New Mayan Discoveries & Theories

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#91
A dog's life, hot for some.

Some dogs were royalty, others were dinner in ancient Mayan culture
By Michael PriceMar. 19, 2018 , 3:00 PM

If you were top dog in Mayan Latin America, you might be an honored guest at the king’s feast. But if not, you’d likely end up as the main course of someone else’s. That’s the conclusion of a new chemical analysis of animal bones found in a 3000-year-old Guatemalan city, which provides the earliest picture yet of how the ancient Mayans domesticated animals and treated those in their care.

“It’s a well-done study,” says Henry Schwarcz, an anthropologist and professor emeritus who researches paleodiets at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, though he notes more work will be needed to confirm the findings. And the study may solve another mystery, he says: how the Mayans produced enough protein to feed the thousands who thronged their cities.

Between 1000 B.C.E. and 950 C.E., as many as 10,000 people lived in the important Mayan city of Seibal, located in today’s Guatemalan lowlands. Such big urban centers require lots of food, and the Mayans hunted deer, peccaries, and tapirs. But archaeologists have uncovered precious little evidence that the civilization practiced widespread animal domestication, which might have been needed to sustain such a big population, says Ashley Sharpe, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City. ...

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018...alty-others-were-dinner-ancient-mayan-culture
 
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#92
Could become liquid assets in the heat though.

The Maya civilization used chocolate as money
By Joshua Rapp Learn Jun. 27, 2018 , 11:45 AM

Your Hershey bar may have been worth its weight in gold in Mayan times. A new study reveals that chocolate became its own form of money at the height of Mayan opulence—and that the loss of this delicacy may have played a role in the downfall of the famed civilization.

The study is on the right track, says David Freidel, an anthropologist and Maya expert at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, who was not involved with the work. Chocolate “is a very prestigious food,” he says, “and it [was] almost certainly a currency.”

The ancient Maya never used coins as money. Instead, like many early civilizations, they were thought to mostly barter, trading items such as tobacco, maize, and clothing. Spanish colonial accounts from the 16th century indicate that the Europeans even used cacao beans—the basis for chocolate—to pay workers, but it was unclear whether the substance was a prominent currency before their arrival.

To find out, Joanne Baron, an archaeologist with the Bard Early College Network—a network of schools that focus on college-level teaching for high school–aged students—in Newark, New Jersey, analyzed Mayan artwork. She focused on published research and other available Maya images during the Classic Maya period from about 250 C.E. to about 900 C.E. in the southern Maya lowlands in modern-day Mexico and Central America. The objects—including murals, ceramic paintings, and carvings—depict typical market exchanges and tribute payments to Maya kings.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018...ly_2018-06-27&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2141496
 
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EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
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#93
This new find at Chichen Itza turns out to not be all that new. Someone found it circa 50 years ago, but sealed it up again. His documentation was lost, and nobody seems to know what that was all about ... Anyway ...
Lost Cave of 'Jaguar God' Rediscovered Below Mayan Ruins — and It's Full of Treasure
Shimmying through a maze of dark tunnels below the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, archaeologists have rediscovered a long-sealed cave brimming with lost treasure.

According to an statement from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the cave is stockpiled with more than 150 artifacts, including incense burners, vases, and decorative plates adorned with the faces of ancient gods and other religious icons. The trove is believed to be just one of seven sacred chambers in a network of tunnels known as Balamku — "Jaguar God" — that sits below Chichén Itzá, a city that accommodated millions of people at its peak during the 13th century. The artifacts have likely been untouched by human hands for more than 1,000 years, according to the INAH.

Though the treasures were probably deliberately sealed off, the ritual cave, rediscovered in 2018 by archaeologists hunting for a sacred well below the city, has had at least one human visitor in the past millennium, National Geographic reported. The cave was initially discovered in 1966 by archaeologist Víctor Segovia Pinto, who wrote a report about the find, but never excavated before directing local farmers to seal the cavern's entrance for reasons that are still unknown. Segovia's records of the discovery went missing, leaving behind a mystery that would take five decades to solve. ...
FULL STORY:
https://www.livescience.com/64917-lost-mayan-treasure-cave-rediscovered.html

SEE ALSO (National Geographic article cited):
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/03/maya-ritual-balamku-cave-stuns-archaeologists/
 
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#94
The Political-Economy of Mayan Society is wrapped up in these figurines.

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO—Archaeologists working in Guatemala have discovered the largest known figurine workshop in the Mayan world, they announced at the Society for American Archaeology meeting here last week. The workshop, buried for more than 1000 years, made intricate, mass-produced figurines that likely figured heavily in Mayan political customs.

Finding the workshop was a stroke of luck: Brent Woodfill, an archaeologist at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, learned about it from friends in Cobán, Guatemala, who were doing construction on their property. A few months later, Woodfill and colleagues excavated the site, called Aragón, and surveyed it with a drone. Although the workshop was destroyed by the construction, archaeologists were able to recover more than 400 fragments of figurines and the molds for making them (above), as well as thousands of ceramic pieces—more than at any other known Mayan workshop. ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...ly_2019-04-18&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2775290
 

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
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#95
There is something fascinating about the species making something. I enjoy saxon water mills, bullet making rooms, evidence of weaving, potters, charcoal burners..... teh lot!
 

Jim

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#96
The Political-Economy of Mayan Society is wrapped up in these figurines.

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO—Archaeologists working in Guatemala have discovered the largest known figurine workshop in the Mayan world, they announced at the Society for American Archaeology meeting here last week. The workshop, buried for more than 1000 years, made intricate, mass-produced figurines that likely figured heavily in Mayan political customs.

Finding the workshop was a stroke of luck: Brent Woodfill, an archaeologist at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, learned about it from friends in Cobán, Guatemala, who were doing construction on their property. A few months later, Woodfill and colleagues excavated the site, called Aragón, and surveyed it with a drone. Although the workshop was destroyed by the construction, archaeologists were able to recover more than 400 fragments of figurines and the molds for making them (above), as well as thousands of ceramic pieces—more than at any other known Mayan workshop. ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...ly_2019-04-18&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2775290
A shame the Mayan site was totaled, progress yah right.
 
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#97
War came early.

In 697, flames engulfed the Maya city of Witzna. Attackers from a nearby kingdom in what’s now Guatemala set fires that scorched stone buildings and destroyed wooden structures. Many residents fled the scene and never returned.

This surprisingly early instance of highly destructive Maya warfare has come to light thanks to a combination of sediment core data, site excavations and hieroglyphic writing translations, say research geologist David Wahl of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif., and his colleagues. Organized attacks aimed at destroying cities began during ancient Maya civilization’s heyday, when Witzna and other cities thrived in lowland regions of Central America, the scientists report August 5 in Nature Human Behavior.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ancient-maya-warfare-flared-surprisingly-early
 
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