The Mayans may have built musical pyramids

El CastilloThe ancient Mayans may have used their pyramids as as a great musical instrument to play for the gods.

If you were to sit on the steps of Mexico’s El Castillo in Chichen Itza, you would notice a sound like raindrops hitting water when other visitors climbed the pyramid’s stairs.

The same phenomenon can be found at the Moon Pyramid at Teotihuacan in central Mexico, suggesting that at least some of the Mayan pyramids were expressly built to be an instrument.

El Castillo is widely believed to have been devoted to the feathered serpent god Kukulcan, but Cruz thinks it may also have been a temple to the rain god Chaac. Indeed, a mask of Chaac is found at the top of El Castillo and also in the Moon Pyramid.

“The Mexican pyramids, with some imagination, can be considered musical instruments dating back to the Mayan civilisation,” says [Jorge Cruz of the Professional School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Mexico City], although he adds that there is no direct evidence that the Mayans actually played them. [New Scientist]

It’s an interesting idea, but as of yet it’s still a largely unsubstantiated one. And as Francisco Estrada-Belli, an archaeologist at Boston University, Massachusetts, points out, the supposed musical pyramids goes unmentioned in Mayan texts.

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