MAYAN CULTURE, WITH A HISTORY OF APPROXIMATELY THREE THOUSAND YEARS, INHABITED A PART OF THE REGION CALLED MESOAMERICA, IN THE CURRENT TERRITORIES OF GUATEMALA, BELIZE, HONDURAS, EL SALVADOR AND IN THE FIVE STATES OF SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO: CAMPECHE, CHIAPAS, QUINTANA ROO, TABASCO AND YUCATAN.
During that long time they developed one of the most important pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures. Dozens of dialects were spoken in this territory, giving rise to the 44 modern Mayan languages. Contrary to a widespread belief, the Mayan civilization did not completely disappear – numerous Mayan ethnic groups still survive in the Mesoamerican region – although its economic, military and political power ended (collapsed in the terminology of historians) a few centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century.
Nathan Meissner and Prudence Rice, two scientists from the University of Southern Illinois Carbondale, USA, have examined 108 arrowheads found during the last 20 years in the Guatemalan department of Petén, dating from the years 1,400-1,700, the LiveScience portal reports. with the help of special techniques the experts were able to detect ancient remains of blood in 25 points, as well as the types of species from which it came. Two objects had human blood while the rest, a mixture of blood from various animals, including rodents, birds, rabbits and cats, according to scientists, the finding of human blood points to a ritual the Mayans performed 500 years ago in a temple in Zacpetén, Guatemala. During the ceremony, participants probably cut the earlobe, tongue, or genitals with the tip of an arrow to spill blood, believing that through blood the person transmitted the “life force” to the gods. The researchers claim that the rite was voluntary and the participants survived after it.
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