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Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period. The archaeological site is located in Yucatán State, 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 Postclassic period; the site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in Mesoamerican literature; the city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site.

The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, the site's stewardship is maintained by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. The land under the monuments had been owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán. Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with over 2.6 million tourists in 2017. The Maya name "Chichen Itza" means "At the mouth of the well of the Itza." This derives from chi', meaning "mouth" or "edge," and chʼen or chʼeʼen, meaning "well." Itzá is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that gained political and economic dominance of the northern peninsula. One possible translation for Itza is "enchanter of the water," from its, "sorcerer," and ha, "water."The name is spelled Chichén Itzá in Spanish, the accents are sometimes maintained in other languages to show that both parts of the name are stressed on their final syllable. Other references prefer the Maya orthography, Chichʼen Itzaʼ; this form preserves the phonemic distinction between chʼ and ch, since the base word chʼeʼen begins with a postalveolar ejective affricate consonant.

The word "Itzaʼ" has a high tone on the "a" followed by a glottal stop. Evidence in the Chilam Balam books indicates another, earlier name for this city prior to the arrival of the Itza hegemony in northern Yucatán. While most sources agree the first word means seven, there is considerable debate as to the correct translation of the rest; this earlier name is difficult to define because of the absence of a single standard of orthography, but it is represented variously as Uuc Yabnal, Uuc Hab Nal, Uucyabnal or Uc Abnal. This name, dating to the Late Classic Period, is recorded both in the book of Chilam Balam de Chumayel and in hieroglyphic texts in the ruins. Chichen Itza is located in the eastern portion of Yucatán state in Mexico; the northern Yucatán Peninsula is arid, the rivers in the interior all run underground. There are four visible, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of these cenotes, the "Cenote Sagrado" or Sacred Cenote, is the most famous.

In 2015, scientists determined that there is a hidden cenote under Kukulkan, which has never been seen by archaeologists. According to post-Conquest sources, pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac. Edward Herbert Thompson dredged the Cenote Sagrado from 1904 to 1910, recovered artifacts of gold, jade and incense, as well as human remains. A study of human remains taken from the Cenote Sagrado found that they had wounds consistent with human sacrifice. Several archaeologists in the late 1980s suggested that unlike previous Maya polities of the Early Classic, Chichen Itza may not have been governed by an individual ruler or a single dynastic lineage. Instead, the city's political organization could have been structured by a "multepal" system, characterized as rulership through council composed of members of elite ruling lineages; this theory was popular in the 1990s, but in recent years, the research that supported the concept of the "multepal" system has been called into question, if not discredited.

The current belief trend in Maya scholarship is toward the more traditional model of the Maya kingdoms of the Classic Period southern lowlands in Mexico. Chichen Itza was a major economic power in the northern Maya lowlands during its apogee. Participating in the water-borne circum-peninsular trade route through its port site of Isla Cerritos on the north coast, Chichen Itza was able to obtain locally unavailable resources from distant areas such as obsidian from central Mexico and gold from southern Central America. Between AD 900 and 1050 Chichen Itza expanded to become a powerful regional capital controlling north and central Yucatán, it established Isla Cerritos as a trading port. The layout of Chichen Itza site core developed during its earlier phase of occupation, between 750 and 900 AD, its final layout was developed after 900 AD, the 10th century saw the rise of the city as a regional capital controlling the area from central Yucatán to the north coast, with its power extending down the east and west coasts of the peninsula.

The earliest hieroglyphic date discovered at Chichen Itza is equivalent to 832 AD, while the last known d

Jal Cooper

Jal Manekji Cooper FRGS was an Indian philatelist, an expert and authenticator of the postage stamps and postal history of India. Cooper was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the author of several philatelic handbooks, he was both a stamp dealer and a collector and was associated with philatelists like C. D. Desai, N. D. Cooper, Robson Lowe. Cooper is but erroneously credited with having discovered the Inverted Head 4 Annas; the 1891 reprints show that this error was known. E. A. Smythies said the error was first discovered at a meeting of the Philatelic Society of London in 1874; the Jal Cooper Philatelic Society, in Varanasi, India, is named after him and India Post issued a 10 rupees commemorative stamp in 1997 depicting Cooper and Indian postmarks, on the occasion of INDEPEX 97. Stamps of India, Bombay, 177 pp.. Bhutan, Bombay Early Indian Cancellations, Bombay 92 pp.. India Used Abroad, Western Printers and Publishers Press of Bombay 100 pp..

