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Best articles about oldest civilizations

Archive for the ‘Maya’ Category

23
Mar

Archaeologists Find Maya Site Where Inhabitants Created Weapons

Posted in Maya, News  by antiques

archaeologists-find-maya-site-where-inhabitants-created-weaponsSpecialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) explore in Tenosique, Tabasco, an archaeological site of Maya affiliation dedicated exclusively to manufacture weapons and tools.

San Claudio “was occupied from 200 BC to 900 AD by Maya workers at the service of other community of higher hierarchy”, informed archaeologist Jose Luis Romero Rivera, director of the excavation project at the site.

Located in the contact region between Chiapas Mountain Range and Guatemala, this site accounts for quotidian life of ancient Maya population dedicated to weapons and tools manufacture, which were commercialized with other towns.

“One of the main activities at the site was flint exploitation; we have found a great amount of this mineral debris all over the place. Due to its relatively easy manipulation, it was used to create sharp tools such as knives, axes and arrowheads”. Read the rest of this entry »

23
Mar

Maya Used Blue to Decorate Buildings

Posted in Maya, News  by antiques

maya-used-blue-to-decorate-buildingsAn archaeologist reports the ingredients of “Maya Blue” pigment beloved by Central America’s ancients may have been widely mined, not traded as previously suggested.

In the Journal of Archeological Science report, Leslie Cecil of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, reports on “palygorskite” minerals, the chief ingredient in the bright and long-lasting pigment, found at the archaeological site of Ixlú in the Petén region of Guatemala.

Maya Blue was widely used by the classic Maya of Central America to decorate buildings and wares, making the cobalt color a signature of the pyramid-building culture.

Rather than emerging from one of seven mines already discovered in Mexico, the mineral traces back to a nearby site in Guatemala, a first sign that the color’s recipe was traded widely outside the Yucatan, and that the ritual burning required to manufacture the pigment also was used by Maya further south as well. Read the rest of this entry »

15
Nov

The History of the Mayan Piramids - Chichen Itza

Posted in Maya  by antiques

the-history-of-the-mayan-piramids-chichen-itzaThe famous Mayan pyramids of Chichén-Itzá are over 1500 years old and are located only 75 miles from Mérida. The name Chichén-Itzá is a Mayan word: CHI (mouth) CHEN (well) and ITZA (of the Itza tribe). Some believe people were occasionally thrown into the nearby cenote as sacrifices, and those who survived were believed to be seers.

The site is divided into three sections. The North grouping of structures is distinctly Toltec in style. The central group appears to be from the early period. The southern group is known as “The Old Chichén.” All three can be seen comfortably in one day.

As the most famous of the Mayan pyramids on the Yucatán peninsula, Chichén Itzá has been studied extensively and is the most popular Mayan ruin in México. Much has been written about it. Try to visit Chichén Itzá early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as the sun can be punishing at midday. Read the rest of this entry »

2
Nov

Giving Alphabet Letters to Mayan Gods

Posted in Maya  by antiques

giving-alphabet-letters-to-mayan-godsALPHABET-GODS: In the early days of archeological exploration, when glyphs and codices were still a complete mystery, no-one had a clue what the God’s names were. So for administration purposes, they were identified by letters of the alphabet.

“This is a picture of God A, and underneath is God B. Please insert God C into Slot D and connect to God E using the tool provided.”

This Godly A-¬to-Z was first compiled by Paul Schellhas in 1904, with various revisions appearing over the years. As more information came to light, Godologists were gradually able to work out the names of each God. But the A-to-Z system is still in use today so we’ve incorporated it thus: Read the rest of this entry »

2
Nov

Mayan Gods - Camazotz

Posted in Maya  by antiques

mayan-gods-camazotzIn Maya mythology, Camazotz was a bat god. Camazotz - Mythology.

In the Popol Vuh the common noun refers to bat-like monsters encountered by the Maya Hero Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque during their trials in the underworld of Xibalba.

