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Altun Ha - Temple of the Green Tomb

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 9 December 2011 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

The Temple of the Green Tomb at Altun Ha, also known as Temple A-1, is the most imposing structure in Plaza A. It consists of a terraced platform marked by a broad stone staircase which extends about halfway up the structure to a chambered building. The temple was built during several construction periods in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. Several minor modifications continuted to be made in succeeding centuries.

Found hidden deep inside this temple was a single tomb dating back to about 550 A.D. It is the earliest known tomb of several that have been unearthed at Altun Ha. The tomb was constructed in a manner that is unique among Mayan sites to those at Altun Ha. It is called the "Green Tomb" because it contained almost 300 jade objects. Other artifacts included shell necklaces and ornaments, pottery vessels, stingray spines (used in ritual bloodletting), and more.

It is believed that ritualistic bloodletting, but no human sacrifice, was carried out atop this temple.

This view was captured when I climbed to the top of the Temple of the Masonry Altars, seen in yesterday's post.

Photo captured November 16, 2011.

NIKON D7000 1/250 second F/5.0 ISO 140 58 mm

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Michael Fresh from Chester, United Kingdom

A fascinating subject and an excellent shot of the temple. Wouldn't it be great to travel back in time to take a glimpse of their daily life.

9 Dec 2011 5:17am

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

That is so cool. Mankind certainly has had strange ways to worship.

9 Dec 2011 5:55am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Another excellent shot.. thanks for the info :)

9 Dec 2011 8:28am

Victoria from Sweden

Very nice picture and lovely colors.

9 Dec 2011 8:43am

Roman from Thiersee, Austria

another stunning HDR shot.
the people in the shot give a great comparison of the size.

9 Dec 2011 9:04am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

A fascinating read, blood letting, no human sacrifices here, but perhaps elsewhere? Then how did they go about capturing stingrays?
Great picture too.

9 Dec 2011 9:26am

Mhelene from Paris, France

A superb composition with fantastic colors .

9 Dec 2011 10:16am

Laurette from Johannesburg - Fourways, South Africa

A superbe capture with marvelous composition and fabulous shades of green. Thank you for intresting info.

9 Dec 2011 11:14am

Ralf Kesper from Fröndenberg, Germany

amazing subject!

9 Dec 2011 11:56am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Fantastic point of view - the tiny figures give a sense of scale for this imposing tomb. The rich emerald green is superb as well.

9 Dec 2011 1:06pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Another cracking good shot! I love the sense of scale and rich colors.

9 Dec 2011 4:40pm

Phil David Morris from Saskatoon, Canada

I love how the dense forest seems to encroach on the scene. Magnificent photo Steven.
These pyramids must have been lost to the vegetation for a long time.

9 Dec 2011 5:09pm

Kala from United States

Wonderful sense of proportion in this image and the colors are so vivid & gorgeous!

9 Dec 2011 5:42pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Fantastic shot with the lush green foliage encompassing the temple, beautiful greens, great view!

9 Dec 2011 6:31pm

Céline from New York City, United States

Nice shot!

9 Dec 2011 6:52pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Amazing story and scene, Steven...I need to go here!! Thank you for this ;-)

9 Dec 2011 6:58pm

franz from Baden, Austria

perfectly composed again! i love the horizontal lines in these meso-american temples ...

9 Dec 2011 7:29pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

i like the colorful garb the people are wearing

9 Dec 2011 10:10pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

I love the green! The people really gives it perspective as to how big it is. An interesting history.

9 Dec 2011 11:31pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

What a beautiful green place with some interesting history.

9 Dec 2011 11:37pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

As soon as I saw this beautiful photo, I wondered how you got up so high. I thought it might be as you explained. The colors are so intense.

10 Dec 2011 12:39am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Amazing. Love it.

10 Dec 2011 1:00am

Dokmateo from Madrid, Spain

A very beautiful scene! Very well presented and explained! Amazing shot!

10 Dec 2011 1:02am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Very beautiful... Love the intense greens also. Have a great weekend :)

10 Dec 2011 8:55am

Othersideblue from Kerman, Iran

Amazingly green archeological landscape, EXCELLENT shot !

11 Dec 2011 7:21am