Research Items


    THE CHRONOLOGY OF CENTRAL AMERICA.-Mr. R. C. E. Long in Man for January examines the bearings of the historical evidence upon the correlations of Mayan and Christian chronology put forward by Dr. Morley and Mr. Bowditch respectively. The argument turns upon whether it can be shown that Nahua influence existed in Chichen Itza before its overthrow by Hunnac Ceel, governor of Mayapan, or whether the Nahua buildings in the city-some of the greatest in Yucatan-were erected after that event, as Morley holds. A date deciphered by Morley on a ball-court -a typical Nahua structure-at Uxmal proves the existence of the Nahua in Yucatan before the date to which Bowditch assigned the fall of Chichen Itza. If, then, it can be shown that Nahua influence in Chichen Itza also precedes the fall, that in the light of the Uxmal date would afford strong support to the Bowditch dating; but if it can be shown to be later than that event, it supports the Morley correlation. It seems unlikely that the buildings at Chichen Itza which, show Nahua influence would have been erected in a period of great wars, such as this is known to have been, when, as Morley thinks, the city had been handed over to Mexican mercenaries. A conclusive piece of evidence, however, is a passage in the Chilan Balam of Chumayel which states that Hunnac Ceel had himself once been thrown into the Cenote of Sacrifice at Chichen Itza, and that, as he had survived the requisite time, he had been taken out and worshipped. This custom of throwing victims into the Cenote was purely a Nahua practice and was introduced into Chichen Itza only after the establishment of Nahua rule. It follows, therefore, that as the custom must have been observed before the overthrow of Chichen Itza by Hunnac Ceel and not after, the date of the ball-court at Uxmal would fall into line with and support the date suggested by the Bowditch correlation.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Research Items. Nature 115, 170–172 (1925).

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.