"Dramatic" New Maya Temple Found, Covered With Giant Faces
2012-07-23 0:00

By Ker Than | NationalGeographic.com

Archaeological "gold mine" illuminates connection between king and sun god.




Some 1,600 years ago, the Temple of the Night Sun was a blood-red beacon visible for miles and adorned with giant masks of the Maya sun god as a shark, blood drinker, and jaguar.

Long since lost to the Guatemalan jungle, the temple is finally showing its faces to archaeologists, and revealing new clues about the rivalrous kingdoms of the Maya.

Unlike the relatively centralized Aztec and Inca empires, the Maya civilization—which spanned much of what are now Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico’s Yucatán region (Maya map)—was a loose aggregation of city-states. (Read about the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.)

"This has been a growing awareness to us since the 1990s, when it became clear that a few kingdoms were more important than others," said Brown University archaeologist Stephen Houston, who announced the discovery of the new temple Thursday.

El Zotz, in what’s now Guatemala, was one of the smaller kingdoms, but one apparently bent on making an big impression.

By 2010 archaeologists working on a hilltop near the ancient city center had discovered 45-foot-tall (13-meter-tall) Diablo Pyramid, Atop it they found a royal palace and a tomb, believed to hold the city’s first ruler, who lived around A.D. 350 to 400.

Around the same time, Houston and a colleague spotted the first hints of the Temple of the Night Sun, behind the royal tomb on Diablo Pyramid. Only recently, though, have excavations uncovered the unprecedented artworks under centuries of overgrowth.





Solar Power

The sides of the temple are decorated with 5-foot-tall (1.5-meter-tall) stucco masks showing the face of the sun god changing as he traverses the sky over the course of a day.

One mask is sharklike, likely a reference to the sun rising from the Caribbean in the east, Houston said.

The noonday sun is depicted as an ancient being with crossed eyes who drank blood, and a final series of masks resemble the local jaguars, which awake from their jungle slumbers at dusk.

In Maya culture the sun is closely associated with new beginnings and the sun god with kingship, Houston explained. So the presence of solar visages on a temple next to a royal tomb may signify that the person buried inside was the founder of a dynasty—El Zotz’s first king.

It’s an example of "how the sun itself would have been grafted onto the identity of kings and the dynasties that would follow them," he said in a press statement.

Maya archaeologist David Freidel added, "Houston’s hypothesis is likely correct that the building was dedicated to the sun as a deity closely linked to rulership. The Diablo Pyramid will certainly advance our knowledge of Early Classic Maya religion and ritual practice."

Houston’s team also found hints that the Maya, who added new layers to the temple over generations, regarded the building as a living being. For example, the noses and mouths of the masks in older, deeper layers of the temple were systematically disfigured.

"This is actually quite common in Maya culture," Houston told National Geographic News. "It’s very hard to find any Mayan depiction of the king that doesn’t have its eyes mutilated or its nose hacked ... but ’mutilation’ is not the appropriate term to describe it. I see it as more of a deactivation.

"It’s as if they’re turning the masks off in preparation for replicating them in subsequent layers ... It’s not an act of disrespect. It’s quite the opposite."


[...]


Read the full article at: nationalgeographic.com






Also tune into Red Ice Radio:

Drunvalo Melchizedek - Hour 1 - The Mayan Ouroboros

Bob Frissell - Hour 1 - Transitioning Into The 4th Dimension

John Major Jenkins - The Myths and Fallacies of 2012

Dan Winter - Fractal Geometry & The Golden Mean

Christopher Dunn - The Hidden Chamber Behind Gantenbrink’s Door & The Giza Power Plant

Howard Martin - Heartmath Institute, Heart Based Living & The Global Coherence Initiative

Freddy Silva - Ancient Sacred Sites, Invisible Temples, Giants & Our Ancestors









Related Articles
Ancient Mayan ritual gets a rebirth in Yucatan
Images: Mayan Calendar Carvings
Maya Archaeologists Unearth New 2012 Monument With ’End Date’ of Dec. 21, 2012
The World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture - Ancient Mayan Temple (weighs 18,000 lbs)
Oldest known Maya calendar found in Guatemala "Patterns In The Sky"
Mayor of London Calls Upon Sun God Ra - For Change In Olympics Weather Forecast


Latest News from our Front Page

'Chance for a new start': Croatia writes off debts of 60,000 poorest citizens
2015-02-02 1:37
Village of Bobodol, near Knin, in central Croatia Croatian government have gotten creditors on board a plan to erase the debts of some 60,000 poorest citizens. The “fresh start” scheme targets less than 1 percent of the entire debt, but is hoped to boost the economy in the long-term. The unorthodox measure was voted for by the government on January 15 and ...
Honeypot warning issued by UK MoD: No sex with Russian or Chinese girls
2015-02-02 1:04
Top brass have been warned not to have sex with Russian and Chinese girls however stunning they may be, as it may turn out a ‘honeytrap’, a leaked UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) document says. The paper, obtained by the Sunday Times,gives detailed instructions that the Russian intelligence, the FSB, may try to compromise and blackmail foreign agents “through knowledge of ...
Do Many Neocons Just Hate All Europeans?
2015-02-01 22:21
Neocon Globalist Charles Krauthammer A few months ago I encountered at a conference an eminent Straussian scholar who teaches at an Ivy League institution, and he almost immediately launched into a tirade against “the Europeans,” who are at the point of “finishing Hitler’s work.” The only exception that my interlocutor would concede to this sweeping statement was for the English “who ...
Swedish Feminists Drink Blood
2015-02-01 21:44
Swedish Feminists drink menstrual blood to fight the Patriarchy! Here is the story from alltomstockholm.se as translated by Google (English not 100% correct) A feast to celebrate the woman - and your period Menstruation - and this year's celebration. Theatre Bristol salute month's bloodiest weeks and cause menstrual celebration of International Women's Day. - We will offer menstrual drinks, says Daniela Kullman. On International Women's Day ...
'What do we need this war for?' Ukrainians flee from 100k army draft
2015-02-01 21:12
With the heavy fighting taking its toll on the Ukrainian army, another military draft is underway - the fourth within less than a year. It's the largest one to date - set to get 100k people into the military. This includes everyone up to the age of 60, with a voluntary mobilization for women. Fleeing the draft some are getting ...
More News »