Mount Porte Crayon

Mount Porte Crayon is a mountain in the Roaring Plains Wilderness of the Monongahela National Forest in the northeastern corner of Randolph County, West Virginia, USA. It rises to an elevation of the elevational climax of the Allegheny Front; the mountain is named for 19th century writer and illustrator David Hunter Strother, known as "Porte Crayon", who produced a wide array of early West Virginia landscapes in his work. Mount Porte Crayon is the sixth highest point in the state of West Virginia and the northernmost of the top ten state highpoints, it is the highest point on the Roaring Plains, a natural extension of the Dolly Sods Wilderness. It is the highest point on the Eastern Continental Divide in Maryland and West Virginia; the flat plateau on which it sits is the highest, largest plateau in eastern North America with 5.5 square miles lying at or above the 4,500 ft. elevation contour. The summit area is set aside as an 8.11-acre prescribed management area, is a Research Natural Area, for a native mountaintop red spruce forest, home to endangered northern flying squirrel and endangered Cheat Mountain salamander.

Mount Porte Crayon is the remote headwaters to three drainages and is the highest point on the Eastern Continental Divide in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. A group of admirers formed the "Porte Crayon Memorial Society" in 1940. Upon learning of the 4,760-foot promontory in the heart of the writer-illustrator's beloved highland terrain, they lobbied to have it named in his honor. On July 5, 1940, a dedication ceremony was held at the top of the Mountain following a three-hour trek to the site, it included a eulogy, a singing of the national anthem, the raising of the Star-Spangled Banner atop a spruce flagpole. In 2008, the Nature Conservancy established a new preserve on 100 acres of red spruce-northern hardwood forest and shrub-filled pastures which are returning to woodland; the Mount Porte Crayon Preserve is wrapped around the southern shoulder of its namesake Mountain and borders Monongahela National Forest's Roaring Plains Wilderness for more than three-fourths of a mile. This is part of an ongoing, long-term program by the Nature Conservancy to protect 1,800 acres at Mount Porte Crayon.

Mount Porte Crayon is notorious for its inclement weather changing conditions, strong winds. The prevailing westerly winds are so strong in winter, that they deform exposed red spruce trees, causing the trees to be one-sided with branches growing on the east side; the summit is in the clouds. Fog can become so dense as to disorient hikers. Temperatures on the summit are cold, with monthly values averaging below freezing 4 months of the year. During arctic cold air outbreaks in mid-winter afternoon temperatures can stay below 0 °F and fall to −25 °F in the mornings; such cold is accompanied by strong winds, making for dangerously low wind chills. Summer afternoons reach the upper 60s °F with mornings in the low to mid 50s °F. Thunderstorms are frequent and can be violent with dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning. Precipitation is plentiful, with the annual total estimated to be about 65 inches distributed well across all months. Snowfall is plentiful, averaging about 170 inches a season. Unusually snowy winters can produce 275 inches or more.

Snow begins falling in early October, ending by early May. Occasional periods of rainfall and temperatures in the 50s °F are common in the coldest months due to the southerly location of the summit allowing for mild above freezing air intrusions from the Gulf of Mexico; these warm rainy periods hold down snow accumulations on the ground and result in alternating periods of snow cover and bare ground. Snow pack reaches a peak depth of about three feet in late February. In persistently cold, snowy winters, snow can accumulate to 4 feet or more in depth peaking into March, melting by mid-April. Mount Porte Crayon remains one of West Virginia's most inaccessible peaks, since it is far from the nearest trail, let alone a public road. A walk to the summit using the U. S. Forest Service's Flat Rock Run Trail or Roaring Plains Trail totals more than five miles and is a 2,500-foot gain endeavor; this involves a three-mile bushwhack through dense spruce thicket. Summiting Mount Porte Crayon is for experienced hikers only and its difficulty should not be underestimated.

Views are afforded from a crag, known about a quarter mile from the summit. A visit to the Nature Conservancy's preserve, open to the public, involves a three-mile round-trip hike from the junction of the aforementioned trails along the Mount Porte Crayon Grade — a former railroad swath that now accommodates an unmarked and unmaintained trail onto the preserve. Mount Porte Crayon has been involved in controversy due to plans by Bill Bright, developer of the Winterplace and Glade Springs resorts, who wants to bring a ski resort to the area; the proposed ski area is rumored to be named "Almost Heaven Mountain Resort" and will have the largest vertical drop south of New York. USFS Map of Mount Porte Crayon & environs USFS real time images of Mount Porte Crayon & environs