A Maya pyramid is a base with four
triangular sides. Without metal tools, they built pyramids that were 200
The Mayas built two kinds of pyramids.
Both pyramids had steep steps leading up to a flat top, but only one
type of pyramid was designed to be used. The other was designed to be
admired - it was designed to honor a god. Tikal, one of the major Mayas
cities, had an especially large number of pyramids. Some were designed
to be climbed, and some were not.
The type of pyramid that was designed to
be used was used by the priests. Priests climbed the pyramids to conduct
ceremonies on the steps where everyone could see them.
The most important ceremonies were conducted at the very top of
the pyramids. Because some
ceremonies were held at the top of pyramids, Maya pyramids had flat
The other kind of pyramid looked
remarkably similar. These pyramids also had flat tops and steep steps,
but the steps were not to be used. These pyramids were built to honor a
god. Of course, you could climb the steps, although they were
very steep. You might even find a doorway here and there. The doorways
led to tunnels that went nowhere. Some tunnels were rigged with deadly
The Maya people knew which pyramids were
designed to be used and which were designed to be honored. But
archaeologists today must tread very carefully, because it is sometimes
hard to tell the two different types of Maya pyramids apart.
Pyramids - Hear the sounds
Maya Pyramids Designed to Chirp Like a Bird?
year old pyramid chirps - stone sound coding!