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Wednesday, February 4, 2015


The black dot in the Yucatan Peninsula (map below) is the whereabout of Campeche. The Mayan civilisation existed before in the Yucatan whereas the Aztec Empire to the west (red colour). Cortes's invasion of Mexico began with the Aztecs in 1519 and then the Yucatan and other parts of Mexico.  They were going after gold treasures.

Cortes with his 100 or so soldiers in body armour with guns and riding on horses overwhelmed the thousands of Aztecs and Mayans. They used guile and desperado strategy to the maximum aided by the mistaken belief of the Indians that the Spanish conquistadors were gods.

Part of the post-coference tour was visiting what was left of the pyramidal Mayan temples in Yucatan.

Characteristic Mayan facade using mimetic ornament - forms derived from structural or symbolic shapes.

Mayan temple at Uxmal, Yucatan.

The Mayans, Aztecs and other civilisations in Central and South America believed in human sacrifice rites where the victims' hearts are cut out using knives and offered to the gods.

... the chest of a warrior, whose soul is seen ascending skywards in a bloody trail. Another victim of the rite lies dead at the foot of the temple.

A young victim for sacrifice is selected by the high priest.

The Spaniards' cruelty were worse than the Indians whereby thousands of the vanquished were mangled and made human sacrifices. 

n.b. Thanks to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) for sponsoring to attend a five day tropical fruit conference and tour at Campeche, Yucatan (Mexico) late 1995. I was then doing a 6+3 month fellowship programme on citrus biotechnology (under IAEA) at Lake Alfred, Florida. The flight was from Miami to Merida and then by road to Campeche.

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