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Portal to Maya Underworld?

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  • Susan
    All, From National Geographic this week. I d bet this wasn t recreated after the myths and legends as the archaeologist suggests...Especially others here who
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 2, 2008
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      All,
      From National Geographic this week.  I'd bet this wasn't recreated after the myths and legends as the archaeologist suggests...Especially others here who have gone diving in the thousands of underwater ceynotes and passages in MezoAmerica
      MSE

      Portal to Maya Underworld Found in Mexico?

      Alexis Okeowo in México City
      for National Geographic News
      August 22, 2008

      A labyrinth filled with stone temples and pyramids in 14 caves—some underwater—have been uncovered on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, archaeologists announced last week.

      The discovery has experts wondering whether Maya legend inspired the construction of the underground complex—or vice versa.

      According to Maya myth, the souls of the dead had to follow a dog with night vision on a horrific and watery path and endure myriad challenges before they could rest in the afterlife.

      In one of the recently found caves, researchers discovered a nearly 300-foot (90-meter) concrete road that ends at a column standing in front of a body of water.

      "We have this pattern now of finding temples close to the water—or under the water, in this most recent case," said Guillermo de Anda, lead investigator at the research sites.

      "These were probably made as part of a very elaborate ritual," de Anda said. "Everything is related to death, life, and human sacrifice."

      Stretching south from southern Mexico, through Guatemala, and into northern Belize, the Maya culture had its heyday from about A.D. 250 to 900, when the civilization mysteriously collapsed.

      (Read about the watery graves of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.)

      Myth and Reality

      Archaeologists excavating the temples and pyramids in the village of Tahtzibichen, in Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state, said the oldest item they found was a 1,900-year-old vessel. Other uncovered earthenware and sculptures dated to A.D. 750 to 850.

      "There are stones, huge columns, and sculptures of priests in the caves," said de Anda, whose team has been working on the Yucatán Peninsula for six months.

      "There are also human remains and ceramics," he said.

      Researchers said the ancient legend—described in part in the sacred book Popul Vuh—tells of a tortuous journey through oozing blood, bats, and spiders, that souls had to make in order to reach Xibalba, the underworld.

      "Caves are natural portals to other realms, which could have inspired the Mayan myth. They are related to darkness, to fright, and to monsters," de Anda said, adding that this does not contradict the theory that the myth inspired the temples.

      William Saturno, a Maya expert at Boston University, believes the maze of temples was built after the story.

      "I'm sure the myths came first, and the caves reaffirmed the broad time-and-space myths of the Mayans," he said.

      Underworld Entrances

      Saturno said the discovery of the temples underwater indicates the significant effort the Maya put into creating these portals.

      In addition to plunging deep into the forest to reach the cave openings, Maya builders would have had to hold their breath and dive underwater to build some of the shrines and pyramids.

      Other Maya underworld entrances have been discovered in jungles and aboveground caves in northern Guatemala Belize.

      "They believed in a reality with many layers," Saturno said of the Maya. "The portal between life and where the dead go was important to them."

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/08/080822-maya-maze.html?source=email_inside_20080902&email=inside
    • bigalemc2
      Susan - Can you clarify your meaning here? I have a general comment, but am not sure how to respond specifically to yours. Steve ...
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 2, 2008
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        Susan -

        Can you clarify your meaning here?

        I have a general comment, but am not sure how to respond specifically to yours.

        Steve



        --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "Susan" <beldingenglish@...> wrote:

         All, From National Geographic this week. I'd bet this wasn't recreated after the myths and legends as the archaeologist suggests...Especially others here who have gone diving in the thousands of underwater ceynotes and passages in MezoAmerica.

      • Susan
        Hi Steve, Please go ahead and fire away; I always enjoy what you have to say and enjoy looking at things from broader perspective. I only added comment because
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 4, 2008
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          Hi Steve,

          Please go ahead and fire away; I always enjoy what you have to say and
          enjoy looking at things from broader perspective.

