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Yucatán Hill Cities

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Jungle Glory

Jungle Glory
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

The Great Pyramid of Chac rises to dominate the low forest of the Puuc, or “hill country” of the northern part of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Excavations here by National Geographic Society grantee Michael Smyth of Rollins College in Florida show that the towering structure grew to its final height of 60 feet (18 meters) in five separate periods of construction between about A.D. 400 and 750. One of those stages, dated around A.D. 550, shows architectural and sculptural characteristics that, to Smyth, indicate a strong connection between Chac and the great metropolis of Teotihuacan in central Mexico, some 500 (805 kilometers) miles to the west.

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia
Lens: Nikkor 80-200mm EDIF Zoom
Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Foggy
Time of Day: Sunrise
Lighting Techniques: Natural light

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