Mask of the red queen A.D 670 Mexico

Mask of the red queen A.D 670 Mexico

One of the richest known burials of the Mayan women monarch is the funeral assemblage of Palenque’s Lady Tz’akbu Ajaw, nicknamed the Red Queen as it was discovered to be covered in cinnabar.

Her sarcophagus was in Temple XIII, next to the Temple of the Inscriptions, where her husband, K’inich Janaab Pakal I, was entombed; her malachite funerary mask echoes his jadeite version. 

She also wore a headdress ornamented with shell eyes and fangs, probably representing a deity, and a necklace of multicolored beads. A Spondylus shell containing a limestone figurine probably represents a dedicatory offering performed when the queen was laid to rest.

More than 100 of malachite fragments were carefully put back together to reassemble the Red Queen’s funerary mask. The piercing eyes were made from obsidian and jade.

The funeral complex of Tz’akbu Ajaw, the lady of Palenque called the Red Queen for having been found covered in cinnabar, comes from one of the most sumptuous tombs of a female Mayan ruler. 

Her sarcophagus was located in Temple XIII, located next to the Temple of the Inscriptions where her husband K’inich Janaab Pakal I was buried. Her malachite face mask evokes her husband’s jade version.

She was also wearing a headdress adorned with shell eyes and fangs, probably to represent a deity, as well as a multi-colored bead necklace. A Spondylus shell containing a limestone figurine may represent a dedicatory offering made for the queen’s burial.

Skeleton of the Red Queen

Who Was the Red Queen?

The researchers called the woman found in the tomb the ”Red Queen”. Her remains were transported to the laboratory of the Mexican National Institute of Archaeology and History.

Researchers found that she lived between 600 and 700 AD – a date suggested by the pottery discovered inside the tomb.

The analysis included carbon 14 testing and facial reconstruction. With this, the team found that the woman died when she was about sixty years old and had osteoporosis. Moreover, her diet was revealed to be based mostly on meat.

She also had very healthy teeth, something that was not typical for the Maya people during that time.

Although the burial was a magnificent discovery, the researchers couldn’t hide their disappointment: Inside the chamber, they did not find any inscription or indication which could allow them to confirm her name.

The researcher Arnoldo Gonzalez Cruz believes that she was Tz’ak-bu Ajaw, the wife of Pakal and the grandmother of the last Mayan king.

Currently, the team is looking for the tombs of Pakal and his sons. Comparing the DNA of the woman with Pakal’s sons could help them with this hypothesis.

Mask of the Red Queen from the tomb found in Temple XIII The diadem and mask are made of pieces of jade and malachite.

The Legendary City of Palenque

Palenque was called Lekamha by the Maya people. This word means ”Big Water”. It was an impressive city which was built around the 3rd century BC and was inhabited until the end of the 8th century AD.

This was a political center and the capital for many male and female rulers. Now the site is located in a part of the state of Chiapas. It covers up to 2.5 square kilometers (1 square mile). Archaeologists claim that only 10% of the ancient city of Palenque has been explored so far.

View of Temple XIII and Temple of Inscriptions from the Palace at Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico

Apart from the tomb of the Red Queen, another important discovery has been the tomb of K’inich Janaab Pakal, also known as Pacal the Great. He ruled during the 7th century AD and was buried in the temple called The Temple of the Inscriptions.

Nabta Playa: The World’s First Astronomical Site Was Built in Africa and Is Older Than Stonehenge

Nabta Playa: The World’s First Astronomical Site Was Built in Africa and Is Older Than Stonehenge

Nabta Playa has been assessed by an inventory of Egyptian archeological sites in accordance with the UNESCO World Heritage Convention as having “theory solar and stellar alignments.”

This stone circle of 7,000 years has tracked the summer solstice and the arrival of the annual monsoon season. It’s the oldest known astronomical site on Earth

Ancient civilizations around the world constructed huge stone circles for thousands of years, aligning them with the sun and stars to identify the seasons. These early calendars foretold the coming of spring, summer, fall, and winter, helping civilizations track when to plant and harvest crops.

