Mayapan, Yucatan, Mexico, was the most prominent Maya ceremonial
center from the mid-thirteenth to the mid-fifteenth century.
The city was a religious center for surrounding Maya populations.
Its construction was linked through cyclical reasoning to a
chain of antecedent centers, the ultimate link of which lay
in creation. In the heart of Mayapan lay its exemplary center,
an architectural model of cosmogony composed of five temple
assemblages. The central building of each assemblage was a temple
decorated with serpent imagery. These five serpent temples were
depicted on a mural in Structure Q-80 at Mayapan, with additional
symbolism suggesting that each building was tied to a specific
elite official, likely the Ajaw B'atab'ob,
Jalach Winik, and AjK'in as described
in ethnohistoric documents. The serpent temples also depict
the primordial flood crocodilian, who was both the world and
the world destroyer—hence, a symbol of both order and