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The Temple of the Warriors at Chichén Itzá

The Early Postclassic  Temple of the Warriors (Guerreros) at Chichén Itzá was built by the Toltec conquerors of Yucatán in ca. 950-1000 AD. Similar to the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Pyramid B) at Tula, original home of the Toltecs, the Guerreros Temple at Chichén Itzá was constructed  in four tiers about 40 m. wide. The temple was approached through a colonnaded building with a beam and mortar roof, of which some 80 square columns remain, each covered with relief carvings of Toltec warriors. On the temple's side panels are relief carvings of ballplayers, and typical Toltec motifs of jaguars and eagles eating human hearts, mixed with Late Classic Maya motifs including Chac masks. On top of the flattened pyramid structure is a reclining, life-sized Chacmool sculpture which held offerings, and two bent, feathered rattlesnake columns (seen near the top of the staircase) standing in front of the main temple altar.

[Fig.1: Temple of the Warriors, Chichén Itzá (photo: Athena Review).]

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