Mexico: 'Golden orbs' discovered in cave beneath city
The Maya civilisation is one of the world’s most elusive cultures.
While much is known about their way of life and history, the people who inhabited swathes of modern-day Central America simply disappeared.
Various theories as to what happened to them have been floated, including a complete collapse in their societal structure.
Today, archaeologists working in former Maya heartlands regularly happen upon relics and structures which offer clues about their way of life.
One such discovery included two so-called “golden orbs” which turned up inside a previously hidden tunnel.
READ MORE: Archaeologists found nest of ancient humans found deep inside French cave
Explored during the History Channel’s documentary, Ancient Aliens: Discovery beneath Aztec city’, researchers talked through the find and how they came upon it.
It all started when a team located a new tunnel beneath the ancient Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Setting to work, they explored the vast system of caverns with a robotic probe which used infrared technology to pierce the darkness and earth.
As the arm got around 250 feet into the cave, it came across a side tunnel which was filled with “yellowish, metallic-like looking orbs”, later identified as coloured clay.
Edwin Barnhart, an archaeologist and director of the Maya Exploration Centre, noted the unique nature of the “orbs”, and said: “The orbs are very interesting objects, I’ve never seen anything like them in any kind of other archaeological context.”
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Inside, the orbs are made of clay, but on the outside, they are wrapped in a gold film, giving them the appearance of a “golden ball” or “orb”, as they were described.
Researchers are not sure what the balls may have been used for but believe the cavern they were found in served some sort of sacred ritual purpose.
The walls which hemmed the balls in were similarly covered in a gold substance, and when light was shone on their corners, golden specks shimmered back.
Some researchers believe that the walls were intended to mimic the cosmos, and may well have provided the Maya with a space to study the night sky.
David Wilcock, author of, ‘The Synchronicity Key’, said: “These beautiful orbs of yellow materials strongly suggest that someone was illustrating planets.
“We do know that the Maya calendar is heavily calibrated to the orbital parameters of the planets in our Solar System, specifically the inner planets.”
The Maya were particularly fascinated by the orbit of Mars. Its portrayal in their calendar is emphasised in the Dresden Codex, the oldest known written account from the Americas rediscovered in Dresden hundreds of years later.
It shows their tracking and description of their calendar in relation to Mars’ movement across the sky.
The Codex is in many regards an astronomical almanac, with many different sections of the book exploring various astronomical phenomena.
Mars is one of these phenomena, with an almanac near the end of the book which breaks up days into ten groups of 78 days, equalling 780 days which is the synodic period of Mars — the time it takes Mars to get back to the same place on the horizon from a human perspective.
Above the almanac is a sky band shown with various aspects of celestial symbols. Hanging off it is what has been described as a dragon-like creature, recognised as the face of Mars.
Researchers believe the golden orbs could have gone some way in helping the Maya to study the Red Planet closer, aiding them in putting together their comprehensive accounts of the night sky.
While it is uncertain for sure what the orbs represent, the hunch is that they are evidence of the Maya’s unparalleled scientific understanding of the time.
Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist on the dig speaking in 2013, said: “They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning. It’s an unprecedented discovery.”
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