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made offerings of birds, those destroyers of the crops, those robbers of the seed, to the protector of the fields.
The cross being planted on a skull simply indicates that from death springs life; that the seed symbolized by the bird on the top of the cross must first become decomposed in the ground before coming again to life in the shape of a plant.
It is well to notice that all the ornaments that, besides the text, adorn the tablet, are either leaves, flowers, or some other parts of the living plant, showing that the temple, where it was placed, was dedicated to the god, protector of agriculture.
LET us revert to our inquiry concerning the customs observed at funerals by both Mayas and Egyptians. We will examine one or two so remarkable that they cannot be honestly attributed to mere coincidence.
We have seen that in Mayach, as in India, Chaldea, Egypt, and many other countries, a certain kind of ape was held sacred; its worship being, no doubt, closely related to that of ancestors. But how came the cynocephalus to be connected in Egypt with the rites of the dead? This species of monkey is not a native of Egypt, but is of Central America, where it is very abundant.
Thoth, the god of wisdom and letters, was the reputed preceptor of Isis and Osiris. He was supposed to hold the office of scribe in Amenti, where his business was to note down the actions of the dead, and present or read the record of them to Osiris while sitting as judge of the lower regions. Thoth, in that capacity, is represented as a cynocephalus monkey, in a sitting posture. He is thus frequently portrayed seated on the top of the balance in the judgment scenes, and
regarded as the second of the gods of the dead. In Mayach, also, Baaɔ, the cynocephalus, was the attendant of the "god of death," and always represented in a kneeling posture.
During our sojourn at Uxmal we surveyed a ruined edifice little known to visitors, although quite extensive. On the summit of the pyramid, forming the north side, is a shrine composed of two apartments, one smaller than the other. The smaller, the sanctum sanctorum, can only be reached by passing through the larger. Opposite the doorway of the front chamber, and at the head of the steep stairway leading to the yard, is a round stone altar where, Landa tells us, human victims were immolated, as offerings to the deity. At the foot of those stairs is a large rectangular platform, one metre high. The sides were once composed of slabs covered with inscriptions beautifully sculptured in intaglio to make them more lasting. Having been submitted to the action of fire, the characters have become well nigh obliterated. On several of the slabs that had happened to fall face downward, the writing is well preserved.
The centre of the platform was occupied by a huge statue of the Yum cimil, "god of death," represented by a skeleton in a squatting posture. His attendants were six cynocephali, kneeling as if in prayer (Plate XXIV.), placed on each side of him, one at each corner of the platform, one between these in the middle of the east and west sides. The god of death faced south, where his kingdom was supposed to be situated.
In the present state of our knowledge it is difficult to surmise why that species of ape came to be connected, in Mayach, with the rites of the dead. We might, perhaps, find the explanation by translating the inscriptions that adorned the platform, at least what remains of them. Is it a
LET us revert to our inquiry concerning the cust at funerals by both Mayas and Egyptians. one or two so remarkable that they cannot be h uted to mere coincidence.
We have seen that in Mayach, as in In Egypt, and many other countries, a certain ki held sacred; its worship being, no doubt, clo that of ancestors. But how came the cynocepl nected in Egypt with the rites of the dead? monkey is not a native of Egypt, but is of C where it is very abundant.
Thoth, the god of wisdom and letters, preceptor of Isis and Osiris. He was supp office of scribe in Amenti, where his busi down the actions of the dead, and present or them to Osiris while sitting as judge of t
Thoth, in that capacity, is r key, in a sitting posture
seated on the top of the
is a c