Connect with us

Archaeology

Archaeologists uncover Maya dish depicting wahyis spirit

Published

on

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered a Maya dish depicting a wahyis protective spirit during excavations at Cansacbé in the Mexican state of Campeche.

The dish was deposited in a burial as a funerary offering and depicts a wahyis protective spirit that were auxiliary supernatural entities of Maya elite.

Those who possess a wahyis are named in Classic Maya inscriptions as a wahyaw, meaning “shaman, enchanter, or nagual”. The wahyis rested in the heart during the day, but at night while its owner slept, the wahyis soul could be projected at will into animals, comets, wind, lightning, and other supernatural phenomena.

The word “way” is the root of “dream” in the Mayan languages and derived from it are also various meanings associated to dreams, witchcraft, transformation and companion spirits. In a recent study by scholars Christophe Helmke and Jesper Nielsen, it is posited that these wahyi entities embody or symbolise afflictions from the netherworld, which can be manipulated and transferred onto others.

The most compelling proof linking the wahyis to personified illnesses can be found in the “El Ritual de los Bacabes,” a Yukatek colonial manuscript originating from the late 18th century, potentially a reproduction of an earlier codex.

This work contains 68 passages encompassing incantations, supplications, and medical formulas for remedying ailments. The maladies described within these texts adopt the likenesses of creatures or humans possessing their own consciousness, rendering them susceptible to the directives of the healer. The healer endeavors to expel these ailments from the afflicted individual’s body. The names assigned to these illnesses provide insight into the forms they are believed to assume, whether those of monkeys, deer, jaguars, birds, insects, or snakes.

The Cansacbé dish depicts a sitting representation of a jaguar, or a man dressed in the skin of a jaguar, surrounded by boxes that represent turtle shells. These types of imagery are common in ceramics that date from the Late Classic period (AD 600 to 900).

It was found during construction of  Section 2 of the Mayan Train, where previous excavations during the 1990’s uncovered the remains of  two palace-type buildings within the archaeological zone of Cansacbé.

INAH

Header Image Credit : INAH

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Excavation of medieval shipbuilders reveals a Roman head of Mercury

Published

on

By

Excavations of a medieval shipbuilders has led to the discovery of a Roman settlement and a Roman head of Mercury.

The discovery was made at Smallhythe Place, a late 15th or early 16th century property managed by the National Trust near Tenterden in Kent, England.

Prior to the decline of the port and shipyard at Smallhythe during the 16th century, the local community played a crucial role in the shipbuilding industry, crafting vessels for notable figures, including members of royalty.

As part of a project funded by several UK institutions, over 60 volunteers from the National Trust participated in the excavation, along with professional archaeologists, students, and members of the Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group.

The excavation has revealed traces of a Roman settlement that was occupied between the 1st and 3rd centuries, including an incredibly rare figurine made of pipeclay that depicts the god, Mercury.

Mercury was a major god in the Roman pantheon and was associated with financial gain, commerce, eloquence, messages, communication (including divination), travellers, boundaries, luck, trickery, and thieves. He also served as the guide of souls to the underworld and was the messenger of the gods.

According to a press announcement by the National Trust: “This complete figurine probably would have depicted Mercury standing, either draped with a chlamys (a short cloak), or naked, holding a caduceus (a staff with two intertwined snakes).”

The team also unearthed thousands of artefacts, providing evidence of the evolution of Smallhythe Place from a Georgian farm to a midden dump, a shipbuilding site, and a brickworks.

The National Trust said: “To support our investigations, we received grants from the National Trust’s Inclusive Archaeology, Robert Kiln and the Roman Research Funds and from the Royal Archaeological Institute. During 2023, our project has received funding from the Society of Antiquaries and the William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust.”

Header Image Credit : James Dobson

Sources : National Trust – Exploring Smallhythe Place: Archaeological Investigations by the River Rother

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

Published

on

By

Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Żagań-Lutnia5 was first discovered in the 1960s near the town of Żagań in western Poland, with previous studies suggesting that the monument could be associated with the Białowieża group of the Lusatian urnfield culture.

The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age (1300–500 BC) in most of what is now Poland. It formed part of the Urnfield systems found from eastern France, southern Germany and Austria to Hungary, and the Nordic Bronze Age in northwestern Germany and Scandinavia.

A recent study led by Dr. Arkadiusz Michalak on behalf of the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder River has revealed two parallel sequences of magnetic anomalies at Żagań-Lutnia5 that represent the remnants of earthen and wooden fortifications.

The course of the fortifications were recorded in the northern, western and southern parts of the study area, however, a study of the eastern section was limited due to a sewage collector built in the 1990’s.

Exploratory excavations found four cultural layers with remains of huts and hearths, in addition to a burnt layer from the last phase of occupation that suggests a period of conflict.

According to the researchers, the monument was likely built by the same people who constructed the stronghold in Wicin and a number of verified defensive settlements within the area of the Elbe, Nysa Łużycka and Odra.

As a result of the study, Żagań-Lutnia5 has been added to the catalogue of verified Early Iron Age strongholds located in today’s Lubusz Voivodeship.

Header Image Credit : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments

Sources : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments – Archaeological research at the site of Żagań-Lutnia5

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy