Herodotus Returns

Mayan hieroglyphs tell story of high priest
December 31, 2009, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Texts | Tags: ,

Mayan hieroglyphic text from 8th century AD  reveals day-to-day story of a high priest.

Experts are studying the first Mayan hieroglyphic script dealing with the life of a high priest, his blood sacrifices and acts of penance, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said.

The text consists of 260 glyphs carved into a series of seashell earrings and manta ray stingers found inside a burial urn….

“It is the longest Maya hieroglyphic script ever found to date in Tabasco” and the first relating a high priest, instead of a Maya ruler and his wives, INAH said.

The text covers 14 years in the life of a Maya priest who lived in the eighth century A.D. It includes references to blood sacrifices and acts of penance preceding the spring solstice.

Maya priests used manta ray stingers to pierce their earlobes, tongue, forehead, penis and other parts of the anatomy, in painful, bloodletting sacrifices to induce a hallucinogenic state in which they believed they could talk to their gods, INAH said.

More on Mayan high priest.


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