Archaeologists found out who is the most mysterious Mayan mask

(ORDO NEWS) — In Mexico, at a meeting of the archaeological colloquium, a new interpretation was presented to explain the purpose of the Malinaltepec mask. After a hundred years of controversy on this topic, scientists have come to the conclusion that the mask most likely depicts the powerful goddess Chalchiuhtlicue.

The colloquium was organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH) and has published a summary of the event on its website. It was devoted exclusively to the discussion of the mask of Malinaltepec. This is one of the most mysterious artifacts dating back to the pre-Hispanic period in Mesoamerica. The relic was discovered in 1921 and has remained a mystery to researchers ever since. For a century, archaeologists have been trying to determine who it may have belonged to and what its purpose is.

The fact is that the controversy was generated by the finish of the mask itself. It is so unique that for a while, many scientists doubted the authenticity of the artifact. When the authenticity was confirmed, scientists decided to study its history in detail. Research is essentially being done anew these days.

Paul Schmidt, a former employee of the Institute for Anthropological Research, recalled that in 1921, doubts about the authenticity of the academic community caused her jewelry. The decoration of the relic consists of amazonite, turquoise and many shells. All of these materials are local.

In Mexico, at a meeting of the archaeological colloquium, a new interpretation was presented to explain the purpose of the Malinaltepec mask. After a hundred years of controversy on this topic, scientists have come to the conclusion that the mask most likely depicts the powerful goddess Chalchiuhtlicue.

The colloquium was organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico (INAH) and has published a summary of the event on its website. It was devoted exclusively to the discussion of the mask of Malinaltepec. This is one of the most mysterious artifacts dating back to the pre-Hispanic period in Mesoamerica. The relic was discovered in 1921 and has remained a mystery to researchers ever since. For a century, archaeologists have been trying to determine who it may have belonged to and what its purpose is.

The fact is that the controversy was generated by the finish of the mask itself. It is so unique that for a while, many scientists doubted the authenticity of the artifact. When the authenticity was confirmed, scientists decided to study its history in detail. Research is essentially being done anew these days.

Paul Schmidt, a former employee of the Institute for Anthropological Research, recalled that in 1921, doubts about the authenticity of the academic community caused her jewelry. The decoration of the relic consists of amazonite, turquoise and many shells. All of these materials are local.

In 1922, researcher Enrique Juan Palacios suggested that the mask may be associated with the god Quetzalcoatl, the supreme god of the Maya and other peoples of Mesoamerica. He motivated his arguments by the fact that the stepped ring in the nose of the mask resembles the ring in the nose of this god, depicted in the glyphs of the Mausoleum III in the city of Chichen Itza.

For many years, some have argued with this hypothesis, while others agreed with it. But in 2008, a new symbolic interpretation was introduced. Researcher Herman Beyer stated that the mysterious mask could represent the Mayan goddess Chalchiuhtlicue, the companion of Tlaloc, the god of rain and fertility. This happened immediately after the authenticity of the artifact was re-confirmed.

And now, within the framework of the colloquium, this interpretation has received new weighty arguments in its favor. According to Schmidt, the stepped nose ring of Malinaltepec’s mask is actually an image of a pair of two-headed snakes, which have been traced with shell inserts and a pair of blue stone mosaics.

The researcher recalled that images of two-headed snakes are quite often found in the famous Codex Borgia – this is the name of the Mesoamerican religious and prophetic manuscript. It is believed to have been created before the conquest of Mexico by the conquistadors in what is now the Mexican state of Puebla. The codex is a collection of ancient drawings.

On its pages there is an image of the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue, who wears a ring formed by two snakes in her nose. The new interpretation is also supported by the fact that the motives of the symbolic use of two-headed snakes can be traced in different cities of Mesoamerica since ancient times. Everywhere they were created in pre-Hispanic times.

With the arrival of Europeans and the beginning of Christianization, traditional motives underwent a certain transformation. Local peoples began to adapt “alien” gods to their religion, and gradually their view of their own gods changed. Nevertheless, even during this period, two-headed snakes remained the main motive associated precisely with female deities. In particular, such snakes have been found on monoliths depicting the goddesses Coatlicue and Koyolksauki. Paul Schmidt also noted that this is not the last revealed mystery of the Malinaltepec mask, much remains to be learned about it.

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