platform of the Tzompantli in Chichen Itza pointy poles on in which the bleeding heads of the enemies were threaded, four by four. Archeologists found buried figures of the Chac Mool in the Tzompantli of Chichen Itza, as well as skulls with offerings and a broken ring from the Great Ball Court.

The cult of the dead, one of the oldest of humanity, is present among the Mayans in this interesting platform, considered “a true monument to the cruelty of war”. The name Tzompantli means in Nahuatl “skull wall”. 

Tzompantli and Kukulkán in Chichén Itzá
Tzompantli and Kukulkán in Chichen Itza

Physical description of the Tzompantli of Chichen Itza

In its structure, shaped like a “T”, the base of the Tzompantli supports three panels decorated with skulls and divided by moldings. Those at the ends have skull reproductions in high relief; the one in the center is wider and has two rows of skulls. In total, more than 500 skulls carved in high relief have been found.

The Tzompantli in Chichen Itza is a large rectangular platform that measures about 60 m long by 12 wide, with a projection in the center that gives it a T shape. It is composed of a very small slope at the bottom, a central strip decorated with skulls that run in three horizontal rows, and at the top, a slightly edged out strip with another row of skulls.

Location of the Tzompantli in Chichen Itza

The Tzomplantli in Chichen Itze is located in the Grand Plaza between the Great Ball Court and the Temple of the Eagles and Jaguars.

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