Mexican archaeologists discover pre-hispanic crypt

STORY: Location: Ocosingo, Mexico

Did the Mayans turn their dead into balls used for sports?

This crypt is shedding new light on death rituals during that time

It lies deep in the pyramids of the ancient city of Tonina

and was likely built between the 7th and 8th centuries

Archaeologists found 400 vessels inside the chamber

containing human ashes mixed with rubber and roots

The findings support a hypothesis by archeologist Juan Yadeun

that important figures' remains were used to make balls for sports

[Juan Yadeun Angulo, Archaeologist]

“Just as Egyptians tried to preserve bodies, we know here they were transformed in another way. For example, in death bundles. We also have evidence they were incorporated into balls, during the Classic Period the balls were gigantic. The evidence shows they were big.”

“In the ball game court we have evidence that indicates these lords 'came back to live' 260 days later. They came out of the death cave.”

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