East side of El Castillo
Map of central Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site built by the Maya civilization located in the northern center of the Yucat�n Peninsula, in the Yucat�n state, present-day Mexico.
Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic and into the early portion of the Early Postclassic period. The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, from what is called �Mexicanized� and reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico to the Puuc style found among the Puuc Maya of the northern lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.