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Scientists made an unexpected discovery about the Maya

Ученые сделали неожиданное открытие о племени майяMaya used animals in their mystic rituals

The word “Maya” means illusion, visibility, or “what is not”. The fact that the world surrounding us is Maya that he is in fact illusory and simply not very difficult to understand for the common man.

The Mayans who lived in the V-IX centuries in the valley of Copan, in present-Honduras, created a network for wildlife trade. In the tombs of high-ranking Mayans were found the remains of animals, including jaguars, pumas, deer and crocodiles, which, apparently, were brought from different places and used either for ritual sacrifices, or the quality of the meat and tanning hides.

Long before the Spanish conquistadors described the zoo the Aztec leader Montezuma, the Indians of Mesoamerica was held in captivity of wild animals. In one of the largest cities in the region, the city of Teotihuacan, which existed until about 550 ad, the sacrifice of wild animals: eagles, pumas, jaguars, rattlesnakes.

American researchers under the leadership of Sugiyama Nawa (Nawa Sugiyama) from George Mason University analyzed the animal remains from graves of the Maya in Copan. This city located in Western Honduras, in 426-822 years was the capital of one of the States Maya kingdoms Soukoup.

Here, in the tombs of two rulers of the country, the shaman, as well as under the altar on which the sacrifices were made, were found the remains of many wild animals. Among them were skeletons or separate bones of jaguars, pumas, smaller cat, maybe ocelots and yaguarundi, deer, crocodiles, owls and spoonbills. One of the leaders and the shaman lived in the first half of the V century, second ruler around 625-695 years and the altar was built in the second half of the eighth century.

The researchers analyzed ratios of isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen in the remains of a crocodile, a Jaguar, Cougars, owls, spoonbills, three deer and a few unidentified cat species, as well as homemade Turkey from different graves and the altar. The isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen determine the animal’s diet, including fed whether its corn, which was grown by the Indians, and fish and seafood. The ratio of oxygen isotopes it is possible to find out which location happened animal.

The results of isotopic analysis it turned out that some cats, including the Puma and Jaguar, abundantly fed corn (not animals, which gave the corn). With no signs of captivity on the skeletons of animals was not. Other cats ate mainly wild game. The ratio of oxygen isotopes have shown that some animals were brought to Copan not only from the surrounding city in the valley, but also from other parts of the country.

The discovery also suggests that Maya tried to domesticate “wild cats”. The study of the remains of deer, found in the tomb showed that they came from other regions of South America. This may indicate extensive trade of animals, furs and skins, so far too has been questioned.

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