They also served as ceremonial sites, both for celebration and sacrifice.

These megaliths — large, prehistoric monuments made of stone — may seem mysterious in our modern era, when many people lack a connection with, or even view of, the stars.

Some even hold them up as supernatural or divined by aliens. But many ancient societies kept time by tracking which constellations rose at sunset, like reading a giant, celestial clock.

And others pinpointed the sun’s location in the sky on the summer and winter solstice, the longest and shortest days of the year, or the spring and fall equinox.

Europe alone holds some 35,000 megaliths, including many astronomically-aligned stone circles, as well as tombs (or cromlechs) and other standing stones. These structures were mostly built between 6,500 and 4,500 years ago, largely along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.

The most famous of these sites is Stonehenge, a monument in England that’s thought to be around 5,000 years old. Though still old, at that age, Stonehenge may have been one of the youngest such stone structures to be built in Europe.

The chronology and extreme similarities between these widespread European sites lead some researchers to think the regional tradition of constructing megaliths first emerged along the coast of France. It was then passed across the region, eventually reaching Great Britain.

But even these primitive sites are at least centuries younger than the world’s oldest known stone circle: Nabta Playa.

The stone circle of Nabta Playa marks the summer solstice, a time that coincided with the arrival of monsoon rains in the Sahara Desert thousands of years ago.

Located in Africa, Nabta Playa stands some 700 miles south of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It was built more than 7,000 years ago, making Nabta Playa the oldest stone circle in the world — and possibly Earth’s oldest astronomical observatory.

It was constructed by a cattle worshiping cult of nomadic people to mark the summer solstice and the arrival of the monsoons.

“Here is human beings’ first attempt to make some serious connection with the heavens,” says J. McKim Malville, a professor emeritus at the University of Colorado and archaeoastronomy expert.

“This was the dawn of observational astronomy,” he adds. “What in the world did they think about it? Did they imagine these stars were gods? And what kinds of connections did they have with the stars and the stones?”

New DNA analysis reveals ancient Scythian warrior was a 13-year-old girl

New DNA analysis reveals ancient Scythian warrior was a 13-year-old girl

Throughout Greek mythology there existed a tribe called Amazone, comprising only of women, and a hunting tribe that tamed horses and fought.

While it is said that Amazon exaggerated the tribal tribes that lived on the Black Sea coast, the Scythians of the nomadic horse races that appeared in the record from around the 9th century BC were actually girls of age 13 years old. DNA tests revealed that there was a ‘female warrior’.

The myth of ‘ female warriors ‘ has been considered a purely imaginary product for many years but in the last years, archeological evidence has been found of the existence of female warriors.

Remains of the young ancient Scythian warrior.

By the end of 2019, it was revealed that the two Scythian warriors found in western Russia, buried about 2500 years ago, are women.

The two female warriors were buried together with the other women, and the burial items included an iron knife, over 30 arrowheads, and a harness for horse riding.

It is said that one of them was wearing a headdress with a flower-shaped decoration at the age of 40 to 50 years old, and the other was buried at the age of about 30 to 35 years old, straddling a horse.

‘We can say that these two were indeed horsemen,’ said Valerii Guliaev, an archaeologist at the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Guliaev’s research team seems to have discovered 11 women who were buried under the armed condition in the past 10 years, and female warriors were undergoing the same burial ceremony as male warriors.

The Scythian remains with the headdress

In the wake of Guliaev’s findings, another research team focused on the Scythian warriors found in the Tuva Republic in 1988.

Varvara Busova, an archaeologist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, discovered that the warrior was a young man because he had found burial items such as axes and bows that would normally be housed with men and no burial items associated with women such as beads and mirrors. It was thought to have been.

The warrior was housed in a larch casket with various weapons and was partially mummified.

When the research team examined the DNA of the body, it was found that the body was female and that the age was not even 14 years old. Girl warrior is wearing, such as fur coats, coat dipodidae seems to have been made by Awa connect the skin.

Radiocarbon dating of burial items suggests that the girl was buried between the 7th and 5th centuries BC, but Busova’s research team wants to more accurately identify when the girl was buried. thinking about.

