Inside the temple complex of Chichen Itza, ancient Mayans would watch the equinoxes and solstices from small, stone-roofed structures in their playground, researchers have learned.

Archaeologists recreated the bases of structures that were along the walls of the ceremonial court to determine what they were used for. What they discovered: the ball court was used as a celestial marker, narrow slits would allow light in during the winter solstics, at another angle on the equinoxes.

Huchim said Thursday that stairways to the structures are being restored so visitors can observe the phenomenon.

The Mayans complexes were often used to observe major astronomical events, which to the Mayans became almost like religious pilgrimages. Mayans would keen astronomers and mapped out celestial objects.

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