Chichen Itza is one of the most famous and spectacular of the Mayan sites. At the end of the Classic period it was a small town, possibly even then called Itza, which was soon subjected to the Putun (Mexicanized Maya Group of merchants and warriors who had introduced "Mexican characteristics" to Yucatan. The "Castillo" most notably the Chichen Itza pyramid stands in the center of the great, square plaza, in the northern section of the site. It consists of two superimposed temple-pyramids dating from the Early Post-Classic period. The first, consisting of nine, sloping terraces and a single stair case, was surmounted by a two-roomed temple with vertical walls and no serpent columns and a single entrance to the north. The second pyramid also had nine sloping terraces with rectangles in relief, becoming increasingly thin towards the top to emphasize the overall effect of height, and four staircases each of 91 steps with handrails in the form of serpents. Today-the 364 steps added to the step of the temple entrance symbolize the 365 days of the solar year. At the top of temple with four entrances, the main entrance is flanked by serpent columns.
The "ball game" was particular popular among the Maya who built an impressive number of "ball courts." The game consisted of two teams of players whose purpose was to hit a large heavy rubber ball to each other using only their hip and elbow on one side of their body. Most sites had at least one and the larger cities had several. To protect their hips, players wore either a high, broad belt made of jointed sections or a narrower, but thicker, U-shaped belt. The game was not so much a sport or spectacle as a ritual, symbolizing the struggle between the forces of life and death. It was sometimes associated with a divine judgment and may have been used to settle a conflict. After the game, victims (most probably the losers or their representatives) were decapitated.