A Danish-American archaeological expedition to Guatemala has found countless saints, approx. 2000 year old, Mayan caves with god masks carved into the limestone cliffs, cave sections closed by built up stone walls and surprisingly, found painted signs on a high rock wall. We do not yet know the meaning of the drawings.
For Mayan cave research, the new finds, indeed the entire temple city of Quen Santos with perhaps 20, or many more, 2000-year-old and sacred Mayan caves are a very important discovery that in the coming years may bring new answers to how important the underworld of the Mayan Indians really was for the Mayan culture.
The expedition found 7 new large sacred Mayan caves along a 300 meter long and 40 meter high cliff, where the temple city was located above.
During the GPS localization of the caves and Mayan temples up on the mountain, which was carried out by the Danish team, it was coincidental that a Mayan construction had been built above each Mayan cave. Was it the Mayan Indians' intention that the Mayan temples symbolized the way to their underworld?
Further research into the temple city will confirm or deny this theory.
The expedition participants still need to examine approx. 800 meters of rock wall where caves can lie like jewelry on a necklace and perhaps contain really exciting archaeological data.
Personally, I have never observed so many large Mayan caves gathered in one place and even for Prof. Dr. James E. Brady it was quite a surprise.
Several Mayan caves contained, in addition to modified caves with countless enclosed stone settings, terraces, pillar stones, thousands of monochrome painted ceramics, skeletons, a regular Mayan temple also countless carved faces.
The discoveries of the above must of course be mixed with the adventure in that some caves were really deep, perhaps 80 meters down, where lianas hung deep in the dark, where we have not yet been. How in the caves to walk among these thousand-year-old mayating, where hand-sized bird spiders, even larger scorpion spiders, crickets, ticks and other strange insects, crawled around between our legs and where large flying falcons set our otherwise drenched clothes in motion, seasoned with constantly finding new caves and the certainty that it could also become dangerous for us if a cave passage collapsed without the possibility that the others could find us or that we could not find our way out again.
The painted Mayan signs will certainly be noticed within Mayan research worldwide and images of the Mayan signs have now been handed over to one of the world's leading Mayan researchers, Prof. Dr. Nikolai Ggube from the University of Bonn in the hope that he will shed new light on the mysterious Mayan signs.
I would not put the above-mentioned signs in the same class as the Mayan glyphs, but painted signs have previously been seen in a few places in Mayan caves in Central America.
The backstory is also very adventurous, as last year expedition member Sergio Garza was in the area of the city of Nentun, Guatemala, where he heard about some of today's Mayans going up into the mountains to a sacred cave to pray to the gods of the underworld. Sergio, who is studying at the University of California Riverside, USA, became interested in this and managed to get to this cave where the Indians worshiped the gods of the underworld.
Back in the United States, Sergio Garza investigated whether there was any material about the aforementioned Mayan cave Quen Santos, as the Indians called the place.
It turned out that there was a 100-year-old report about the same cave, written by the German Prof. E. Seler from the University of Berlin.
E. Seler had also come to the cave 100 years ago, prompted by the Mayan Indians going there to pray to the gods of the underworld. The report also described the temple city on top of the mountain as well as the 3 Mayan caves found at the time.
We can now state that the temple city is much larger than Prof. E. Seler also described that we have also found 7 Mayan caves as well as all these carved faces and not least, and immediately the most interesting, the drawings on the rock walls.
The whole story here oozes with old and new adventure, where the findings will certainly illuminate the underworld of the Mayan Indians in a clearer light in the coming years when we will lift the veil on the secrets of this temple city.
The expedition consisted of Prof. J. Brady, Sergio Garza, Allan Cobb, Jennifer Mercede, all from the University of California Riverside, USA and from Denmark, Christian Christensen and Thomas Aagren.
The newly found painted drawings and the 7 Mayan caves were found by Christian Christensen and Thomas Aagren, as their task was precisely to find new archeology and GPS confirmed this.