Thompson found a narrow, exquisitely carved stone in one of the walls. Discover the Imposing lintel that gives its name to the Initial Series or Chichen Viejo
Approximately a century ago, for an extensive period, travelers who ventured to Chichen Itza could marvel at the lintel that gives identity to the sector known as the Initial Series. However, this invaluable object, today, rests under the care of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and is not included in current routes.
This majestic block of stone, adorned with ancient Mayan inscriptions, was discovered at the end of the 19th century by Edward H. Thompson, who, at that time, held the position of American consul in Progreso and was the owner of the Hacienda Chichen Itza, according to José Francisco Osorio León, in charge of the archaeological area, tells us.
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Thompson, hoping to discover the treasures narrated by Diego de Landa – missionary and writer from post-Conquest Yucatán – was informed about a mound that hid a temple. The locals who lived and cultivated the nearby land confided in him about this natural elevation that hid a relic.
lintel that gives its name to the Initial Series or Chichen Viejo
Upon investigation, Thompson found a narrowly shaped and exquisitely carved stone in one of the walls. Upon closer examination, it revealed an intricate set of glyphs, which over time and thanks to advances in the study of inscriptions, was determined to be a very detailed Initial Series, showing days and months clearly, being a unique specimen. throughout Chichen.
This notable discovery dates back to July 28, 869, which is why this sector was named the Initial Series, also currently referred to as Chichen Viejo.
Following this discovery, Thompson proposed that this lintel be placed over the Atlantean figures in the temple. However, by doing so, part of the inscriptions were hidden, which contradicts the purpose of showing them in all their splendor. However, it was there for many decades.
Chichen Viejo, in those times, often received intrepid explorers who, unofficially, entered through private routes. That is why there are photographic records of individuals posing under this lintel supported by Atlanteans, it is believed that one of the most famous images comes from the year 1929.
During that period, the Carnegie Institution and the Peabody Museum at Harvard University carried out studies in Chichen Itza and documented the Initial Series from 1923 to 1942, leaving an invaluable graphic collection of the place.
The person in charge of the Chichen Itza area comments that the lintel was removed around 2007 and has been part of multiple archaeological exhibitions before being kept for protection.
Now, with the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza), arising from the Mayan Train project, it is contemplated that this piece will have a prominent place in the future Chichen Itza Site Museum.
Visits to Chichen Viejo are exclusive: they take place only on Fridays and Saturdays and must be scheduled in advance. This place is just one and a half kilometers from the famous Kukulcán Temple, in the heart of the archaeological complex.
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