Buried Power Of The Seven Dolls At Maya Dzibilchaltún

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The Seven Dolls figurines (Image: ©georgefery.com)

Buried Power Of The Seven Dolls At Maya Dzibilchaltún

What makes Dzibilchaltún so perplexing, are the seven crudely made clay figurines found buried below the altar in what has become known as the Temple of the Seven Dolls. At its peak Dzibilchaltún, which means “where there is writing on flat stones,” was one of the oldest settlements of the north-western Maya lowlands of Yucátan in Mexico. It was a large and complex community, engaged in the exploitation of nearby seaside resources, especially salt, and long-distance coastal and inland trade. According to Edward Kurjack (1974) the ancient city had more than “8,000 buildings spread over 25 square miles, most of which are one or two rooms platforms that once supported dwellings made of pole-and-thatch. Its population may have reached over 25,000 souls; at that time, it was the biggest city on the peninsula”.

Temple of the Seven Dolls (Image: ©georgefery.com)

Located eight miles (12 kilometers) from present-day Mérida, and seven miles (11 kilometers) from the coast, Dzibilchaltún’s earliest recorded permanent settlement dates from the Early Formative pre-Nabanchè Phase, at 1900 BC. It was continually occupied from the middle to the late pre-Classic 500 - 250 BC, with high and low occupation periods, up to the arrival of the Europeans in 1521. It was in the Temple of the Seven Dolls, the eastern-most major structure in the urban area where the figurines, or dolls, were found. Archaeologists refer to the Temple of the Seven Dolls as Structure 1-sub. The temple shares its spiritual powers with those of its western-most counterpart, a temple known as Structure 66.


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