Pyramid of Kulkukan, Mayapán, Yucatán, afternoon of winter solstice. 2014. Dome’d astro observatory in background.

This linked article in Spanish reports that there is a tiny pyramid in Campeche state that apparently was a proof-of-concept for the construction of the big ones at Chichen Itza and Mayapan — preceding those major projects by several hundred years.  

Geometry!  It proved that the Maya could establish the equality of length-of-day/night, for purposes of understanding the agricultural growing cycle — when to plant, and what to worship (respect) — sustenance!  Mother Earth feeds us, if we respect and understand her!  (Worshipping a Creator-Principle-God, without respecting creation, is folly.). And remember, these pyramids were all done without clocks or telescopes, but plenty of ingenuity and sweat.  Where did that come from?  ¡Gracias Mamá!

The aforementioned maquette is also a cute little pyramid, at least in the photo, although I’ve not been there.   Note:  while the “feathered serpent” doesn’t actually slither down the staircase in real time, it appears to do so in our imaginations.  (I suppose it could be more vivid if done with timelapse video — and sure enough, somebody has posted it to youtube:  from Chichen Itza, about 30 seconds.)

Conclusion :  prototypes can confirm our hunches, so we can then render them successfully.