Forced to spend the night in Bat House, the boys are able to keep the creatures at bay until Hunahpu loses his head while trying to watch for the coming of dawn. Read the rest of this entry »

2
Nov

The List of Mayan Gods in Alphabetical Order

Posted in Maya  by antiques

the-list-of-mayan-gods-in-alphabetical-orderSeveral gods who played significant roles in the Postclassic codices can be identified on earlier Maya monuments. The most important of these is Itzamnб, the supreme Maya deity, who functioned as the original creator god, as well as lord of the fire and therefore of the hearth. In his serpent form he appears on the ceremonial bar held in the arms of Maya rulers on Classic stelae.

“A”: Lord of Death, and ruler of the realm of the dead. His dwelling place is in the uttermost West, a land of the bones of His subjects. His attributes are a skull and an obsidian knife.

Acan: He is the Patron of drunkeness and ruler of the the art of brewing Balche, a fermented honey concoction flavored with Balche bark.

Aca: one of those referred to as a Becab, possibly the Becab of the East. He has several diverse functions, among which He is Lord of the art of Tattooing. He is regarded as a Life Spirit, and has charge over the growth and proper development of fetuses. Read the rest of this entry »

2
Nov

Mayan Gods - Itzamna

Posted in Maya  by antiques

mayan-gods-itzamnaName and Etymology:

Itzamna, “Lizard House”
In Mayan, “itz” can mean “dew” or “nectar”
Name often preceded by “ahaulil,” or “lord”

Religion and Culture of Itzamna:

Maya, Mesoamerica

Symbols, Iconography, and Art of Itzamna:

Images of Itzamna often contain snakes or mussels and he himself is depicted as an old man with a flower headdress. Sometimes he is shown as a giant bird. Read the rest of this entry »

2
Nov

Mayan Gods - Ek Chuah

Posted in Maya  by antiques

mayan-gods-ek-chuahEk Chuah is the sixth most commonly depicted deity in the codices, and is portrayed 40 times. He has a thick, pendulous lower lip and is generally painted in black, in the Tro-Cortesian codex, or partially black, in the Dresden codex. In the former, his mouth is always surrounded by a dull red circle which makes his thick lips stand out.

The hieroglyph of his name is an eye with a black ring. He was beneficial god for traveling merchants. As a beneficent god, he appears carrying a bundle of goods on his back, like a traveling merchant, and in some places he is shown with the head of Xamán Ek, god of the North Star, who, as we will see, is said to have been “The Merchants’ Guide”.

Finally, Ek Chuah was the patron of cacao, and the owners of plantations of this crop conducted a ceremony in his honor in the month of Muán. Read the rest of this entry »

2
Nov

Mayan Gods - Chac

Posted in Maya  by antiques

mayan-gods-chacThe Mayan god of fertility and agriculture, the one who sends thunder and rain. Later he appears as one of the Bacabs, a group of four protective deities, where Chac is the personification of the east. The center of his cult was in Chichen Itzan (Yucatan). He is the Tlaloc of the Aztec and the rain god Cocijo of the Zapotec. Chac is portrayed with two curling fangs, a long turned-up nose and tears streaming from his wide eyes. His hair was made up of a tangle of knots.

Chac was beneficent and a friend of man. He taught them how to grow vegetables and was the protector of their cornfields. The Maya appealed to him for rain by means of particular ceremonies by which the men would settle outside the village and adhere to strict observance of fasting and sexual abstinence. The animal associated with Chac is the frog, because it signals the coming of rain by its croaking. Read the rest of this entry »

2
Nov

Overview on the Gods from the Mayan Mythology

Posted in Maya  by antiques

gods-from-the-mayan-mythologySouth of the border down Mexico way, reaching down as far as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. This amazing civilization started with the Zapotecs and included the Olmecs and Mixtecs before ending with the Toltecs.

Their city, Teotihuacan, preceded Mayan culture and is full of mysteries from an earlier civilisation. It seems to have suffered fire at some point, but parts of it were in use up to Aztec times. With its pyramid of the sun built over a chambered cave, this may even have been PACARI, ‘The Place Of Emergence’, where the Incan Gods hid during a terrible disaster.

Teotihuacan was the size of Rome, and the Maya could have achieved Roman Empire status if it hadn’t been for their aversion to getting their feathered costumes ruined by salt water. Plus all that messing about with sails and rigging just to end up somewhere with lousy cold weather. Read the rest of this entry »