National Geographic : 1922 Feb
Photograph from O.Gaylord Marsh THE CASTILLO OR PRINCIPAL TEMPLE AT THE RUINS OF CHICHEN ITZA, YUCATAN, MEXICO This splendid temple surmounts a pyramid 85 feet high, composed of 9 paneled terraces or platforms. Stairways lead up allfour of the sides, but only that on the front, or north side, has serpent balustrades. These are made in the likeness ofthe feathered serpent, Kukulcan, the Culture Hero of the city. The head is at the bottom of the stairway, the body forms the balustrade, and the tail, represented with rattles, isthe newel-post on the summit above. The ceremonies to the rain deities, which culminated so tragically and so gruesomely atthe brink of the Cenote ofSacrifice (see page 114), were probably begun in this temple by the priests incensing the maidens chosen for sacrifice.