Friday, February 29, 2008

Maya Blue

Archeologists have figured out how the Mayan people made the so-called "Maya Blue" color associated with sacrifices.
There was more than the obvious reason to feel blue for people offered in human sacrifice rituals by the ancient Maya to their rain god -- they were painted blue before being heaved into a watery sinkhole. And it wasn't just any blue. It was Maya blue -- a vivid, somewhat turquoise-colored pigment used for about a millennium by Mesoamerican peoples to decorate pottery, figurines and murals that has long mystified scientists..... During the rituals conducted on the edge of the cenote at Chichen Itza...the Maya seem to have produced the pigment and painted items like pottery that would be tossed into the water as offerings to the god. (Human sacrifice was part of rituals appealing to the Maya rain god Chaak -- depicted on some Maya structures with a unique elongated, curled nose -- to deliver rain for crops such as corn.) And...they also would paint people being offered as human sacrifices blue and heave them into the sinkhole....(A)bout 120 sets of human remains have been dredged from the sinkhole, along with lots of ceremonial objects.... (A)t the bottom of the cenote, a layer 14 feet deep of blue goo has been found, likely composed of pigment that washed off sacrificial victims and objects.
The pigment was made of indigo, copal incense and palygorskite, and prepared fresh at the edge of the cenote for each sacrifice to Chak.
(screenprint; photo of Chak-nose fountain by me)
12 11 Kayab 2 Akbal

Sunday, February 24, 2008

merging with another blog

Yahoo 360, any day now, is going to discontinue their Yahoo 360 service, where I have a "Pets and Animals" blog. Instead of starting a new Pets and Animals blog on Blogspot, I am going to combine it with this one. Starting today, I'll be moving the posts here. They will remain the same date as the original posts, but I will tag them all "pets" and/or "animals" so they will be easy to find.
I will continue to post dreams, Pre-Columbian discoveries & info, and other personal musings. Since my musings about my pets, animals in the news, and global warming are also personal, it seemed to fit right in.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

dream about my parrots

This morning I had a dream about my parrots.
I was outside for some reason with Lance. He was free. (I would never do that, for many reasons. One, he is old [20] and not in the greatest of health, two, he could not survive if he escaped. He loves kitty-cats and is totally unafraid of them, plus he has no idea how to forage for food.)
We were in a place that doesn't exist, at least a place I've never been. There was a road, and beyond it a river, and lots of rocks. Lance flew away from me and got hit by a car. I couldn't find his body and I knew he was in the grill of the car. I had no idea if he was dead or alive, but I hoped the collision had killed him, because thinking of him broken and alive, stuck to a car broke my heart.
I tried to convince myself that it was instant, he never knew what hit him, and it was better for him to die that way than suffer through a bad liver or set of kidneys like most of my other (dead) lories.
I crossed the road and started searching along the banks of the river, in case his little body had been thrown in the water, but I still didn't find him.
So I went back to where I had my other lories. In the dream, Goober was still alive, although she's been dead in real life almost 2 years. I found an egg and for some reason I thought it was Lance's egg, although he is male and (in life and in the dream) has no mate. I worried what would happen to the egg so I decided to give it to Goober and Zeebo to care for. I don't know if it happened when I was picking it up or putting it down, but the egg broke. Instead of yolk or dead baby, two amazingly tiny baby birds--twins!--came out. Instead of being round and fluffy with white down as newly hatched lory chicks are, these looked gangly and had the black dots of new pinfeathers, like a baby bird who is several weeks old, but they were amazingly tiny (a lory egg is maybe the size of my first thumb joint, so a new chick is also that size--these were half that size). As far as I know, birds can't hatch two to an egg either.
I started freaking out over these newborn twin baby Lance-birds, thinking I needed to go out and buy some hand-feeding formula, and worrying that Zeebo (who is a lunatic) would hurt them, when Lance landed on my shoulder, alive and unharmed.
12 16 Pax 13 Lamat