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What purpose did Chichen Itza serve?  

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Chichen Itza was a large Mayan city established in the fifth century BC in the central Yucatan. From its very beginning, Chichen Itza was a very important religious center. This is evidenced by the many large temples, elaborate burials, and many pyramids found at the site. The Temple of Kukulkan, also know as El Castillo, is the largest known monument to the feathered-serpent god of the Maya. Historians and archaeologists assume that this site was one of the most significant places of worship for this important deity. The largest known pok-a-tok ball court in Mesoamerica is also at Chichen Itza. This sport held a large religious significance for the Maya and is a further testament to the city's role as a religious center.

Chichen Itza was also an important trading center for the Maya. The Maya engaged in extensive trading around the Yucatan Peninsula, and Chichen Itza was a major hub. Artifacts from all over the region and far beyond have been excavated at the site. It is possible that market days were scheduled to coincide with religious festivals to maximize the number of merchants and pilgrims in the city at a given time.

It is likely that at its height, Chichen Itza was the administrative capital for the region. Many roads connect Chichen Itza to smaller outlying settlements that likely paid tribute to the city's leaders. From Chichen Itza, local rulers likely held sway over the entire region. The city's role as a religious center also probably helped bolster its political influence, as Mayan religion and politics were closely intertwined.

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Since Chichen Itza was a place where many people lived over the course of many centuries, it had a variety of purposes.  But the answer you are probably looking for is that it was a ceremonial and religious center.  This was the main reason for Chichen Itza's importance.

We can tell that Chichen Itza was a religious center because of the nature of many of the ruins and because of human remains that have been found there.  For example, there are many examples of the remains of people who were clearly sacrificed to the gods in cenotes around Chichen Itza.  As another example, there are important religious buildings such as Kukulcan's Pyramid.  This large structure is believed to have been used for religious rites that were meant to ensure good agricultural results.

Chichen Itza's main purpose was to serve as a religious center for people in the region.

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