Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crystal Maiden

This is the most famous feature of the ATM cave.  This is a skeleton on a young female, and is considered a 'primary' burial, e.g. this is believed to be the location where the body was originally placed.  The bones have been crystalized by the mineral rich cave water, and if you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see how the bones'  crystal structure sparkles.  The ATM cave was clearly used by the Maya for ceremonial purposes, believed to include sacrifice.  There is evidence on some of the skeletons consistent with ritual sacrifice, but no one knows for sure.

Cath - I cannot help but see this girl and others in the cave and wonder who they were.  They all had names and families and friends and played some important part in the lives of their community, but all that is lost now. I wonder if she would be appalled to be a tourist attraction or pleased that her sacrifice is still remembered.

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