About 2500 BC. e., near modern Huehuetenango (Guatemala), there was a group of tribes whose members speak the same language, called protomayya researchers. Over time, this language is divided into different Mayan languages, speakers of these languages have emigrated, settling in different areas and formed a remarkable civilization. Mayan civilization.
At the height of the highest, the years 250-900 AD, the Maya civilization flourished in an area stretching from the south of the United States to present the Isthmus of Panama, and covers the territory of contemporary southwestern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador and part of Honduras. However, when the Spaniards arrived in the Maya area, large ceremonial centers were abandoned, and the culture was in full decline. The first meeting took place in 1511, when the sinking of the expedition of Valdivia, a flight from Panama to Santo Domingo. Two survivors — Gonzalo Guerrero and Jerónimo de Aguilar — were captured. Guerrero took Maya customs, got married, had offspring, and even participated on the side of the Maya in the fight against the Spaniards. Aguilar also remained a slave, and in 1519 joined the Cortés and was one of his translators during the capture of Mexico.
Yucatan opened in 1517, Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, and between 1523 and 1525 by Pedro de Alvarado conquered Guatemalan territory. The last redoubt of the Mayan city Tayasal, was captured by the Spaniards until 1697.
Maya left behind traces of extremely highly developed culture, but the Spaniards did their best to destroy them. One night in July 1562, in Mani Bishop Diego de Landa ordered to collect and burn all the manuscripts and works of art Maya — it was an act of vandalism, comparable to burning large library at Alexandria.
Perhaps, to be considered a great joy that the jungle somewhere rescued from the Spanish cities Maya.
After more than 250 years, when they began to publish a note of the great travelers — such as Lord Kingsborough and John Lloyd Stephens — has revived interest in the Maya. Only this time, an incredible level of their culture has been recognized. Stephens saw the overgrown jungle ruins "… traces of the people with a refined and distinctive culture, a people who went through all the stages that accompany the rise and fall of nations, reached its golden age, and disappeared, remaining completely unknown."
Attracted descriptions Stephens, archaeologists began slowly, one by one, to open in the thickets of tropical jungle amazing Mayan city with grand palaces and quaint pyramidal temples, towering over the jungle. They were working on deciphering Maya glyphs extraordinarily complex, knowledge of which has been lost over time. And they are more struck by the fact that they opened. When Europe was going through the dark times of the Middle Ages, wrote George Stewart, "Maya created one of the most remarkable civilizations of antiquity."
There are several different theories as to what place can be called the cradle of the Mayan culture. For some researchers is north and south of Veracruz, Tabasco, where Maya group in contact with the Olmecs. The second theory is inclined to think that this culture was born in the mountains of Guatemala, where he formed an agricultural society who grow corn and also was influenced by the Olmec culture.
Olmec culture is prakulturoy, because it originates the elements that formed the basis for the development of other major cultures of Mesoamerica. Among the most important elements of culture, borrowed from the Olmec Maya include: architectural details, and the base is a simple calendar based dvadtsatirichnoy sequence, which later transformed into the exact Mayan calendar. Interesting version of Zecharia Sitchin, who claims that the Olmecs — this is the first human beings, gods bred to work in the mines. In any case, features the head, left by them, clearly Negroid.
Now known that the Maya community consisted of a series of city-states, grouped around the majestic ceremonial centers such as Copan in Honduras, Guatemala and Tikel Palenque Chiapae (Mexico). In those cities, kings, priests ruled existed family dynasties, they were linked by trade and matrimonial ties. The Mayas were beautiful temples and magnificent art. In addition to writing (made in the form of painted characters), archaeologists discovered jade jewelry, sculptures and examples of pottery, excellent performance of copper and gold original artwork.
— Still, the most striking of the Maya were astronomical knowledge. Many scientists were trying to hush up evidence of the ancient astronomical knowledge in places such as Machu Picchu and Tiwanaku, but for astronomy of the Maya, the evidence of their broad knowledge so obvious and numerous, set out in such detail that it is impossible not to recognize them. First of all, we owe it to the three original books Maya who survived to the present day. They are called codes (books with illustrations), and each was named the city, the museum they are: Madrid Code Dresden Codex and the Paris Codex. The first two are devoted to astronomy and divination, and a third — the rituals, gods and astrology.
Experts recognize that, along with the naive belief, Maya had a wonderful knowledge of the Moon and Venus, and knowledge, which they believed to have been accumulated over the years of observation. Were discovered Mayan astronomical observatories, such as "sink" at Chichen Itza, where the tower was going to make holes in windows through which the sun was observed on the day of the equinox. Here are two examples showing the astonishing accuracy of the Mayan astronomers results. First, evidence from Copan (astronomical center) show that the Maya calculated the duration of 149 lunar cycles of 4400 days.
