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Archaeologists have found an ancient Mayan boat. What is its peculiarity?

The tropical island of Yucatan, which is located inCentral America is a favorite destination for archaeologists. The fact is that it was on this piece of land in 250-900 AD that representatives of the mysterious Mayan civilization lived. Scientists find mysterious artifacts not only on land but also under water. Recently, a group of scuba divers dived into the water near the ancient city of Chichen Itza and found a well-preserved canoe boat there. It was made closer to the moment of complete disappearance of civilization. But researchers believe it hardly helped people catch fish. Most likely, the flotation device was used during rituals, which the Maya had in abundance. But why did scientists come to this conclusion?

Archaeologists at the excavation site

Interesting fact: there is an ancient crater on the territory of the Yucatan islandChicxulub with a diameter of 180 kilometers. It was formed 65 million years ago as a result of the fall of a huge meteorite, which is believed to be the cause of the death of dinosaurs.

Mayan artifacts at the bottom of the sea

An unusual find by archaeologists was described in the scientific publication Science Alert. The discovery was made while descending into the water. cenote, which is located near the city of Chichen Itza.For clarification, it should be noted that the cenote is a natural failure that formed when the vault of a limestone cave collapsed, in which underground waters flow. Typically, cenotes are found only in the Yucatan and nearby Caribbean islands. During the break, she noticed a dark footprint at a depth of 5 meters, according to researcher Helena Barba Meinecke. Since this all started.

The cenote in which the canoe was found

Chichen Itza Is the ancient cultural center of the Mayan civilization. In 2007, it was recognized as one of the new wonders of the world. Recently, a cave with traces of children's hands was found near this city.

Ancient Mayan boat

When the divers descended below, they foundthe front of an ancient canoe boat. After excavations, it turned out that it was perfectly preserved and has a length of about 1.6 meters. According to the calculations of the researchers, the floating facility was created in the years 830-950. We can say that the Mayan carpenters made it closer to the moment of the mysterious disappearance of civilization. At the moment, scientists cannot say for sure from which tree the canoe was created, but they intend to find an answer in the near future. Previously, fragments of such boats were found in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Guatemala and Belize, but this discovery is interesting because the structure did not undergo severe destruction.

Well-preserved canoe

The peculiarity of the discovery lies in the fact that this is the first canoe of this type, completely preserved in the territory of the Mayan people, the researchers noted.

Now scientists are inclined to assume that the boatcould be used during various kinds of rituals. The reason for the emergence of such a theory was that earlier, not far from the place of discovery, scientists discovered human skeletons, drawings on the walls of caves, fragments of pottery and a ritual knife. On top of all this, archaeologists have found the remains of charcoal, which hints at making fires. Most likely, the canoe boat played some role in the sacrifices.

See also: Why is the 100-kilometer Mayan road considered an engineering marvel?

Mayan gods

This is readily believed, because the Mayan people believedinto a large number of gods. One of the most important was considered Ah-Puch - one of the gods of death and rulers of the underworld. Most often, he was depicted as a humanoid creature with a skull instead of a head and a headdress in the shape of a small caiman alligator. But it is important to note that the Maya had many death gods and their names were different depending on the tribe. Also in the pantheon of the Mayan civilization, it is worth noting the god of water and rain Chak, the lord of the sky Itzamna and the goddess of sacrifices Ish Tab.

Image of the god Ah-Puch

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The reason for the disappearance of the Mayan civilization by scientists beforestill unknown. Some researchers suggest that the ancient people died due to prolonged droughts. It is believed that there were several dry periods in the history of the Maya, and each of them lasted at least 10 years. There is also a theory that civilization died as a result of a volcanic eruption. But recently my colleague Andrey Zhukov has provided convincing evidence that this is not true. For more details, read this article.