When I was in Mexico I coul not resist to visit one of the last fortress of Mayan civilization,Tulum. It was very enlightening to be in a place with so much history.
Tulum also known as Zama (dawn) because was one of the first places where the dawn breaks in Mayan region. Tulum was the one of the most important commercial port of the east coast with high degree of influence.
The government was administrated by Batab who, with military backing, controlled the society which was made up of nobility, specialist and workers. Just like the White House today.
Everyday life was intertwining with politics, magical religious rituals, arts and astronomical observations. Most of the astronomical observations were related to planet Venus, the morning and the evening star. At down following the longest night of the year sunlight illuminates the window of the top of the Descending God Temple creating the image of the Venus star. This phenomenon occurs twice a year,around 21 December, for winter solstice, and 21 June, for summer solstice.
The magical religious rituals were held at the Castle where the Hight Priest sacrificed only the best of the mayan people to please the their Gods. Arts was held at the Mural Temple where mayan people paint murals with bright colors.
Tulum fortification not only allowed to control internal activities and to protect its residence it also marked the difference between the elite class and the common Mayan people who lived outside of the walls.
Tulum decline began at the time when Hispanic navigators arrive in the Yucatan peninsula.
If you are in Mexico I recommend Tulum to be one of the places to be visited.