Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Grisly discovery is consistent with violent imagery found in ancient Maya art


In a grisly archaeological find, the remains of dismembered human bodies have recently been uncovered in an artificial cave in the Classic Maya city Uxul in Mexico. Scientists from the University of Bonn discovered several skulls, lower jaws and ribs. Researchers say that the dismembered, decapitated bodies are consistent with the violent scenes depicted in ancient Maya art.

Many of the remains were apparently decapitated, as skulls were scattered about the cave, with no relation to the rest of the bodies.

Many of the remains were apparently decapitated, as skulls were scattered about the cave, with no relation to the rest of the bodies.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/12/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Uxul, decaptiation, mutilation, Maya, art, mass grave, nobility


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The remains of 24 humans were found in an approximately 344-square-foot artificial cave that served as a water storage reservoir.

"Right before 24 victims were buried, the cave's interior had doubtlessly still been used [as] a water reservoir, since the cave's floor was perfectly clean," Nicolaus Seefeld, an archaeologist at the University of Bonn in Germany says. Researchers came across the 1,400-year-old mass grave as part of an investigation on the water system in the city of Uxul.

"After the 24 victims had been buried, the pre-Hispanic Maya covered the remains with a coarse layer of gravel and sealed it with a clay layer. Due to this sealing layer, the documented bones were found in an extraordinarily good state of preservation."

Many of the remains were apparently decapitated, as skulls were scattered about the cave, with no relation to the rest of the bodies. Hatchet marks on the neck bones bore out that the victims had their heads violently removed. Most of the lower jaws had been separated from the heads.

Seefeld said he found the remains of a severed leg, feet, hands and arms with the bones still articulated, or connected at the joints. This implies "that victims were killed at the same time, then chopped into several pieces and finally buried in the artificial cave," Seefeld said in an email.

An analysis determined the age and sex of 15 of the dead: Two were women; and all were between 18 and 42 years of age at the time of death. Seefeld and colleagues have formulated two possible scenarios: That the dead were prisoners of war from another city or nobles from within Uxul.

Maya art is replete with scenes of violence, including the capture and sacrifice of captives. Seefeld says that the archaeological evidence for this violence has been limited.

Supporting the idea that the dead in the Uxul mass grave had been nobles, some of the bodies had jade tooth decorations, which the researchers interpreted as a sign of high social status.

Ceramics found in the artificial cave suggests the time period of the seventh century. Evidence suggests that Uxul's nobility lost their titles when the city was incorporated into the Kaan Dynasty, centered at Calakmul, which was 21 miles north of Uxul, raising the possibility these victims were once nobility.

The victims more than likely came from another site, Seefeld writes. To determine which one is the case, the researchers are planning to conduct a chemical analysis on the remains.

Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Americas

Women, children freed from slavery in Peruvian coca operation Watch

Image of Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group. BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - "Many of these ... continue reading


U.S. and Cuba reopen embassies in groundbreaking move to normalize relations Watch

Image of Official relations between the two countries were severed back in 1961, a diplomatic gulf widened by an embargo on travel and trade.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

The U.S. and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic ties for the first time since 1961 on Monday; a groundbreaking development advocated by Catholic bishops from both countries and set in motion by Pope Francis. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's an ... continue reading


CORRUPTION RAMPANT: Few surprised with prison escape of Mexico's 'El Chapo' Watch

Image of Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from maximum-security prison last week. Mexico is notorious for having one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


How did he do it? Surveillance video released with inside look at El Chapo's elaborate escape plan Watch

Image of Joaquin

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the second time in 14 years, the most powerful drug trafficker in Mexico and FBI's Public Enemy No. 1 has escaped prison using a tunnel. After Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was confirmed to have escaped from the country's most secured prison, the largest manhunt in ... continue reading


Did Pope Francis chew coca leaves during his visit in Bolivia? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' recent visit in South America, there were claims he requested to chew some coca leaves to help him cope with the high altitude. Bolivian authorities stated earlier that the Pope made the request during his stay in La Paz, but the Pontiff clarified ... continue reading


Thousands of Argentineans cross into Paraguay to see their country's Pope Francis Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of prideful Argentineans crossed in to Paraguay to see their Pope Francis speak at the border town of Caacupe. The Pontiff praised the women of Paraguay in his sermon. He recalled how many were left widowed and orphaned after the War of the Triple ... continue reading


Pope Francis stays calm after receiving shocking, outrageous gift from Bolivia president Watch

Image of Pope Francis appeared stunned by the strange gift.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' short trip in Bolivia, President Evo Morales gave him a crucifix of Jesus, nailed in the symbol of communism: hammer and sickle. The Pontiff maintained a neutral and diplomatic approach as he was handed the gift, which is a significant item in the ... continue reading


ON THE LOOSE: Mexico's most feared drug lord - They Can't Keep Me - 'El Chapo' escapes maximum-security prison Watch

Image of The leader of one of the world's most powerful and deadly drug trafficking operations, El Chapo was able to escape from custody previously in 2001 from a high-security prison by hiding in a laundry cart.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a humiliating blow to the Mexican government, the nation's most feared and powerful drug lord -- Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman skipped out of maximum security prison. Guzman is believed to have crawled through a hole in the shower area of his cellblock at the ... continue reading


Paraguayan women need to preserve nation's heritage, and build its future, Pope says Watch

Image of These are

By CNA/EWTN News

Saying Mass at the Marian shrine of Caacupe on Saturday, Pope Francis reflected that it is the task of the "women, wives and mothers" of Paraguay to keep alive their nation's faith and heritage. Caacupe, Paraguay (CNA/EWTN News) - The Roman Pontiff said July 11 ... continue reading


Pope's trip to Ecuador has very special meaning for missionary Watch

Image of On July 6, his first day in Ecuador, Pope Francis has already visited the Divine Mercy Shrine in Guayaquil.

By CNA/EWTN News

Everyone at the Vatican is praying for the fruits of the Pope's apostolic visit to Latin America, but there is one person with a special insight into the papal trip. Quito, Ecuador (CNA/EWTN News) -- Sister Andrea Romero Saltos is an Idente Missionary and the ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Leviticus 25:1, 8-17
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 7-8
2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:1-12
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2015 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter