Archaeologists found out why the Maya used obsidian in bloody rituals
Archaeologists have found in Guatemala unique obsidian stones that were used during human sacrifices, the discovery allows to understand many of the rituals of Mesoamerican peoples.
About it reports “Week”.
“In one burial of the obsidian stones were found in the tomb for two children aged 2 to 4 years who were sacrificed. The children were buried face to face, next to them lay a long knife of obsidian, and the obsidian stone,” the article says.
In another burial, archaeologists found five skeletons, each of which belonged to children under the age of 1 year. While four children were put into the grave in accordance with the directions. The fifth child was buried in the southwest corner without the obsidian artifact. In the centre of the tomb lay a large piece of this stone.
According to scientists, the obsidian stone had “special spiritual or supernatural significance to the Mayan people”. All scientists have found 42 ritual artifacts.
“Mesoamericans tradition, the obsidian is of divine origin, and therefore has supernatural power. Because of its symbolic value obsidian was used in many Mesoamerican religious rituals,” say the members of the research group, headed by Kazuo Aoyama of the University of Ibaraki in Japan.
However, not all the tombs of the Mayans had obsidian artifacts suggests that the stone was in short supply. Found burial objects belong to the middle preclassic period of the Maya civilization – 899 400 years BC. Then, according to scientists, the lowland Maya people were just beginning to establish trade relations with the inhabitants of mountain areas of the Yucatan Peninsula.
“Obsidian was a scarce commodity in the middle preclassic period and was highly valued for the fact that it was made of high quality cutting tools”, – say the archaeologists.
It is believed that the ritual stones were set to the selected part of Mayan society, they only know how to perform ritual sacrifices. These priests, according to the experts, then become elite. Obsidian was considered a ritual stone and the Aztecs. Earlier, the archaeologists who conducted excavations on the site of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan (now this place is Mexico city), found a Church in honour of the God of wind Ehecatl.