Archaeologists at the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH) have discovered a unique stone sculpture depicting the Mayan deity of death. The artifact was found during rescue archaeological work in the state of Campeche, near the town of Conhuas. The sculpture has been tentatively dated to the early Classic period (200-600 AD).
The height of the sculpture is 25 centimeters. The deity is depicted seated and his deformed skull draws attention. The deity’s face is hidden under a mask and he has a ring in his nose. The researchers found traces of red pigments on the surface, indicating that the statuette was painted brightly in ancient times.
“This figurine is reminiscent of funerary motifs due to its sharp features and may be associated with the deity of death,” INAH explained. – Polychrome ceramic shards were found along with this sculpture.”
Archaeological site #7, where the sculpture was found, has previously yielded findings of more than 22,000 other items from the pre-Hispanic period, including the remains of ancient foundations. This indicates that the site was the location of a Mayan city-state with a complex social organization. It is not yet known what was its actual population size. But it is known that Mayan city-states, at times, had hundreds of thousands of inhabitants.
History of the Maya civilization
Maya is one of the most mysterious and interesting civilizations of the ancient world. It flourished from 2000 BC to 1500 AD on the territory of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. The Maya developed their own writing system, calendar, mathematical and astronomical knowledge, and also developed in architecture, sculpture, painting, and ceramics.
The Maya city-states were built with astronomical knowledge and had a complex social organization. They had their own religion, which included many deities, including the god of death.
According to Maya mythology, the god of death, called Ah Puch or Yum Kimil, was one of the most important deities. He was associated with the underworld and was responsible for human life and death. In Mayan art the god of death was often depicted as a skeleton or skull.
The significance of the discovery
The discovery of the sculpture of the Mayan god of death is an important discovery for archaeologists and researchers of the art of ancient civilizations. It will provide a better understanding of the religious and cultural traditions of the Maya peoples and their relationship to life and death.
“This figurine can help us better understand Mayan religious concepts,” INAH noted. – We will continue to study the artifacts found at this site to expand our knowledge of the ancient Maya civilization.”