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Mexico: Researchers find mysterious handprints in Mayan cave


They are probably more than 1000 years old: newly discovered handprints in a cave in Mexico indicate rituals from the Mayan period. Apparently they come from adolescents - and have something to do with puberty.

Read the video transcript here

In Mexico, researchers have found mysterious handprints in a cave on the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The prints obviously come from the Maya period, as other finds suggest.

Sergio Grosjean, archaeologist:

»It is likely that the handprints are from the period AD 800-1000.

That results from how many objects from that time we found here.

Between 800 and 1000 AD.

there was a great drought here.

Many assume that it led to the collapse of the Mayan culture. "

The archaeologists found 137 prints from hands and one from a forearm.

They come from children.

There are also ideas about why they came about.

There are some indications of end-of-puberty and growing-up rituals.

Sergio Grosjean, archaeologist:

“You pressed your hand on the wall with black paint.

And black represents death, but that doesn't mean they should be killed, it's more about death in a ritual sense.

We don't know how long they were here in the cave, hours or days.

Later these children put their hands on the wall in red paint.

That relates to war or life.

And then they went out and had safe contact with the rest of society. "

The cave is located 10 meters under a Ceiba tree, which also points to the Maya.

Because it is sacred to them.

To date, several million Maya live in the southern states of Mexico, as well as in Guatemala and Belize.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-05-03

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