Atlas Obscura has posted a buncha great pix with an item about the ruins of the Mayan astronomical observatory at Chichen Itza. To wit:
“Slowly eroding in the world-famous Mayan city of Chichen Itza, the El Caracol ‘observatory’ stands as a monument not only to the architectural skill of the ancient Mayans but also to their surprisingly advanced understanding of the heavens…
‘El Caracol’s crumbling viewing tower rises above the lush Yucatan jungle so that ancient astronomers could view the stars in 360 degrees, and track solstices, equinoxes and eclipses. Most delighting is the alignment of the remaining viewing windows, which seem to be designed specifically to track the appearance and disappearance of Venus in the night sky. In addition to assigning the second planet some religious significance, the Mayans were able to track the movements of Venus and thus measure longer intervals of the Earth’s orbit.”
Read the whole item here: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/el-caracol-chichen-itza-mexico.
Thanks to Soror Hypatia for the tip!