04-Marzo-2020, Miércoles. Mérida, Yucatán
102 degrees Fahrenheit today (39 Celsius). We took the taxi.
Gran Museo Del Mundo Maya (Great Museum of the Mayan World). I would equate this museum to a Smithsonian Museum.
We are touring Uxmal this coming Friday so I took a couple pictures of Uxmal artifacts.
Statues of gods. It’s amazing any artifacts are left as harsh as the Catholic Spaniards were on the Mayan people.
Catrinas dancing in the dark.
Woo Woo! Cementerio General has walking tour at 8PM on Wednesday. We made it there but …. we met a bunch of Canadians at 7:45 PM who convinced us we were at the wrong gate because it was locked. Foolishly we followed them.
At some point I rechecked Google maps. I am certain we will be in the USA long before they find the correct cemetery gate.
By the time we got back to the gate we were 30 minutes late for the tour and no one was there 🙁 I suspect the tour guide had a key for the gate.
Hechos Graciosos (Fun facts)
The earliest Mayan settlement dates back to 1800 BC. According to Mayan mythology, the world was created in a sequence of four events sculpted by a group of “artisan gods”: first came the animals, then wet clay, followed by wood… and finally the first human beings, which were said to be made of maize.
The pre-Colombian Mayans often sought to “enhance” the physical features of their children. Mothers would press boards on the foreheads of their kids so that they would be flatter (mostly just in the upper class). Objects were also often dangled in front of a baby’s eyes until the baby was cross eyed, which was another desirable trait found in nobility.
Besides having flattened foreheads and crossed eyes, Mayan nobleman had noses that were built up with putty/clay giving them a beaked shape. Their teeth were also inlaid with jade. Nobel women filed their teeth into points.
Mayans made use of painkillers for anesthetics, medicinal purposes and also as hallucinogenic agent during religious rituals.
Conquistadors had the audacity to call the Mayans barbarians. In fact, these incredible people had created one of the most advanced scientific nations on Earth…
Mayan cities had pyramids, palaces, and ceremonial ball-courts. These buildings were painstakingly placed to align perfectly with the stars, to help make the practice of stargazing an absolute breeze. The Maya built some of the biggest pyramids in the world. They did it without the use of metal tools, the wheel or pack animals!
The Maya were also prolific writers. They were among the first to record history in books. Historians believe the Mayans may have written as many as 10,000 books. Bishop Diego de Landa took a brutal approach converting the population to Christianity by burning books and destroying other artifacts, in an effort to erase their culture.
Experts in the Mayan history simply do not have enough solid information to state with clear-cut certainty how the Maya civilization ended. The downfall of the ancient Maya was likely caused by some combination of famine, drought, and change in the environment brought on by deforestation for farmland. This likely caused neighboring cities to turn on each other causing civil strife. It wasn’t a single event, though: It took over 200 years for the civilization to fail completely.