          I only added comment because I don't like to insert a link without
          comment. I do know two who read posts at this site who have done some
          diving in Yucatan ceynotes. I personally found one which, to me, show
          physical evidence of considerable antiquity. But, that particular site
          was long ago damaged by countless tourists and will never be of
          archaeological interest.

          While I have you online here, Steve, I hope you will check out the
          Atlantic Conference Halifax web site which intends to stay current as
          they are working into a third conference. First was in the Orkneys. It
          is my personal hope you see yourself involved with this association of
          bright international people and consider investing toward the next
          conference (and a week or two to explore there). I wrote to your friend
          Chris Dunn soon as I got back. I wish I could better express myself,
          sometimes.

          Thanks for contributing to this web site, despite little traffic or
          interest here. I do like the ideals behind a global, ancient waterways
          connection between cultures throughout the span of human existence.

          Diffusionists Without Borders, MSE



          --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "bigalemc2"
          <puppet@...> wrote:
          >
          > Susan -
          >
          > Can you clarify your meaning here?
          >
          > I have a general comment, but am not sure how to respond specifically
          to
          > yours.
          >
          > Steve
          >
          >
          > --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "Susan"
          > beldingenglish@ wrote:
          >
          > All, From National Geographic this week. I'd bet this wasn't recreated
          > after the myths and legends as the archaeologist suggests...Especially
          > others here who have gone diving in the thousands of underwater
          ceynotes
          > and passages in MezoAmerica.
          >
        • Vincent Barrows
          http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff280/Marburg72/Faces%20of%20the%20Past/
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 6, 2008
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            http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff280/Marburg72/Faces%20of%20the%20Past/

          • Susan
            Vince, Thanks for sending the link below...I am also inserting the Marburg72 link (not sure what Marburg means) that your Faces of the Past is also connected
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 7, 2008
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              Vince,

              Thanks for sending the link below...I am also inserting the Marburg72 link (not sure what Marburg means) that your Faces of the Past is also connected to. Are all photos within the links from your collection that you are cataloguing along with stone tablets? I clicked onto the photos and did not see specific descriptions, dates, sites where each was found....unless I am not clicking in the right place.

              I wonder if you could you introduce the sites, for the archived posts here and then put them into the Links or photos section, for reference purposes. 

              Thanks again, Vince. 

              http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff280/Marburg72/Faces%20of%20the%20Past/

              http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff280/Marburg72/


              --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Vincent Barrows <v_barrows@...> wrote:
              >
              > http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff280/Marburg72/Faces%20of%20the%20Past/
              >

            • Chris Patenaude
              Yo Vince! Where did this disc come from!?? ...   If the link from the Photobucket didn t work, the photo is attached.   Is it Nat American or from the Middle
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 29, 2008
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                Yo Vince!
                Where did this disc come from!??
                 
                If the link from the Photobucket didn't work, the photo is attached.
                 
                Is it Nat American or from the Middle East?
                 
                It reminds me so much of the astrolabe-discs William works with. Could these be pictograms of The Four Winds (ie directions) or perhaps drawings of perceived constellations located at the four corners of the sky?
                 
                The one has a spiked helmet and desert-travel scarves. The others could as easily be Tuag camel riders with their turbans. Might a Native person be commemorating the appearance of Strange Visitors in their village?
                 
                -chris


                --- On Sun, 9/7/08, Susan <beldingenglish@...> wrote:
                From: Susan <beldingenglish@...>
                Subject: [ancient_waterways_society] Re: Faces from the past : a photo essay
                To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Sunday, September 7, 2008, 10:17 PM

                Vince,
                Thanks for sending the link below...I am also inserting the Marburg72 link (not sure what Marburg means) that your Faces of the Past is also connected to. Are all photos within the links from your collection that you are cataloguing along with stone tablets? I clicked onto the photos and did not see specific descriptions, dates, sites where each was found....unless I am not clicking in the right place.
                I wonder if you could you introduce the sites, for the archived posts here and then put them into the Links or photos section, for reference purposes. 
                Thanks again, Vince. 

                --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Vincent Barrows <v_barrows@...> wrote:
                >
                > http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff280/Marburg72/Faces%20of%20the%20Past/
                >

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