Skip to comments.Sacred plants of the Maya forest
Posted on 06/05/2009 5:06:24 AM PDT by BGHater
Some of the Central American rainforest's hidden treasures are being revealed by the Maya, more than a millennium after their passing.
A study of the giant trees and beautiful flowers depicted in Maya art has identified which they held sacred.
Created during the Maya Classic Period, the depictions are so accurate they could help researchers spot plants with hitherto unknown medicinal uses.
The research is published in the journal Economic Botany.
Plants played a significant role in the ecology, culture and rituals of the Maya people, whose artwork reflected the rich diversity of plant life around them.
But while numerous examples of such artwork exist, few have been studied to see exactly which plants they depict.
So natural historian and archaeologist Charles Zidar of Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis, US, and botanist Wayne Elisens of the University of Oklahoma, Norman, US, decided to find out.
They hope to discover plants of importance to the Maya that are either unknown to modern people, or have since been forgotten.
The team's first analyses focused on artwork produced within the southern lowland region of the Maya, located in the modern countries of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico.
They examined more than 2,500 images of Maya ceramics created within the Maya Classical Period of AD 250 to 900.
Art depicting life: a Mayan pot inspired by the trunk of a Ceiba tree
White blooms on ceramic: Quararibea painted on a cup for drinking chocolate
A Pseudobombax flower inspires a headdress worn by the Maya elite
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
plants & maya. Non sacrifice or killing people ping.
Seen or read “The Ruins” ?
Heliconia champneiana 'Maya Blood'
Well, I’m just hopin’ that’s not part of the flora scene...
Years ago, I jeeped around in the Yucatan. That area really is completely out of Government control, and can be dangerous when off the beaten track.
Yeah, I know what ya mean. If you haven’t read the Relic, give it a shot[Child & Preston]. Worth a summer vacation read.
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Ceiba tree, natural protection from tree huggers.
the depictions are so accurate they could help researchers spot plants with hitherto unknown medicinal uses.I am by no means a tree hugger and think Spotted Owl should be a menu item and the Snail Darter sold for bait. But the 'unknown' plants and trees being destroyed in unexplored
Many years back there was documentary of two Dutch explorers who went into the Head Hunter area of New Guinea (not Papua New Guinea). One was stung by a bee that made him completely BLIND for over a week, then his sight returned. Now that type of bee venom is unknown. Who knows what that could be used for. And yes, there could be cure for cancer in one of those plants that may soon be destroyed forever.
And yeah I know the 'natives' are doing this slash and burn clearing for farm land and food, but somehow a middle ground should be struck.
Not the flowers, THE ANTS!
I agree, although I’m not sure about the spotted owl on the menu.
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