Lost cave with traces of Mayan rituals found in Mexico

In the eastern part of the Mexican PeninsulaA previously unknown cave was recently found in Yucatan. Judging by the presence of debris at the entrance and other traces of modern people, the locals already knew about the existence of the dungeon, but for archaeologists this is something new. Thousands of years ago, representatives of the Mayan people lived on this island, so it is not surprising that in the secluded corners of a dark cave, scientists discovered objects belonging to representatives of this civilization. Judging by the utensils found, the dungeon was used not only for utilitarian purposes, such as collecting water flowing from stalactites. Within this natural formation, representatives of the Mayan people performed various rituals. It is possible that people were sacrificed in the cave, which was considered a great honor - death in the dungeon provided an easier entry of a person into the afterlife. So, at least, the Maya people believed.

Vessels that were used in sacrifices were found in a Mayan cave

New Mayan Cave Discovered

Details of the discovery have been posted onwebsite of the National Institute of Anthropology and History. The Lost Cave was discovered in a forest near the city of Chemuyil, which is located in the eastern part of the Yucatan. Unfortunately, scientists found modern rubbish at the entrance to the cave, which means that there was already someone inside the cave. Visit could very well find and take with you ancient artifacts and they are no longer to be found. But obviously no one went into the depths of the cave, because something really interesting was found there. We are talking about three items that were made in the late post-classical Maya period (1200-1521 AD).

The entrance to the cave was found during a rescue operation

Mayan ritual objects

The first item is a solid, roughmade vessel. Unfortunately, it has not survived completely to this day - one handle was broken. A notch was immediately noticed at the base of the vessel, which is found in almost every vessel made by the Maya people.

One of the vessels found in the Mayan cave

The second item found is a sphericalpot made of ceramics. In terms of workmanship, it was comparable to the previous vessel, that is, they obviously did not work on it for long. The pot was very poorly preserved, it was completely crushed. But man has nothing to do with this, because the dishes were pressed to the stones by one of the roots of a tree growing on the surface of the cave.

Yucatan Peninsula from space

The author of the scientific work Antonio Reyes (AntonioReyes), both items lay at the very bottom of the cave. Most likely, the bottom was formed under the influence of water flowing down from the stalactites. If this is indeed the case, most likely, the ancient visitors of this cave came to fetch water. But the collected water was not necessarily used for drinking.

Maya used utensils to collect water flowing from stalactites

The third item is ceramica vessel that was made much better than the rest. At its bottom there are three conical legs, which allowed the dishes to be better held on even (and not only) surfaces. He lay not far from the reservoir at the bottom of the cave. It was not just thrown out - it was carefully placed upside down and overlaid with stones for stability. Scientists tend to assume that the vessel was used during one of the many Mayan rituals. The two vessels mentioned above were needed to bring water to the main vessel.

See also: The volcanic eruption did not destroy the Mayan civilization

Death as seen by the Maya people

At the moment, scientists are aware of the existenceabout 2000 caves that were used by the Maya people for various purposes. In some of them, the bones of people were found, which were presented as a sacrifice to the gods. Perhaps the discovered dungeon was also used for human sacrifice. The fact is that in the minds of the Maya people, the afterlife (Xibalba) is a cave. By sacrificing a person in the dungeon, they rendered him a great service - it was believed that this facilitates falling into the underworld.

The Mayan people believed that after death, people go to Xibalba.

Otherwise, man's path to the kingdomthe dead turned out to be painful. The book-epic "Popol-Vuh" says that on the way to the underworld people need to swim across rivers with scorpions, blood and ... pus. After that, you need to go through the underground gods of death, who put people on red-hot benches. The book also describes five "houses of trials" in which people are tortured to separate their soul from their body.

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It is worth noting that this year, scientists learnedmany interesting things about the Mayan civilization. For example, in May, researchers discovered a cave with children's handprints on the walls - for what they mean, read this article.