Giant masks pushed back centuries Maya

14.05.2004

14.05.2004


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Giant masks decorated with fangs gods found in the lower reaches of Guatemala showed that the developed Mayan culture spread in the region for hundreds of years earlier than scientists thought. A pair of masks, dating from 150 BC, were dug out of the ground in the ancient city Sival. Archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli of Vanderbilt University (USA) has found the first mask, with L-shaped eye and a square mouth, decorated with a pair of snake fangs in April. This was followed by a second finding. The length of carved stucco masks of plaster of 3-5 meters. Veils surrounding the eye, give reason to believe that they represent the god of maize.

• Those huge masks created 150 years before our era

Two masks — the oldest sculpture of its kind — on the stairs leading to the temple room at the top of one of the five famous pyramids Tsivalya. Other artifacts found even older, their creation dates back to the construction of the urban area (about 500 BC). This set of five smashed jars, arranged in a cross, five jade axes and more than a hundred fragments of jade. Estrada-Belli believes that pitchers used for claiming the water during the annual prayer for a good harvest, and jade symbolize maize. Also, archaeologists found a stone tablet about 300 years with inscriptions containing the oldest known portrait of the king of the Maya.

All these findings dispel the preconceived idea that the Mayan culture originated in the central highlands of Guatemala and the Pacific Coast, and the spread in low-lying areas later.

In Sivale can live up to 10 thousand people, the inhabitants of the city were engaged in trade and exchange with other areas inhabited by the Maya, much earlier than previously thought. The city was abandoned around the hundredth year of our era. This was shortly after the destruction of the defensive wall, apparently as a result of an unsuccessful rivalry with another kingdom. The city remained abandoned for nearly a thousand years.

13.05.2004

See also: Found a real mammoth, Theory of existence.

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