Sunday, November 4, 2018

Tulum: Mayan Ruins Photo Diary

This past Saturday I just returned back home from a trip to Mexico with my mom. The weather was so amazing the entire time, and we got to see some great things while we were there. One of my favorite parts of the trip had to be going into the city of Tulum and seeing the Mayan ruins. Growing up in New England I have seen my fair share of historical sites, but this was much different. Not only did I get to learn about and see the history of the Mayans at Tulum, I also got to experience a completely different culture in Mexico. 

Our resort was less than 30 minutes outside Tulum, so the drive wasn't too bad and when we go there, there were so many cute shops and restaurants to look through and enjoy. Before we got carried away in those, we went straight to the ruins with our tour guide and got to learn about Mayan history.

Our tour guide was actually an archeologist named Sully and he had a lot to say about the history of Tulum that was very interesting. As we were walking around, he spoke about things like human sacrifice, the gods of the Mayans and how they were polytheistic, their standards of beauty, and who lived inside and outside the city walls.

The Mayans used to preform human sacrifices and it has been found out that many of these sacrifices were actually children. When Spain entered Tulum, Diego De Landa burned all but 4 of the Mayan books, so that is all the written history people have to go off of. Other than the writings of the Spaniards, the history passed on through families, archeological sites like Tulum, and the 4 books there isn't much history or insight into Mayan culture.

We do know that Mayans were considered to be a very advanced group on individuals who developed their own calendar and social system. The individuals that lived in the city were noted to be more beautiful, smarter, and had positions that allowed them to remain like rulers, nobles, priests, and scientists. The peasants were only allowed within the city walls during special events. 

The tour guide spoke about how the Mayans used to find large heads attractive, so they would misshape the baby's head at birth so it was bigger. They also found crossed eyes to be a sign of beauty.  The smaller your head and the straighter your eyes were, you were considered to not be as beautiful. 

If you look very close in the top right corner of the picture above you can see an Iguana basking in the sun. Walking through the ruined city its hard to picture that people used to live in the place and what once stood here looks very different than what we see today. 

The beaches were just as gorgeous as the ruins. If you have never been to Tulum, I could not recommend it enough. The inside of the city offers so much history and on the outside closer to town there are so many affordable shops (way more affordable than the resort) where you can shop, eat, and even enjoy a drink! I think I even saw a sign that said Corona's for only $1 US! 

Have you ever traveled to Tulum? What was your favorite part about the experience? 


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