In addition, it may be possible to find out the cause of the girl’s death by performing restoration work of the burial goods and CT scan of the body.

Historian Adrian Mayer pointed out that the Scythians had female warriors because they were small as a social group. ‘Since they lived in a small tribe, it makes sense that everyone in the tribe is a stakeholder. They all had to contribute to defense, war, and hunting.’ Says Mayer.

By Vladimir Semyonov

A 9,000-year-old head with amputated hands laid over could be the oldest ritual beheading in the Americas

A 9,000-year-old head with amputated hands laid over could be the oldest ritual beheading in the Americas

The Amazon rain forest has long inspired gruesome stories of ritualistic violence from 19th-century tales of tribes searching for “trophy heads” to Hollywood films such as Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto.

But a much longer history than commonly believed can be portrayed of civilizations such as the Incas, Nazcas, and the Wari cultures making human sacrifices in South America may have a much longer tradition than previously thought.

Recent research, reported in PLOS One, records the discovery of a 9,000-year-old case of ritualized human decapitation that seems to be the oldest in the Americas by some margin.

Amputated hands had been laid over the face of the decapitated skull and arranged opposite each other

Execution or burial?

The researchers found the remains of the beheaded young man from a rock shelter in Lapa do Santo, East-Central Brazil. Quite astonishingly the decapitated remains date to between 9,100 and 9,400 years ago.

The decapitated skull was found with an amputated right hand laid over the left side of the face, with fingers pointing to the chin. It also had an amputated left hand laid over the right side of the face with fingers pointing to the forehead, making it highly ritualistic and extremely unusual.

Plastered skull from Jericho in the British Museum.

However, the process of extracting the body parts from the victim seems straight out of a horror movie. The man was decapitated by blows from a sharp instrument to the neck, but there was also evidence that the head was distorted and twisted in places, suggesting there was difficulty getting the head off the body.

Furthermore, the cuts left on the bones were signs that the flesh had been removed from the head prior to it being buried. However, there’s no evidence to suggest decapitation was the cause of death.

Discovered parts.

The decapitation is reminiscent of Neolithic skull cults from the Middle East, which often buried their deceased under the floors of their homes – sometimes with the skull removed, plastered, and painted.

The placement of the hands is also similar to partial coverage of facial gestures that we see in different cultural settings today (such as signs of tiredness, shock, horror, etc).

This ritualistic behavior may seem barbaric to us today but it is becoming clearer that during the Neolithic period decapitations, skull cults, and ancestor worship were an important cultural practice. Excavations of neolithic sites in the Middle East have uncovered ancestors that had their fleshed removed in a similar way before being buried in the houses of their relatives.

The rituals undoubtedly involved many of the community to honour their ancestors and may be similar to what has been discovered at Lapa do Santo.

Local but unusual man

The researchers also undertook a number of scientific analyses to find out more about the individual. One of these was to analyze the teeth for isotopes of strontium, which is taken up in the human body through food and water.

The analysis of the tooth enamel, which is formed during childhood can be compared to the isotope signatures in the local geology. This can tell whether or not the individual was related to the place they were buried.

The analysis showed that the man was clearly associated with his place of burial. This implies he was a local man who grew up in the area and not a captured trophy from a warring faction.

But perhaps most intriguingly, they took measurements of the skull and compared it to measurements of other skeletons, including ones excavated at the same site. In this case, the young man’s head was a little bit of an outlier on the overall size of the skull, being slightly larger. Did he look different from the other men? Was he somehow distinctive? The remarkable evidence from this site suggests he was unique to their community but living with them and perhaps chosen for this reason?

This forensic approach to understanding archaeological remains is now shedding light on how much information can be gleaned from these deposits and the value of careful and meticulous work.

More broadly, this is one of many revelations that are starting to appear regarding South American archaeology ranging from evidence of early extensive burning of the landscape 9,500 years ago, through to large-scale deforestation and the production of glyphs by pre-European culture.

It remains to be seen how many more discoveries like this will be made in the future but there is one clear message, losing your head in South America is not a new phenomenon!

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