Photo. Portal to mythical Mayan underworld found in Mexico. Ancient Mexican underground road thought to lead to Maya underworld. Archaeologists find a maze of stone temples in caves in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Researchers discovered the stone ruins of eleven sacred temples and what could be the remains of human sacrifices at the site in the Yucatan Peninsula. Archeologists say Mayans believed the underground complex of water-filled caves leading into dry chambers, including an underground road stretching some 330 feet, was the road to a mythical underworld, known as Xibalba.
According to an ancient Mayan scripture, the Popol Vuh, the route was filled with obstacles, including rivers filled with scorpions, blood and pus and houses shrouded in darkness or swarming with shrieking bats, Guillermo de Anda, one of the lead investigators at the site. Excavations in the Yucatan caves have so far revealed stone carvings and pottery left for the dead.
The Mayans built soaring pyramids and elaborate palaces in Central America and southern Mexico before mysteriously abandoning their cities around 900 A.D. They described the torturous journey to Xibalba in the Popul Vuh sacred text, originally written in hieroglyphic script on long scrolls and later transcribed by Spanish conquerors.
Different Mayan groups who inhabited southern Mexico and northern Guatemala and Belize had their own entrances to the underworld which archeologists have discovered at other sites, almost always in cave systems buried deep in the jungle. In the Yucatan site they have found one 1,900-year-old ceramic vase, but most of the artifacts date back to between 700 and 850 A.D.
What more is hiding underground n the thunnels and caves? Researchers hope to find out more about Mayan belief about life after death.
Stein Morten Lund, 6 March 2009
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems.
Initially established during the Preclassic period (c. 2000 BC to 250 AD), many Mayan cities reached their highest state development during the Classic period (c. 250 AD to 900 AD), and continued throughout the Postclassic period until the arrival of the Spanish. At its peak, it was one of the most densely opulated and culturally dynamic societies in the world (source: Wikipedia).
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