by mayoid on Maya Decipherment
by Stephen Houston
For my friend of decades, Héctor Escobedo Ayala
Violence and water do not mix. Weighted down by armor, the Emperor Frederick I drowned in the Göksu river on his way to the Holy Land. A similar drama enfolded American G.I.s on Omaha Beach. Dodging bullets, the soldiers sank, choking, under heavy packs. “[F]loating in the water… they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead” (Pyle 1986:280).
Rimmed by seas, living along rivers and streams, the Classic Maya must have fought in this way. Yet the evidence is surprisingly sparse and late. There is a gold disk from the Cenote of Sacrifice at Chichen Itza that shows warriors on canoes, others on plank-like craft, a naked figure floating ...