Mayan underground labyrinths. Portals to the underworld

Previously unknown system of labyrinths of stone pyramids with small temples found in the Yucatan Mexican archaeologists. Experts suspect that the Mayan builders were not only unique terrestrial and underground facilities, many of which are only to be found.


"We have an almost complete circuit of underground tunnels and mazes, some of which extend to the water, and some are even in the ponds', — The head of the archaeological excavation of Guillermo de Anda, said cybersecurity.ru. Labyrinths are quite long, as soon connect 14 caves, some of which are flooded. The scientists say that according to the belief the Maya of the dead was to accompany the underground tunnels of the dog, who helped the deceased to pass through numerous tests, after which the soul could finally go to the next world.

Unusual scientists call the fact that some of the cave, located in what is now Guatemala, have access to the surface. Single point of view as to why the deceased would need access to the outdoors, experts do not. However, according to William Saturno, an expert on Mayan culture of Boston University, the ancient inhabitants of these places believe in the reality of "with many layers." "The portals of life and death, where you can lose and find the living dead, had important social and religious significance to the Maya"- He said.

In one part of the system of labyrinths they found 90-meter road, which ends with the construction of the columns and pond. Labyrinths pass through several countries: the south of Mexico, all of Guatemala and northern Belize. According to estimates of archaeologists, many labyrinths were built in the period from 250 to 900 AD. Note that all traces of the Mayan civilization was broken off about the latest timestamp. Now Mexican archaeologists exploring the temples and pyramids, Integrated labyrinth near the city of Merida (the capital of the state of Yucatan.)

The oldest building around here is the age of 1900 years, others were built in the period from 750 to 850 AD. "There are stones, huge columns, and sculptures of priests, all of this is only in the caves",
— Said Guillermo de Anda, whose team is already half a year in the area of research. According to him, some times they happen to find samples of pottery and human remains.

Archaeologists say that the temples and the top of the cave beneath built, probably at the same time, except that the upper part of the design was intended for the living, and the lower — for the dead. However, some experts suggest that initially only the temples were built, and mazes and caves appeared after the spread of the ancient Mayan myth of the afterlife.

Maya built portals to the underworld

"Popol Vuh."

Unfortunately, the books to this day have not survived. Spanish invaders so thoroughly destroyed the monuments of culture of local people, which, besides the ancient ruins, in fact, nothing is left. But, fortunately, even the conquistadors were people connected, the efforts which some Mayan art were saved. One of the few books that we have at least a vague idea, the "Popol Vuh" — "The Book of the people." It was also destroyed, but preserved Latin translation, which, though very inaccurate, but reveals some aspects of the presentation of the ancient people of the universe.

According to the beliefs of the Maya, get the dead person in the afterlife was not so easy. Soul of the deceased ought to go down the steep steps to the underworld. There she will face serious tests, breaking that, she went to the intersection of four rivers — the blood, white, yellow and black. The last, and led to Xibalba — the underworld. Helps the soul in these wanderings special dog-guide.

What is most surprising, the tunnel to the other world was not just a nice metaphor, but a very real man-made structure. Such tunnels are quite a few around the Yucatan, and one of them is just Mexican archaeologists have discovered.

Sinote

Yucatan Peninsula in general in many ways unique geological formation. At one time, 75 million years ago, this is where a meteorite fell from the consequences of an impact with the Earth which dinosaurs. Peninsula itself up out of the water, but has not lost touch with her. After all, it consists mainly of a thick layer of limestone, is very sensitive to erosion. And tropical lick a million years exuding Yucatan soil so that it resembles a piece of cheese with holes. Huge, filled with fresh water underground caves, passing one another, lost in the incredible depth. They are still for the most part unknown.

Sometimes the upper arches caves collapsed, revealing people these inexhaustible natural wells. Maya, who preferred to settle in such areas, called them a cenote, but used them not only as a source of fresh water. Bottomless pits, sometimes filled with water, and sometimes breaks down precipices, in the view of Indians have become the gateway to the underworld.

As mentioned above, to get there, even the dead were not so easy. The soul passes through many trials for the right to acquire an afterlife, not to stay restless ghost, wandering among the living. So the decision Mayan priests to help the dead. On the ground were built majestic temples, and at the bottom — a complex system of labyrinths associated with the cenote. To master the ones that were filled with water, the Maya could not. But dry cave becomes a real underground cities — with temples, statues, roads.

Multilayered reality

Hard to say what was built at the beginning — ground facilities or catacombs. Rather, they were playing the same role. Only the temples on the surface intended for the living, and facilities in a cenote — for the dead. All the more strange looks that the dungeon was accessible to the surface through the winding secret passages. Why was dead break their way and return to the living, scientists do not know. Currently, the most popular theory of William Saturno, an expert on Mayan culture of Boston University. He believes that the ancient inhabitants of these places believe in the reality of "with many layers." "The portals of life and death, where you can lose and find the living dead, had important social and religious significance for the tribes of the Maya," — he said, and the availability of alternative binding threads between the living and the dead, between the different aspects of the universe shows us the good, how complex had views of the Maya universe.