Modern astronomers call a figure of 4400.0575 days. Second, in the Dresden Codex Venus orbital period around the Sun is estimated at 584 days, and modern calculations gave a figure of 583.92 days. In the very heart of the wine-Mayan religion and science lay incredibly complex calendar that for dating stories used three different time scales. Since this chronological system often represented on stone stelae (vertical columns), it managed to quickly decipher. The first system, known as the Long Count, represent a particular date as the number of days counted from zero, corresponding to 3113, the birth of Christ. Importance of this date attributable to time long before the Mayan civilization, and has not been elucidated.
In the second system (Haab) uses more familiar to us a solar calendar of 365 days consisting of 18 months of 20 days and 5 additional days.
Appointment of the third — the 260-day sacred calendar Tzolkin is a mystery. Tzolkin, used to determine the holiday gods and prediction of fate, is a combination of 20 letters and 13 numbers. For fixation of the year in a candy every day is a new combination, and to repeat the first, had to go through 18,980 days, ie, repeated every 52 days or 73 solar ritual year — this cycle is called the Calendar of wheels.
Despite the fact that the Maya used a rough chronology for the 365-day solar year, it is clear that he was perfectly aware of the principle of adjusting the solar calendar, similar to that in which we now adjust for leap years. It was found that they had a precise calculation of the solar year, is estimated at 365.2420 days. Modern astronomy is now thought that the duration of the year — 365.2422. It is clear that the Mayan calendar was at the limit more accurate than the Gregorian calendar we use today, and which is based on the year to 365.2425 days.
To record the Mayan long count used dvadtsatichnoy designed number system, which contained the concept of zero, and use the positional principle that the unit could mean 1 or 20 or 400, etc., depending on their position (as well as in our modern decimal system). Just as we now have a special way to refer to "million" and "billion", the Maya used special characters to represent numbers up to the mark "Alau-tun", referring to the number 23040000000. The only thing that can be explained by the use of such a complex mathematical system, this is something that the Maya had delusions of measurement of time, but our scientists are not able to see why there were such large numbers. The sign "Alau-tun", in the long run, corresponds to the period over 63 million years!
The main characters were three point has the value of unity, the line was five, shell symbolized zero. Combining these signs made up of, but other than that it was another 20 ideograms, which often takes the place of points and lines.
However, one of the biggest mysteries of the Maya left their rituals. Thus, the edges of deep pools and found human bones — the remains of sacrifices. For the Maya, underwater caves served as a gateway to the underworld. In the center of the universe, the Maya mythology, is the world tree, penetrating all layers of heaven in the middle of live people, and under the earth, in the roots, is the entrance to the realm of the dead. Is ruled god of rain and lightning Chuck (which literally means "ax"), which requires the bloody human sacrifices.
Used for sacrifices of slaves and prisoners, but most often ritually sacrificed illegitimate children and orphans, specially purchased for this ceremony. During the ritual, the chief priest helped four elderly men, which in honor of the deity called chakami. They held hands and feet of the victim as a military leader, bearing the title of Naka, was opening the chest to remove heart.
Sharp knives cut the priests language and sexual organs — blood flowed abundantly in the caves and natural wells, called cenotes. Sometimes they go down into the water great gifts steeped in heavy clay jugs. Killing at the edge of Cenote slaves or captives, their bodies then dumped into the water.
Some of the tombs found in the submerged skeletons in the chest sticking fragments of ribs. Most likely, this is evidence that the ritual sacrifice was associated with the ejection of the heart of the victim. And usually sacrificed senior prisoners.
Scientists have long believed that only women were sacrificed. "Now we can say with certainty that not all dead — the victims of ritual sacrifice, and that there was a dead body is not specific to women," — said the expert on Mayan culture from the National Institute of Archaeology and History Carmen Rojas.
So, recently found a well-preserved skeleton of an elderly woman with no traces of a violent death. This confirms the thesis that the wells, the cenotes were not only for sacrifice, but it is also home for burial. Still puzzled researchers such fact as the swimmers were able to deliver a corpse in an underground cave?
As it was established, its location is then located in deep water. To get to the cave could only be using scuba gear or special equipment for scuba diving. Rojas and her colleagues do not rule out that the body of an old woman could be brought back by any current. Now they are searching for evidence of this thesis. If it does not, the world will fall another sensation. The ancient Maya were the first in the history of invented equipment for deep sea diving, or even great-grandfather of modern scuba gear.
Source: "Interesting newspaper. Incredible" № 19 2012
Category: Mystery stories