NewsThey suggest that the Mayans used ashes of their rulers to make...

    They suggest that the Mayans used ashes of their rulers to make rubber balls

    This theory has generated multiple reactions among experts not related to the investigation.

    Juan Yadeun Angulo, an archaeologist at the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH), has a theory that the ancient Mayans cremated their rulers and used the ashes to make the rubber balls used in their popular and ceremonial game of balls. Ball, disclosed the entity in its bulletin of August 1.

    He supports his theory on the basis of the interpretation of a finding made by his team, in 2020, in a crypt, from about 1,300 years ago, eight meters below the Temple of the Sun pyramid. The crypt located in Toniná, archaeological zone of the Ocosingo Valley, in Chiapas, sheltered the remains of more than 400 vessels containing organic material, such as ashes, charcoal, rubber and roots.

    In the expert’s opinion, the archaeological context refers that, probably, the priests undertook the combustion of the bodies of high-ranking characters, and that the sulfur from the ashes was used for the vulcanization of rubber with which the balls used in games were made. the rite.

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    Analysis of carvings and hieroglyphics on sculptures in an ancient ball court, located near the pyramid, exposed three rulers: Wak Chan Káhk’ (died September 1, 775); Aj Kololte’, dignitary subordinate to the dynasty of Po’p (died 1 April 776); as well as a woman named Káwiil Kaan, who would have been someone of high rank, who died in 722, were taken to the cave of death for her transmutation.

    The archaeologist mentions that “it is instructive to know that the Mayans looked for the body of their rulers to become a living force, something that stimulated their people.”

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    Angulo pointed out that he believes that the sculptures that represent captives inside rubber balls thrown by a richly dressed man, found in an archaeological site in Yaxchilán, near Toniná, are evidence that human remains were used to make them, according to his statements. published this Thursday on the Live Science portal.

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    Reactions from the academic community

    Angulo’s version has generated multiple reactions among experts not related to the investigation. While some were cautiously optimistic, others expressed doubts about this hypothesis. Live Science collected some of these criteria issued by US experts, through emails, when they were asked.

    William Duncan, a professor of biological anthropology at East Tennessee State University, said “it’s certainly plausible that human remains were included in rubber balls.” “Human remains were used in an incredibly wide variety of contexts and practices for the ancient Maya,” he added.

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    For his part, Gabriel Wrobel, professor of anthropology at Michigan State University, argues that “such a practice is certainly consistent with the complex and often lengthy mortuary rituals of the Maya that have been documented.”

    Among those who were wary was James Fitzsimmons, an anthropology professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, who said that even if human remains were used to make the balls, “it’s highly unlikely that they are the remains of rulers, per se.” “, adding that the remains of war captives were more likely.

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    The portal reports that other academics expressed strong doubts about the findings.

    Thus, Susan Gillespie, professor of anthropology at the University of Florida, states that “looking through the information I found, there is no real evidence presented that the rubber balls were designed to include the cremated remains of the Mayan rulers” . “I didn’t read that they found rubber balls and analyzed them for these inclusions,” she said.

    Live Science reported that all experts agreed that the information is too little and some refused to comment on the findings until a scientific report is published.

    “Once the data is available, I’ll be very excited to see how they identified what was in the containers,” said Carolyn Freiwald, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Mississippi.

    Source: RT

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