MERIDA—Dozens of black and crimson hand prints cowl the partitions of a collapse Mexico, believed to be related to a coming-of-age ritual of the traditional Maya, in accordance with an archeologist who has explored and studied the subterranean cavern.
The 137 prints, principally made by the fingers of youngsters, are greater than 1,200 years outdated, which might date them close to the tip of the traditional Maya’s classical zenith, when main cities throughout present-day southern Mexico and Central America thrived amid main human achievements in math and artwork.
The cave is positioned close to the northern tip of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, the place the towering pyramids of city facilities like Uxmal and Chichen Itza nonetheless stand, and lies some 33 toes (10 meters) under a big ceiba tree, which the Maya take into account sacred.
Archeologist Sergio Grosjean argues that the hand prints have been seemingly made by youngsters as they entered puberty, attributable to a evaluation of their measurement, with the colours offering a clue to their that means.
“They imprinted their hands on the walls in black… which symbolized death, but that didn’t mean they were going to be killed, but rather death from a ritual perspective,” he mentioned.
“Afterwards, these children imprinted their hands in red, which was a reference to war or life,” he added.
Other Mayan artifacts discovered within the cave embody a carved face and 6 painted aid sculptures, which date from between 800-1,000 A.D., a time when extreme drought struck the area and will have contributed to the classical Maya’s sudden abandonment of main cities.
While the primary Mayan settlements date again almost 4,000 years, there have been nonetheless giant facilities when Spanish conquerors arrived within the early 1500s.
Several million Maya proceed to dwell in communities scattered throughout southeastern Mexican states like Chiapas and Campeche, along with Guatemala and Belize.
By Alberto Fajardo