Mayan glyphs detail priest's life, blood sacrifices

Dec 29, 2009
File photo shows the sun shining through the door of a Mayan temple in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Experts are studying the first Mayan hieroglyphic script dealing with the life of a high priest, his blood sacrifices and acts of penance, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said.

Experts are studying the first Mayan hieroglyphic script dealing with the life of a high priest, his blood sacrifices and acts of penance, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said.

The text consists of 260 glyphs carved into a series of seashell earrings and manta ray stingers found inside a burial urn.

The urn, which also contained the remains of an important Maya priest, wrapped in bright red cloth, was uncovered during excavations 11 years ago in Comalcalco, in southeastern Tabasco state, the institute said in a statement.

"It is the longest Maya hieroglyphic script ever found to date in Tabasco" and the first relating a high priest, instead of a Maya ruler and his wives, INAH said.

The text covers 14 years in the life of a Maya priest who lived in the eighth century A.D. It includes references to blood sacrifices and acts of penance preceding the spring solstice.

Maya priests used manta ray stingers to pierce their earlobes, tongue, forehead, penis and other parts of the anatomy, in painful, bloodletting sacrifices to induce a hallucinogenic state in which they believed they could talk to their gods, INAH said.

One of the glyphs refers to the equivalent modern date of January 31, 771.

The Maya dynasties flourished between 426 and 820 AD throughout much of Central America and south eastern Mexico. They excelled in architecture, astrology, mathematics and in keeping several, extremely accurate calendars.

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Truth
2 / 5 (4) Dec 29, 2009
We dont take happy "wish you were here" pictures of our family standing next to the ovens in the Nazi concentration camps, simply because tens of thousands of men, women and children were slaughtered there.
Yet that's exactly what we do when we go to the Mayan and Aztec temples and take happy pictures of our family standing next to the sacrificial altars where tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children were also murdered.

Please dont tell me that "time" makes it okay, because following that argument, will there therefore come a day when Nazi gas chamber postcards will be acceptable?

And please don't tell me that the reason why the people were slaughtered makes any difference. To the victims, murder is murder.
kalyan97
not rated yet Dec 29, 2009
Indus script hieroglyphs decoded http://sites.goog...swriting
The writing encodes in mleccha (rebus), repertoire of smith-artisan guilds.

kalyanaraman
Psyleid
4.3 / 5 (4) Dec 30, 2009
We dont take happy "wish you were here" pictures of our family standing next to the ovens in the Nazi concentration camps, simply because tens of thousands of men, women and children were slaughtered there.
Yet that's exactly what we do when we go to the Mayan and Aztec temples and take happy pictures of our family standing next to the sacrificial altars where tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children were also murdered. ...


Hop off it. Horrible things have happened everywhere. It's not like by going to see a Mayan temple people are condoning what they did.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2009
@truth
Yeah sounds like you think it wasn't the norm back then. No matter where you look, whenever populations approach and exceed the threshold of instability, the value of human life plummets. Some think social collapse caused by overpop is what caused their abrupt disappearance.
OckhamsRazor
5 / 5 (2) Dec 30, 2009
Truth - you also forget that a lot of those cultures that utilised human sacrifice used willing victims. To most it was an honour to be chosen. Others used prisoners or vanquished enemies, which is not unlike what we were doing for years anyway.

Those cultures still treated their own with more courtesy than the average person treats another today. Of course this can't be proven, I'm probably just being overly critical :P However, turning a blind eye doesn't make things go away. We learn from visiting these places, and we pass that information on when we retell it to others aided by photographs.
frajo
1 / 5 (3) Dec 31, 2009
a lot of those cultures that utilised human sacrifice used willing victims. To most it was an honour to be chosen.
This is a non-falsifiable statement; it has no worth. It is a concept to excuse inhuman behavior.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Dec 31, 2009
But nevertheless true based on evidence? People today and throughout history have willingly given their lives in service to their gods, nicht wahrr? Inhuman behavior is too often human, all too human.
Frajo: is your moniker short for emperor franz Joseph of Austria? Unglaublich-
bat400
not rated yet Jan 02, 2010
"Truth" is grinding an axe that has little to do with this article. I see no happy family photos in this article. (And the article focuses on what seems to be a more typical Mayan auto-sacrifice - very similar to Christian and Islamic flagellation sacrifices continuing into the modern era.) Today's traditional Mayan still use some of these sites for ceremonies - but without the blood letting. The Mayan temple sites certainly saw human sacrifice, and that aspect of their religious philosophy is repugnant to modern sensibilities, but these ruins were also settlements containing homes, palaces, markets, tombs. The entire ruin site cannot be compared to concentration camps.
I'm unsure what "Truth" is advocating?
OdinsAcolyte
1 / 5 (1) Jan 06, 2010
Different people, different fears, different beliefs. They would have considered modern men weak and feminine. There are stories of 40,000 captives marched up a pyramid for sacrifice. Can you keep 40,000 people who don't want to die from fighting? Different kind of culture and people. It may horrify people now, but you could not be their neighbor today. They would laugh at you and have you for breakfast in the most real sense.