Universes in Universe

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Plate with bats

Balamkú, Campeche
Late Classic (600 - 900 AD)
Clay
INAH. Museo Arqueológico de Campeche, Fuerte de San Miguel, Campeche
The Guardian of the Caves
Caves symbolized the entrance to the Underworld. Therefore, the Mayas dedicated various rituals to them and deposited offerings in cave interiors. For the Mayas the bat was the guardian of the caves, because it dwelled in darkness and was linked to the night, death, fertility and sexuality. Bats were also associated with blood sacrifice, particularly vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) like those pictured on the plate, which can be identified by the blood flowing from their snouts.

© Photo: Haupt & Binder

The Maya - Language of Beauty

Touring exhibition of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Mexico. Information and photo tour through the presentation in Berlin, 2016.


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