Sometimes the upper arches caves collapsed, revealing people these inexhaustible natural wells. Maya, who preferred to settle in such areas, called them a cenote, but used them not only as a source of fresh water. Bottomless pits, sometimes filled with water, and sometimes breaks down precipices, in the view of Indians have become the gateway to the underworld.

As mentioned above, to get there, even the dead were not so easy. The soul passes through many trials for the right to acquire an afterlife, not to stay restless ghost, wandering among the living. So the decision Mayan priests to help the dead. On the ground were built majestic temples, and at the bottom — a complex system of labyrinths associated with the cenote. To master the ones that were filled with water, the Maya could not. But dry cave becomes a real underground cities — with temples, statues, roads.

Multilayered reality

Hard to say what was built at the beginning — ground facilities or catacombs. Rather, they were playing the same role. Only the temples on the surface intended for the living, and facilities in a cenote — for the dead. All the more strange looks that the dungeon was accessible to the surface through the winding secret passages. Why was dead break their way and return to the living, scientists do not know. Currently, the most popular theory of William Saturno, an expert on Mayan culture of Boston University. He believes that the ancient inhabitants of these places believe in the reality of "with many layers." "The portals of life and death, where you can lose and find the living dead, had important social and religious significance for the tribes of the Maya," — he said, and the availability of alternative binding threads between the living and the dead, between the different aspects of the universe shows us the good, how complex had views of the Maya universe.

Be that as it may, after the capture of the Maya of Yucatan conquistadors along with all their culture destroyed. And for a long time, few famous cenote were only source of water and sanitation for the descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the peninsula.

A paradise for divers

As interest in the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Americas grew, and archaeologists began to make one discovery after another, remember that those on the cenote. However, mostly not for the great discoveries (then nobody knew what lies deep underground labyrinths b), and due dayvin-gu. In the 80 years scuba diving in the mysterious caves has become almost the main component of tourism in the Yucatan. Here were seen more than 160 km of underground passages and about 80-90 cenote. The most popular of these is the Nohoch Nah Chich, which was opened by Mike Mad Dan in 1987. In a system of underground caverns that were surveyed and mapped about 50 km of cave transitions. Many have become overgrown cenote hotels, piers and rental equipment. Benefit conditions were almost perfect: warm (24 degrees) and very clean water, routes for divers of different levels and always — the potential for new discoveries.

Mysterious way

And in summer 2008, a group of Mexican archaeologists led by Guillermo de Anda found chain of 14 caves with clear signs of human activity. Initially these were small buildings and household items, then came hundred-meter paved stone road that led scientists to a strange kind colonnade with steps going off into the water. Flooded part of the maze, and in some places the road passes under the bottom-filled caves. How the Maya were able to build similar facilities for scientists so far is a mystery.

Now Mexican archaeologists exploring the temples and pyramids, the combined system of labyrinths, near the city of Merida (the capital of the state of Yucatan.) The oldest building around here has 1900 years. The majority of the buildings date back to 250-900 AD. Consequently, the underground labyrinths were created around the same era. It is difficult to say how long they were a cult, but by the time the Spaniards conquered the peninsula, the ancient rites were almost forgotten, and the majestic temples mostly empty. What little they had, fighters with paganism looted and destroyed, but the existence of labyrinths beneath the temples, they simply did not know. Therefore, scientists have found there a lot of interesting artifacts.

"There are stones, huge columns, and sculptures, all of this is only in the caves," — said Guillermo de Anda. Several times his team found a room filled with pottery and human remains. Particularly surprised the researchers small stone pyramids, massive columns and sculptures of priests perform the ritual.

Most scholars are inclined to think that the caves human sacrifices. Then prepared by the priests, the souls of slain embark on their journey through the underground world of the dead.

Another discovery

Another group of archaeologists did not associated with the culture of the Maya, but no less sensational discovery. In one of the deep caves, they found human remains, including a well-preserved skeleton of a woman who lived 13,600 years ago. This redefines the scientists of the past of mankind. Until now it was thought that the first people infiltrated America from Asia on dry at the time the Bering Strait. This happened about 10,000 years ago. And here are the remains of a more ancient, and very far away from North America! Scientists are wondering how ancient people came to the Yucatan — sailed on the water or have come to a bygone then submerged land. But, in any case, it subverts the hitherto existing theory.

What other surprises will present science Yucatan cenote seen. In any case, today examined tiny part of the vast caverns. So we are waiting for new discoveries!

S.Maslakov

Category: Mystery stories

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