Chichen Itzá was a large pre-Columbian Maya city in Yucatán State, Mexico, and a major focal point in the Maya Lowlands for over 500 years. The city may have had the most diverse population in the whole of the Maya World. The presence of central Mexican architectural styles at the site was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most recent interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.
Here photographed whilst on assignment for National Geographic Magazine, El Castillo, also called the Temple of Chac-Mool or the Temple of Kukulcán. At 25m (82ft) high, it is a type of Mayan calendar in stone: at the spring and autumn equinox, the shadow of a 'serpent' crawls down the balustrade.
Follow @simonnorfolkstudio for updates, outtakes, unpublished and archive material.