Mayans Ruins of Tonina

Trip Start Jul 08, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tonina ruins were the main reason of my trip to Ocosingo and I have been extremely pleased with this site.  Mainly a ceremonial site used by the Mayans throughout the different Mayan ages, I found this site magnificient from the way it was built. 

A little bit of history:

Named by indigenous people in Tzeltal, Toniná means the House of Stone. Metaphorically, the name refers to the home of celestial lights and deities of time: Toniná was a site of calendars and rituals.  Iconography of this site is representative of two eras, which are clearly identified by references to particular deities: the first and oldest period, from 300 to 700 AD, was responsible for portrayals of birds belonging to the underworld and was governed by deceased and flayed suns. The second epoch, from 700 to 900 AD, is marked by celestial lights and felines, as well as the morning and evening stars.

In the height of its glory, around 900 AD, Toniná's pyramidal structure was composed of seven platforms and was crowned by thirteen temples; a central stairway, leading to the Temple of Smoking Mirror, reaches a total of 260 steps. Palaces inhabited by Toniná's dynastic families (including military heads, architects, priests and astronomers) were constructed in the eastern portion of the acropolis. This area was lavishly decorated, in contrast with the acropolis' western section, where construction workers and warriors lived in austere dwellings. From the four temples of the seventh platform, priests and nobles managed the four regions of the sky, fought battles against darkness and maintained order regarding celestial phenomena.

My experience:

The majority of the site is built on a hill, giving it an impressive stature.  The most amazing place, for me at the site, have been the Palace of the Underworld.  It was for their inhabitants the doorway to the underworld.  I benefited of this temple by myself for almost half an hour, allowing me to take the shadow pictures (you can find in my pictures).  There is a special place inside the temple where the Energy is very particular and despite the wet and dusty/muddy floor, I meditated there for a while.  This time alone in such a magical and high energy place was well worthed the trip.  The rest of the site keeps on climbing and climbing and climbing all the way to the top of the hill.  The pyramids top offer a great view of the area and show all the splendor of this relatively unknown site.
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