Tuesday, 4 June 2024
-- Advertisement --
Liberty Club Level3 Divers24

Guatemala: Polish archaeologists discovered several hundred relics in the sacred Mayan lake

A fragment of a face-shaped ceramic ladle, evidence of religious rituals in the form of ceramic vessels – a total of several hundred relics were discovered by Polish archaeologists during underwater research in Lake Petén Itzá next to the ancient Maya capital of Nojpeten in Guatemala. Nojpeten was the capital of the last of the
Published: January 25, 2019 - 09:58
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 17:45
Guatemala: Polish archaeologists discovered several hundred relics in the sacred Mayan lake

A fragment of a face-shaped ceramic ladle, evidence of religious rituals in the form of ceramic vessels – a total of several hundred relics were discovered by Polish archaeologists during underwater research in Lake Petén Itzá next to the ancient Maya capital of Nojpeten in Guatemala.

Nojpeten was the capital of the last of the ancient Maya groups to resist attacks by European conquerors for nearly 200 years after their arrival in Central America. It was located on today’s Flores Island in the southern part of Guatemala’s vast Lake Petén Itzá. Polish underwater archaeologists conducted research around the site in August and September this year. They informed PAP about the results in January.

-- Advertisement --

4_4

[blockquote style=”2″]”Next to the ancient Maya capital, we discovered more than half a thousand relics, including objects sunk during religious rituals,” the leader of the Polish team, archaeologist from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Magdalena Krzemień, tells PAP.[/blockquote]

The place where the rituals took place was to the north of the island, as evidenced by numerous finds. In one place, the researchers noticed three bowls, placed one inside the other. Inside the one on top were fragments of burnt wood and obsidian – a glassy volcanic rock. The three bowls rested on larger vessels on three legs. In one of them, archaeologists discovered an obsidian blade measuring almost 20 cm. “Its presence should clearly be linked to ritual and sacrifice,” the researcher stresses.

Flint believes the discovery was made exactly where the vessels were originally deposited. They were partly buried under the bottom, so not even the currents were able to move them.

3_4

[blockquote style=”2″]”The mystery is how the Maya made this sacrifice so that the vessels did not scatter over a larger area when they were placed. We suppose that they were lowered to the bottom in some kind of net.” – believes underwater archaeologist Mateusz Popek from the Institute of Archaeology at the Nicolaus Copernicus University[/blockquote].

A little further on lay a partially destroyed fragment of a ladle shaped like a human head. The project manager says that very similar ones have been discovered before in Mayan temples on land.

[blockquote style=”2″]”During some ceremonies the incense sticks were deliberately broken. This was probably also the case here,” he adds.[/blockquote]

The researcher says that lakes were an important part of the sacred landscape of the Maya, because water, above all, had a unique symbolic meaning for members of this civilisation – it was seen as a medium through which the dead pass to the underworld.

6_2

Water reservoirs were also seen as places strongly associated with Chaak, the god of rain, on whom rainfall, and therefore fertility, depends. “This is why a great number of sacrificial offerings of various kinds have gone to water bodies over the centuries,” adds the project leader.

Archaeologists have determined the age of the finds. They typify that the area studied was a place of worship from the Protoclassical period (150 BC – 250 AD) to the late Classical period (600 – 800 AD).

The Maya resisted the onslaught of the conquistadors for a very long time. Nojpeten, the last independent Maya stronghold, was only conquered in 1697 after a great battle. At that time, ships moved towards the island, from which the Spanish attacked the Maya with small arms and fire.

9_2

Archaeologists hoped that during their research they would also discover numerous monuments related to this landmark moment. The final battle between the inhabitants of the capital and the Spaniards took place on the western side of the island. Diving in this very area, the Poles found, however, only a part of a mace, i.e. a double-edged weapon consisting of a handle and a head. They found a well-preserved stone head.

A little further north in the El Hospital Island area, archaeologists have come across a large shell from the Caribbean Sea on the bottom, indicating Mayan contact with the people of the Caribbean Coast. “Such a shell could have been used as a musical instrument. Perhaps it should be linked to the elite or the symbolic realm, as objects of this type were associated with birth, puberty rituals, sacrifice, war, as well as the underworld and death” – Krzemień enumerates.

The project leader stresses that all the artefacts were found on the surface of the lake bed – it was not even necessary to excavate. “If we discovered so many objects on the surface, we would probably come across even more during the excavations. That is why we are planning to continue our research”. – Krzemien informs.

You can follow the progress of the work on fanpage on Facebook.

Source: naukawpolsce.pap.pl
Photo: Mateusz Popek

Other posts
Share:
Facebook
Telegram
LinkedIn
Twitter
Pinterest
WhatsApp

About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
-- Advertisement --
freediving dive insurance dan
-- Advertisement --
Level3 Club CCR Divers24
Recent post
Baltictech Conference, last days to catch tickets at discounted price.
Shearwater Peregrine TX: The Ultimate Diving Companion
Baltictech 2024: Dive into Inspiration - Tickets Now on Sale!
Adriatic Depths: Cultivating Sustainable Tourism through Underwater Heritage
Jared Hires: A Tragic Loss in the Depths of Plura Cave
WRECKS4ALL: Unveiling the Southern Adriatic's Underwater Heritage
You haven't read yet
Introducing the Divesoft Reel
Baltictech Conference, last days to catch tickets at discounted price.
Marcin Bramson Discusses His Switch to Divesoft Liberty and the Future of Rebreather Diving
Lungfish Orca v6 Rebreather Achieves CE Certification
Shearwater Peregrine TX: The Ultimate Diving Companion
Raid HYPOXIC TRIMIX OC course to 100 metres

Search...

The Divers24 portal is currently the largest online medium treating diving in Poland. Since 2010 we have been providing interesting and important information from Poland and around the world on all forms of diving and related activities.

Contact us: info@divers24.com