The Maya site of Nixtun-Ch’ich’ in Guatemala Shaped Like a Crocodile?

November 16, 2022

Researchers at the Maya site of Nixtun-Ch’ich’ in Guatemala, dated at 800-500 BCE have proposed the city was laid out in the form of the back of a crocodile. Crocodiles represent the earth as the crocodile Itzam Cab Ain. This monster was sacrificed and dismembered at creation. It became the ordered universe.” It also represents the cosmic destroyer slain by the gods to create the surface of the earth. It is linked to fertility and re-birth. The crocodile is the base of the world tree linking the underworld, earth and the sky. Like turtles in the Maya cosmology, they are a link between the underworld and earth.

In the Maya world, Crocodiles appear on altars and public architecture and in ceramics and carved materials. Crocodile hides were worn by shamans and crocodile remains are found  in ceremonial remains. The topography of  Nixtun-Ch’ich’ has been uncovered by the researchers, and GPS has shown the layout of the site. It does look like a crocodile with its bilateral symmetry and city blocks that look like the scaly back of the animal, which appears to be shifting into the lake, the researchers say.

A defensive ditch may represent the slit throat of the crocodile done by the gods. In the mythology, there is a hole in the back of the crocodile. A cenote at the site may represent that. The researchers admit that this may be projection by the researchers wanting to see a crocodile. Others are also skeptical. The site was planned as a sacred landscape aligned with the movements of the sun

The research is published in Frontiers in Political Science

Newsweek has the report here: