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May. 14th, 2013 @ 06:38 pm Maya site in Belize mostly destroyed because road crew wanted some rocks
BBC: Maya pyramid bulldozed by Belize construction crew

HufPo: Nohmul Pyramid Bulldozed In Belize For Rocks
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Apr. 4th, 2011 @ 11:37 am £2.56m ceramic figure - Ancient Maya or Modern Fake?
The Guardian: Mayan-style ancient warrior rated a fake as Mexico and France cross swords. 'Seated Divinity' sold in Paris for record £2.56m fuels war of words marring France's Mexico year
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Dec. 15th, 2009 @ 11:27 am Maya Murals
Murals found at Mexican excavation depict everyday life of the Maya. Washington Post article on cool recently discovered ancient murals at Calakmul, with a few pix.
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May. 5th, 2009 @ 06:50 pm Maya glyphs on tv
For those with access to PBS tv, the NOVA show this evening is "Cracking the Maya Code".

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Nov. 10th, 2008 @ 05:05 am Scholar Finds Mayan's Path Through Hell
TZIBICHEN CENOTE, Mexico (Nov. 9) - Legend says the afterlife for ancient Mayas was a terrifying obstacle course in which the dead had to traverse rivers of blood, and chambers full of sharp knives, bats and jaguars.
Now a Mexican archaeologist using long-forgotten testimony from the Spanish Inquisition says a series of caves he has explored may be the place where the Maya actually tried to depict this highway through hell.

Read the full article here.
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Aug. 24th, 2008 @ 07:38 am Portal to the Maya Underworld found in Mexico

From National Geographic:

A labyrinth filled with stone temples and pyramids in 14 caves—some underwater—have been uncovered on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, archaeologists announced last week. The discovery has experts wondering whether Maya legend inspired the construction of the underground complex—or vice versa.

According to Maya myth, the souls of the dead had to follow a dog with night vision on a horrific and watery path and endure myriad challenges before they could rest in the afterlife.

In one of the recently found caves, researchers discovered a nearly 300-foot (90-meter) concrete road that ends at a column standing in front of a body of water.

"We have this pattern now of finding temples close to the water—or under the water, in this most recent case," said Guillermo de Anda, lead investigator at the research sites.

"These were probably made as part of a very elaborate ritual," de Anda said. "Everything is related to death, life, and human sacrifice."

Stretching south from southern Mexico, through Guatemala, and into northern Belize, the Maya culture had its heyday from about A.D. 250 to 900, when the civilization mysteriously collapsed.

Read the full article here.

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Jul. 4th, 2008 @ 12:50 pm Researchers open a secret cave under the Pyramid of the Sun
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080703/sc_nm/mexico_pyramid_dc_1;_ylt=AsisVzkH3hDK4H.wJ8TcKtdFeQoB


Archeologists are now revisiting a cave system that is buried 20 feet beneath the towering Pyramid of the Sun and extends into a tunnel stretching for some 295 feet (90 meters) with a height of 8 feet.

They say new excavations begun this month could be the key to unlocking information about the sacred rituals of the people who inhabited the city, later dubbed "The Place Where Men Become Gods" by the Aztecs who believed it was a divine site.

"We think it had a ritual purpose. Offerings were placed at the very end of the tunnel as part of the pyramid's construction process," Mexican archeologist Alejandro Sarabia told Reuters.

"We want to find out why the Teotihuacan people sealed it and when," he said.

Sarabia said the tunnel was first discovered in the early 1970s but it was closed soon afterward, and most of the information about it was lost when the archeologist who found it died.

Teotihuacan is Mexico's oldest major archeological site and during its heyday in 500 AD, the city was home to some 200,000 people, rivaling the size of ancient Rome at that time, according to archeologists.

Today, it is surrounded by encroaching slums spilling over from the outskirts of Mexico City, but swarms of tourists still visit the giant 212-foot (65-meter) sun pyramid each year to celebrate the spring equinox festival marking the sun's return to the northern hemisphere.

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May. 7th, 2008 @ 06:19 am Mayan Documents for Download
Reprinted from the Aztlan mailing list where it was posted by Lloyd Anderson:

Documents here are copyright © 2007, 2008 by Lloyd Anderson but may be freely used as long as properly cited.

Issues in Translation generally -- a quick introduction which also has links to the next items.
     Translation Problems for Traditional High Cultures -- Please click here.

Structured analysis and translation of the Popol Vuh lines 1-1720 (through the defeat of 7 Macaw), conveniently usable thanks to the generosity of Allen Christenson providing the electronic files on which this version was based but is also in many places substantially new..

Translating the Popol Vuh -- Please click here. Please read also the item just above on translation science.

Popol Vuh cover page (an older much shorter version of the preceding) -- Please click here.

The Popol Vuh in Quiché -- Please click here.

The Popol Vuh in English -- Please click here.

Spelling patterns in Mayan hieroglyphic writing: CVC vs. CVVC vs. CV'C Please click here.

An account of the history of investigations, of several different hypotheses each of which explains some of the data but leaves some part of it unexplained. (Any single explanation alone is probably to be rejected.) Along with a table of the most generally accepted examples of relevant synharmonic and disharmonic spellings. Please click here.

Concordance to Mayan Vases, from Kerr Numbers to pages in his Mayan Vases ( 6 volumes, 1989 through 2000) and to illustration and page numbers in several important publications. Please click here.

 With thanks to Justin Kerr. To view vases see www.FAMSI.org under "Kerr photographs". Also available at FAMSI are concordances in the other direction from other publications to Kerr numbers. Thanks to Dorie Budet for an updating 25 April 2008 of the MS numbers from the "Mayan Survey" project by Ron Bishop and herself. Used with permission.

Topical lists of Mayan Vases which show related scenes or clusters of motifs. Please click here. This is an alternative to searching the Kerr Vase Database (see above) for single motifs.
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Apr. 26th, 2008 @ 02:09 pm New Age revisionism and the Toltecs
If there was ever a Mesoamerican civilization that has been subjected to fluffy New Age revisionism, it's the Toltecs. Perhaps the most infamous contemporary author guilty of that is "Don" Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements and founder of The Sixth Sun foundation. Imagine their surprise to learn that the Toltecs, like many other Mesoamerican and South American civilizations, engaged in child sacrifice.

The Toltecs occupied the central valley of Mexico between the 10th and 12th centuries, preceding the Aztec civilization. This find by archaeologist Luis Gamboa is forcing many people to re-examine their beliefs about the highly refined Toltec civilization.

The sacrifice of children, both by the Aztec and now the Toltec, was reserved for the most serious of acts, the appeasement of the rain god Tlaloc. Read the National Geographic story about this precedent-setting find.

The Component of Sacrifice in Aztec Reconstructionism

It goes without saying that any contemporary effort to reconstruct the Aztec religion must include a component of sacrifice, albeit not human sacrifice (due to obvious legal constraints). In my personal practice, I reject animal sacrifice as well. What I do believe is essential, however, is that if you wish to honor an Aztec deity, then you must give of your own blood. How you choose to do that is certainly open to interpretation, but the use of an obsidian blade or a maguey thorn would be traditional.
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Apr. 23rd, 2008 @ 09:17 pm Do Dogs Guide the Dead on their Journey?
There's evidence to that effect throughout Mexico and the American Southwest. National Geographic just came out with an article on the subject "Buried Dogs Were Divine "Escorts" for Ancient Americans" which can be read here.  Thanks to Michael Ruggeri for posting about this on the Aztlan list, and adding the following:

"As an additional note, the practice of burying dogs as divine escorts is suggested from the time of the Olmecs and especially among the
Mixtecs and in Ancient West Mexico where the Colima sculpted dogs in shamanistic styles and buried these ceramics along with real dogs in
human burials."
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