SCIENTISTS, who first explored an infamous grotto nicknamed the “Midnight Terror Cave,” were shocked to discover the skeletal remains of 118 human victims.
The cave in central Belize was discovered in 2006 and believed to have been the site of several bloody rituals by the ancient Mayan tribe.
Scientists who have studied what the victims consumed before they died now believe they have uncovered more evidence of their torture.
Researchers at California State University in Los Angeles say strange blue filaments found on some victims’ teeth could indicate many were gagged.
They found what they thought was a string in the calcified plaque of two of the sample’s teeth, known as tartar.
They also found that the residue from six teeth contained mostly cotton fibers, and some were colored light blue.
“After finding minimal cases of dental pathology, I became interested in determining what foods the victims were consuming,” the study’s lead author Amy Chan told Live Science.
“The discovery of blue cotton fibers in both samples was a surprise because blue is important in Mayan ritual.”
The Maya period lasted from AD 250 to 925, and the shade of blue has been found elsewhere in ancient Mesoamerica — which includes much of modern Central America — where it was often used in other ceremonies.
According to Heritage Daily, some researchers suspect the fibers were colored thanks to alcoholic beverages commonly consumed by victims to ease their suffering.
However, many others argued that the fibers were there because of gags, as victims were paraded from town to town over a period of time.
Since they were detained for a long time before the execution, they add that fibers may have been built into the calculus before the victims were sacrificed.
“Many researchers think that calculus only reflects diet, but this study is a great example of how much more information can be learned,” Chan added.
The latest research comes after skeletal remains revealed victims were even used as gruesome incense holders.
Experts believe victims were probably offered to the gods before tribesmen chopped off their heads and used them to burn sweet-smelling chemicals.
Researchers made the disturbing discovery after finding a skull in mysterious underwater caves near the massive Mayan city of Chichen Itza in 2019.
They believe that the person was sacrificed deep within the caves as they were believed to be the opening to the sacred world.
The Maya were an advanced civilization that ruled much of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize for thousands of years.
They were brutally wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century, leaving few written records.
As a result, we still know very little about how the group lived outside of the complex temples and cities they left behind.
The Mayan Empire Explained
Here’s what you need to know…
- Located in the tropical lowlands of modern-day Guatemala, the Maya Empire reached its peak of power and influence around the 6th century AD
- The earliest Maya settlements date from around 1800 BC
- Their pyramids and cities are still being discovered, and a large 1,000-year-old Mayan pyramid was found under a hill in 2015
- The Maya are one of the few ancient groups known to have built a great civilization in a tropical rainforest climate
- The ancient Maya used a complicated writing system with more than 800 hieroglyphs to write books
- Some people believe that the Mayan calendar predicted that the world would end in 2012
- Chemical signatures of cacao have been discovered in Mayan pottery vessels, suggesting they drank some form of hot chocolate over 2,600 years ago
- Descendants of the ancient Maya still exist today, and many live in their ancestral homelands, where they make up the majority of the population
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6414348/horror-discovery-midnight-terror-cave-sacrificial-victims/ Horror find in the “Midnight Terror Cave”, where 118 victims were found