Tag Archives | Mexico

Lost Mayan City Discovered Within Mexican Jungle

Your plans for where to go on summer vacation have officially been made:

Archeologists have discovered an ancient Maya city which they’ve named “Chactun”, meaning “Red Rock,” in Campeche in Mexico. For centuries, Chactun remained hidden in the jungle north of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.

Archeologists have found a number of pyramids and palatial buildings were found, including two ball game courts, plazas, and sculptured monuments. The tallest pyramid measures 75 feet in height.

The city’s timeline is thought to go as far back as the Pre-classic period, around 300 to 240 A.D. But its golden age was [likely] in the Classic period around 250 to 900 A.D

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Mexican Town Defends Itself From Drug Violence By Throwing Out The Police

The Christian Science Monitor on dreaming up alternative methods of community governance, via the successful case of an indigenous town plagued by criminal gangs from the outside:

The indigenous town of Cherán used to be like many places in Mexico, caving under the weight of drug-related crime and a police force that did little to stop it. But about two years ago, citizens here threw out the police, and took over their local government, running the town according to indigenous tradition. So far, they’ve had remarkable success.

The Purépecha indigenous people have lived in this area for centuries, relying on a mix of subsistence farming and selective timber harvesting. But eventually national political parties gained influence in the village, and five years ago, so did illegal loggers with ties to drug mafias. Eventually, the police intervened, but on behalf of the loggers. So the townspeople threw everyone out: loggers, police, and politicians, too.

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Pile Of Hundreds Of Ancient Sacrificed Skulls Discovered In Mexico

Imagine going swimming in the (now drained) lake, not knowing what lay below. Via Live Science:

Archaeologists have unearthed a trove of skulls in Mexico that may have once belonged to human sacrifice victims. The skulls, which date between A.D. 600 and 850, are “potentially evidence of the largest mass human sacrifice in ancient Meso-America.”

[The site is] in a now drained lake called Lake Xaltocan. To date, more than 150 skulls have been discovered there, as well as a shrine with incense burners, water-deity figurines and pottery suggesting a ritual purpose.

The findings shake up existing notions of the culture of the day, because the site is not associated with Teotihuacan or other regional powers. The shrines and the fact that sacrifice victims were mostly male suggest they were carefully chosen, not simply the result of indiscriminate slaughter of a whole village.

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The Violence of Mexican Drug Cartels

We’ve all read of the horrific border violence plaguing Mexico and the American Southwest, as well as the complicity of both governmental agencies and markets in the diabolical perpetuation of the corrupt Drug War. This stunning animation smacks the viewer with facts and statistics while also appealing to our humanity through the stark stories of violence.

The Violence of Mexican Drug Cartels” was designed by ishothim and published by Visual.ly (which has the stated goal of using ‘infographics and data visualizations [to] tell your story’).

via Laughing Squid:

“Tens of thousands are being murdered, and over a million are being forced to flee their homes. U.S. laws and policy play a major role in the conflict’s violence. This video is about understanding the complexities of the war and why it is happening.”

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Campeche’s Annual Cleaning of the Dead

Mexico Campeche location mapOddity Central reports on a fascinating funereal custom practiced by the people of Pomuch, Campeche:

On this particular day, families visit the cemetery to participate in the ritual cleaning of the bones of their loved ones. The squeaky-clean remains are then placed on display along with flowers and a new cloth for veneration.

The custom applies to anybody who dies in Campeche, ranging from young to old. Every corpse is buried for three years and then, on the Day of the Dead, the bones are dug up, cleaned and transferred to a wooden crate. The waiting period of 3 years is important because the bones need that time to dry out. The wooden crate is placed on permanent display in the cemetery. From then on, people go to the cemetery to pay their respects and clean the remains every year.

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1,000-Year-Old Mass Grave Of Elongated Skulls Found In Mexico

The remains of “lucky,” high-power individuals who had their heads ritually elongated have previously been unearthed across the globe in South America, Germany, and Greece. Was the goal to mimic the look of alien overlords? Via Yahoo! News UK:

An archaeological dig near the village of Onavas, south of Sonora in Mexico has uncovered strange elongated skulls from more than a millenia ago. The burial site contained 25 individuals, 13 with elongated skulls – reminiscent of the monster from Ridley Scott’s Alien.

The ‘cranial deformation’ in the skulls is actually intentional – carried out by binding the heads of babies to produce the bizarre effect. For pre-Hispanic cultures in the area, longer skulls were a sign of social status.

‘Cranial deformation in Mesoamerican cultures was used to differentiate one social group from another and for ritual purposes,’ said Cristina Garcia Moreno, the head of the research project. South American cultures such as the Maya and Inca practiced cranial deformation – and the practice was also known in Germany and Ancient Greece.

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Walmart Bribes Spur Growth In Mexico

Teotihuacan. Source: Mixcoatl (CC)

While Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films and its many allies called out Walmart for its unscrupulous business practices years ago in the documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, the mainstream media has generally held up the mega-retailer as an example of American business at its best. That makes this lengthy investigation by the New York Times into Walmart’s endemic corruption all the more welcome. For disinfonauts who are interested in ancient civilizations, note that the latest site to suffer at the hands of the crooks of Bentonville is Teotihuacan, Mexico:

Wal-Mart longed to build in Elda Pineda’s alfalfa field. It was an ideal location, just off this town’s bustling main entrance and barely a mile from its ancient pyramids, which draw tourists from around the world. With its usual precision, Wal-Mart calculated it would attract 250 customers an hour if only it could put a store in Mrs.

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Guerrilla Urban Planners Redo Mexico City By Painting Bike Lanes, Sidewalks, And Crosswalks

This Big City talks to Camina, Haz Ciudad, a group which extralegally redesigns public space to benefit ordinary residents:

Camina, Haz Ciudad started as a project to recover space for pedestrians. It was inspired by a modern development that happened here in Mexico City in an area called El Puente de los Poetas. Amazingly, there was no pedestrian infrastructure at all, the whole place seemed to be designed for cars. A group of citizens decided that couldn’t be, so they painted a sidewalk in an area where lots of people walked but had no safety. But the sidewalk was erased, and the people who painted it were really mad.

With our first painted bike lane [which is 5km and ends at Congress in Mexico City] we were trying to make a political point. We didn’t have any expectation of how long it would last. But the bike lane is still in place.

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