March 8, 2018
The ancient Maya city of Yaxchilan rises on the Mexican shore of the mighty Usumacinta river, across from its rival city of Piedras Negras, some 35 kilometers (21 miles) downstream on the Guatemala side. Even to this day, the only access to Yaxchilan is by boat, along the river. Far from the crowds of Palenque and other Maya sites, the ruins of Yaxchilan are found today still very much in the same conditions as they were first described by Maudslay and Maler in the early 20th century, at the peak of the “Golden Age” of exploration.
The Mysterious Maya Labyrinths of ChiapasOne building in particular is unique among the ancient structures of Yaxchilan.
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Only two more examples of Maya labyrinths are known—one in Chiapas at Toniná and another in Yucatan at Oxkintok. The Labyrinth of Toniná forms a true “Palace of the Underworld”, believed to be a temple to the spirits of the dead. It is grander in scale that the Labyrinth of Yaxchilan, although lacking many of the intricacies that make the Labyrinth of Yaxchilan unique in the Maya world.
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The only other known example of a Maya Labyrinth is found at Oxkintok, and was called in ancient times Tza Tun Tzat (or Satunsat, meaning “place where one gets lost”). Similar to the Labyrinth of Yaxchilan, it consists of three separate levels connected by internal stairways. The Labyrinth is entirely dark, except for some small windows through which a little light filters towards the inside. Its construction may date to the early Classic Period (300 to 500 AD), making it just slightly older than the labyrinth of Toniná. Also in this case, there are legends of lower levels that have not been explored and are rumored to conceal an entrance to the Underworld.
Visit the Maya Labyrinth at Yaxchilan with independent writer and researcher Marco Vigato:
Legends of the Hall of Records and the Sleeping ProphetThe concept of an ancient, possibly “Atlantean” Hall of Records serving as a repository of occult knowledge, was first popularized by the famous American psychic and clairvoyant Edgar Cayce in the 1930s. In several of his readings, the “Sleeping Prophet” (as he became known), spoke of the deliberate burial of the records of Atlantean civilization at three locations on the planet: one on Atlantis (Poseidonis), another one in Egypt, and a third one in Yucatan or Central America. Although the story of the burial of the records is somehow confused, Cayce seems to refer to the destruction of the original Mesoamerican “Temple of Records”, and to the removal of the records to some other location. Authors John Van Auken and Lora Little further popularized the idea of an ancient “Hall of Records” in the Yucatan, basing their research on a literal interpretation of Cayce’s readings. The result of this research was a book published in 2000 and a TV documentary released a few years later, in which the two authors claimed the ancient site of Piedras Negras as the most likely location of Cayce’s Hall of Records. Piedras Negras is located a mere 35 kilometers (21 miles) downstream along the Usumacinta River from Yaxchilan, and is a much less studied and excavated site.
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Marco M. Vigato has traveled extensively across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, South-East Asia, North and South America and is an independent researcher into ancient mysteries and megalithic civilizations. His expeditions and photographs dedicated to ancient history, adventure travel, and archaeology can be found at Uncharted Ruins .
Top Image: Main access to the Labyrinth of Yaxchilan. (Photo: Marco M. Vigato)
By Marco M. Vigato
ReferencesJohn van Auken and Lora Little, The Lost Hall of Records
Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube, Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya. Rev. ed. Thames and Hudson, London, 2008, pp. 155-159
Excerpts of the now lost manuscript of the Probanza de Votan are included in the work of Dr. Paul Felix Cabrera, Description of the Ruins of an Ancient City discovered near Palenque (based on the original from Captain Antonio del Rio), London, 1822
Lewis Spence, The Problem of Atlantis, London, 1924, p. 107
Carolyn Elaine Tate, Yaxchilan, the Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, University of Texas Press, 1992, pp. 182-185
Christopher Helmke, A Carved Speleothem Monument at Yaxchilan, Mexico, http://www.mesoweb.com/pari/publications/journal/1704/Helmke_2017.pdf
Sylvanus G. Morley, 1931 Report of the Yaxchilan Expedition, in Year Book, Carnegie Institution of Washington, pp. 132-139
Thanks to zIKY at: http://awakeandaware.ca