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#14462 - 11/15/08 11:42 AM Portal to mayan hell dicovered in Mexico
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
Portal to Maya "Hell" Found in Mexico?Alexis Okeowo in México City
for National Geographic News


Updated with video November 10, 2008
A labyrinth filled with stone temples and pyramids in 14 caves—some underwater—have been uncovered on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, archaeologists announced recently.

The discovery has experts wondering whether Maya legend inspired the construction of the underground complex—or vice versa.

According to Maya myth, the souls of the dead had to follow a dog with night vision on a horrific and watery path and endure myriad challenges before they could rest in the afterlife.

In one of the recently found caves, researchers discovered a nearly 300-foot (90-meter) concrete road that ends at a column standing in front of a body of water.

"We have this pattern now of finding temples close to the water—or under the water, in this most recent case," said Guillermo de Anda, lead investigator at the research sites.

"These were probably made as part of a very elaborate ritual," de Anda told National Geographic News in August. "Everything is related to death, life, and human sacrifice."

Stretching south from southern Mexico, through Guatemala, and into northern Belize, the Maya culture had its heyday from about A.D. 250 to 900, when the civilization mysteriously collapsed.


Myth and Reality

Archaeologists excavating the temples and pyramids in the village of Tahtzibichen, in Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state, said the oldest item they found was a 1,900-year-old vessel. Other uncovered earthenware and sculptures dated to A.D. 750 to 850.

"There are stones, huge columns, and sculptures of priests in the caves," said de Anda, whose team has been working on the Yucatán Peninsula for six months.

"There are also human remains and ceramics," he said.

Researchers said the ancient legend—described in part in the sacred book Popul Vuh—tells of a tortuous journey through oozing blood, bats, and spiders, that souls had to make in order to reach Xibalba, the underworld.

"Caves are natural portals to other realms, which could have inspired the Mayan myth. They are related to darkness, to fright, and to monsters," de Anda said, adding that this does not contradict the theory that the myth inspired the temples.

William Saturno, a Maya expert at Boston University, believes the maze of temples was built after the story.

"I'm sure the myths came first, and the caves reaffirmed the broad time-and-space myths of the Mayans," he said.

Underworld Entrances

Saturno said the discovery of the temples underwater indicates the significant effort the Maya put into creating these portals.

In addition to plunging deep into the forest to reach the cave openings, Maya builders would have had to hold their breath and dive underwater to build some of the shrines and pyramids.

Other Maya underworld entrances have been discovered in jungles and aboveground caves in northern Guatemala Belize.

"They believed in a reality with many layers," Saturno said of the Maya. "The portal between life and where the dead go was important to them."

Article + video --> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/11/081110-maya-road-to-hell.html?source=rss

Quite interesting isn't it? Can we reflect some of the aspects on our modern society?
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#14465 - 11/15/08 12:12 PM Re: Portal to mayan hell dicovered in Mexico [Re: Dimitri]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
I think I'll be watching to see more accounts of this archeological find in the months and years to come. Things like this are fascinating on many levels.

One thing that struck me was the "as above, so below," nature of the site that has been found in other cultures. The "treacherous journey of the soul" through the underworld was meticulously constructed to reflect the life and death myth of the everyday world. What was above was reflected below.

In some ways it would equate to the placement of the Egyptian pyramidal complex at Giza and its surrounding temples and artifacts as they relate to the placement of stars in the constellation of Orion, the aligning of "air shafts" in the pyramid to align with Orion's belt, etc. What was above was reflected below.

Each was concerned with life after death and the transition of man inbetween.
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#14490 - 11/15/08 05:43 PM Re: Portal to mayan hell dicovered in Mexico [Re: Jake999]
Morgan Offline
Princess of Hell
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
On the tv show, cities of the underground. I think they showed this place. I saw the episode maybe 2 weeks ago.

I really love that show. He did nyc but, but missed some stuff I know about.

Morgan
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#14493 - 11/15/08 06:45 PM Re: Portal to mayan hell dicovered in Mexico [Re: Morgan]
Jake999 Offline
senior member


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
Thanks, Morgan! I thought I had heard about this and I do remember seeing this or something similar on Cities of the Underground.

For those who haven't seen the series, it's worth a watch. The show goes under modern cities (or ancient ones) and shows the structures, tunnels, etc. below what we see today. I really enjoyed seeing them do Istanbul, my favorite city outside of the US.
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#15333 - 12/02/08 03:23 PM Re: Portal to mayan hell dicovered in Mexico [Re: Jake999]
Chelsea_Grin Offline
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Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 54
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I've actually been to one of these Mayan underworld entrances during one of my trips to Guatemala.
The ruins are absolutely beautiful, and fascinating.
I don't remember what the name of the place we went was called, but it was a long drive from Lake Atitlan..about 8 hours. We did have to hike quite a ways to get to the place, and I was eaten alive by bugs. We camped near a waterfall.
It was truly breath taking.
To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Guatemala, but some of it's really spectacular.
Our guide was a close friend of ours, so the expedition was free, and it luckily was a spot that hadn't been disturbed too greatly by archaeologists...we actually weren't allowed to be there. Our friend noticed the gauges in my ears, and when we got back to his house (where we were staying) he pulled out about 14 authentic Mayan gauges that were like 2,000 years old. We smuggled them back home along with some powdered Coban pepper..that story's quite interesting, and makes me question our airport security, because the whole trip they never found my box of gauges, but what if that had been cocaine or something? A little off topic, but back to the topic at hand...
It was a GREAT experience. :]
Our friend made sure we didn't actually touch the ruins because it was a burial ground, I believe, and I'm not 100% sure if my translation was right, but I believe he told me if I touched the threshold of the entrance to the underworld, part of me would be left behind, you know, spiritually. Freaked me out a bit.

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#15373 - 12/02/08 11:59 PM Re: Portal to mayan hell dicovered in Mexico [Re: Chelsea_Grin]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
"he told me if I touched the threshold of the entrance to the underworld, part of me would be left behind, you know, spiritually. Freaked me out a bit."

Why would this freak you out? Do you believe it is possible to "leave behind a piece of you", you know, "spiritually"?
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#15392 - 12/03/08 10:05 AM Re: Portal to mayan hell dicovered in Mexico [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Chelsea_Grin Offline
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Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 54
Loc: Atlanta, GA
No, but the way he said it was what truly freaked me out.
he was all leaning in close and whatnot and whispering.
It was the kind of freaked out 5 yr olds get at the Scout's annual camping trip and all the chaperones tell scary stories about rabid cafeteria food.

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#19767 - 02/06/09 02:10 PM Re: Portal to mayan hell dicovered in Mexico [Re: Chelsea_Grin]
joseph oreilly Offline
Incomprehensible--Banned
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Registered: 01/29/09
Posts: 58
I went on a web site a few years ago which detailed that rumour, it contained 'audio evidence' which just consisted of screaming.
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