November 23, 2009

Incidents of Travel in Chichén Itzá

This is a good example of the ways in which archaeological remains are understood, and interpreted, by various individuals. Often, contemporary interpretations and uses of archaeological sites have little to do with the actual histories of those sites. In that sense, places like Chichen Itza become canvases upon which various people project their ideas of the past. As the video illustrates, there is no absolute control over what Chichen Itza means, despite the efforts of INAH employees, archaeologists, and others. Some people flock to Chichen in hopes of attaining a sort of spiritual fulfillment, while others seek more immediate economic goals.


Anonymous said...

As said in the video the archaeologists are to be blamed for creating this nonsense. We are aware of this, but the 2012ers and other new agers appears to be unaware. It is quite amusing that the 2012ers bash "orthodox" archaeology for not seeing the "obvious" when it is archaeologists who have created the whole thing in the first place. The 2012ers are being manipulated by the government(s) and archaeologists since we all are conspirators and partners in crime.

Ryan Anderson said...

That's the issue with turning archaeological sites into mass tourism projects...the actual archaeological part gets subsumed by the Disneyland/light show spectacle that draws people in.

Meanwhile, the site is interpreted by visitors as "real history."

I really like Castaneda's point that the site of Chichen has been heavily shaped by the archaeologists, and that the site is a recreation more than anything. Interesting. Did you read the book he wrote about this?