Like many Maya buildings, Maya temples were built of stone, with platforms on the top where wooden and thatch structures could be built . Temples tended to be pyramids, with steep stone steps leading to the top, where important ceremonies and sacrifices took place.
Like the Mayan pyramids, their temples were important because of their ritual value. The Mayans never did find a balance between the two(Stierlin 99). Mayan temples , similar to those of the Aztecs, normally housed altars or stone platforms where the priests would perform thier sacrificial rituals to their god.
“Human sacrifice did occur at temples , but only rarely, unlike the Aztec, who sacrificed daily in the belief the sun would not rise otherwise,” Lucero said, speaking of the Maya during the Classic Period, from 250 A.D. to 900 A.D. “Only a few powerful Maya kings performed human sacrifice, and they did it to kill rulers
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
They each were built for religious purposes and for the gods. However, they had their differences as well. The first type of pyramid had a temple on the top and was meant to be climbed by the priests to make sacrifices to the gods. The most important religious ceremonies were held at the top of these pyramids.
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .
To answer your question though – yes, the ruins are safe . Chichen Itza is a bit of a trek (3 hours drive each way) and being inland in the jungle, it can be extremely hot there. Tulum is much closer and the setting is spectacular (the ruins are on top of a cliff).
Called Aguada Fénix, this previously unknown Maya site in Tabasco, Mexico, was built between 1,000 BC and 800 BC. The huge elevated platform stands 10 to 15 meters above the surrounding area with nine causeways extending from the platform.
Like many Mesoamerican pyramids , each was constructed around a core of rubble held in place by retaining walls. The walls were then faced with adobe bricks, and then covered with limestone. The base of the Pyramid of the Sun measures 730 feet per side, with five stepped terraces reaching a height of some 200 feet.
Mysterious Decline of the Maya From the late eighth through the end of the ninth century, something unknown happened to shake the Maya civilization to its foundations. One by one, the Classic cities in the southern lowlands were abandoned, and by A.D. 900, Maya civilization in that region had collapsed.
Top 15 Mayan Ruins & Archeological Sites To Visit In Mexico Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins. Coastal Ruins Of Tulum . Maya Ruins Of Coba . Palenque . Calakmul Mayan Ruins. Monte Alban. Teotihuacan. Ek Balam .
In the ninth century A.D., the Maya abandoned the great city of Tikal after hundreds of years of prosperity and expansion. Commonly cited explanations for Tikal’s downfall center on a confluence of overpopulation, overexploitation of the surrounding landscape and a spate of withering megadroughts.
The Great Pyramid of Cholula