考古學家表示，瑪雅人相信地下錯綜複雜而且注滿水的洞穴群，是通往神話中的地下世界〝科希巴爾巴(Xibalba)〞的途徑。根據瑪雅古老經文《議書(the Popol Vuh)》的記載，通往科希巴爾巴之路充滿著各種障礙，例如滿布毒蠍的河流，鮮血與膿液瀰漫於黑暗之中，或是擠滿了發出刺耳聲的蝙蝠。
※ 正式新聞稿與影像：「新唐人亞太電視台 」、「新唐人電視台」
※ The original article was taken from Reuters Website. ( 原文取自路透社網站 )
INTRO: Archaeologists uncover portal to Mayan underworld. Mexican archeologists discover a stone temple that Mayans believed was the entrance to the underworld.
STORY: Mexican archeologists have discovered a maze of stone temples in underground caves, some submerged and containing human bones, which ancient Mayans believed was a portal where dead souls entered the underworld.
Clad in scuba gear and edging through narrow tunnels, researchers discovered the stone ruins of 11 sacred temples and what could be the remains of human sacrifices at the site in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Archeologists say Mayans believed the underground complex of water-filled caves leading into dry chambers -- including an underground road stretching some 330 feet (100 meters) -- was the path to a mythical underworld, known as Xibalba.
According to an ancient Mayan scripture, the Popol Vuh, the route was filled with obstacles, including rivers filled with scorpions, blood and pus and houses shrouded in darkness or swarming with shrieking bats, Guillermo de Anda, one of the lead investigators at the site, said on Friday (August 15). The souls of the dead followed a mythical dog who could see at night, de Anda said.
Excavations over the past five months in the Yucatan caves revealed stone carvings and pottery left for the dead. "They believed that life began here and at the moment of death they would go to the other side to Xibalba (world of the dead). All told, the caves and pools served a practical purpose as they were useful for gathering water for daily life, but they also had an important spiritual component, which was they served as the entrance to the Mayan underworld," de Anda said. 【shows 15】
The Mayans built soaring pyramids and elaborate palaces in Central America and southern Mexico before mysteriously abandoning their cities around 900 A.D.
They described the torturous journey to Xibalba in the Popul Vuh sacred text, originally written in hieroglyphic script on long scrolls and later transcribed by Spanish conquerors.
Different Mayan groups who inhabited southern Mexico and northern Guatemala and Belize had their own entrances to the underworld which archeologists have discovered at other sites, almost always in cave systems buried deep in the jungle. In the Yucatan site they have found one 1,900-year-old ceramic vase, but most of the artifacts date back to between 700 and 850 A.D.
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- Aug 17 Sun 2008 09:48