15 November 2008

Builders of magnificent temples

The pyramid temple that encases the majority of the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase is an imposing structure rising 36 feet into the air. While the motifs are elaborate and authentic, they do not highlight a specific time period in the rich history of the area. The temple is can be more accurately described as an amalgamation of various Mesoamerican designs, some of which date back to the third century A.D.The stairs which climb the entirety of the temple are one of the more extraordinary details of the temple. Not only breathtaking to view, these stairs lead to the chamber where high priests would work in mathematics and science, including an amazing aptitude for astronomy. At the base of the stairs is a stela, or intricately carved stone slab.

This stela, according to Richard R. Beard in Walt Disney’s Epcot, served three purposes. One, it was a decorative element. Two, it accommodates the lights needed to illuminate the pyramid at night. Lastly, and perhaps my favorite reason for the stela’s inclusion, “it effectively discourages children from climbing the stairs to test the will of the gods,” or perhaps the patience of the parents.

2 comments:

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Lastly, and perhaps my favorite reason for the stela’s inclusion, “it effectively discourages children from climbing the stairs to test the will of the gods,” or perhaps the patience of the parents.

I need a stela at home, too. And not just the libation!

David B. said...

36 feet? That's it? Looks bigger.