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The Cosmology Behind the Temple Facade at Holmul

The Cosmology Behind the Temple Facade at Holmul

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Published by Cliff
A translation via depicted sign language of part of the Mayan Facade found at Homul. Guatamala. This revision provides more details about the Associative Imagery of the Mud-skipper
A translation via depicted sign language of part of the Mayan Facade found at Homul. Guatamala. This revision provides more details about the Associative Imagery of the Mud-skipper

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Cliff on Aug 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Cosmology Behind the Temple Facade at HolmulPhoto: courtesy Proyecto Arqueologico Holmul,Clifford C. RicheyAugust 2013Revised 8-12-2013
It might be helpful to read:http://www.scribd.com/doc/125076415/Universal-Prehistoric-Depicted-Sign-Languagewhen reading this paper as it explains the use of Form, Imagery, Gesturesigns, Stance,allusion and position as used in composing glyphs.
This facade was found to have been carefully buried in AD 600 at Holmul, Guatamala. Basically thefacade was a graphic conceptualization of a aspect of Mayan cosmology. The message relates to a partof the cosmology that related to warrior-priests and their afterlife. In today's terms the message wouldbe considered psychologically supportive for the warriors and their status in the culture for theirimportant role in protecting their community. The facade represents a cosmological center -a place ofemergence for the spirits of deceased warriors. Mayan warriors were warriors of the Sun that wasconsidered a powerful spirit. The Sun was represented on earth by powerful lineages or Houses such asthe Jaguars and the Eagles. The Jaguars represented the Sun in its nighttime phase when it was beneaththe earth. The Eagle represented Sun in its daytime phase.The facade pictured in Illustration 1 shows a dual or two sided aspect that related to Venus. Warriorsserved the Sun during the lifetime and the nature of the Sun's relationship to Venus was used as a modelfor the cosmology. Venus arose in the east before the Sun and also arose in the west after the Sun set.Metaphorically, Venus was viewed as serving the Sun as a kind of scout or spy. Because stars wereviewed as the abode of the ancestors Venus, as a servant of the Sun, was an ideal model.We can see the two Forms of Feet in the Facade. In gesture signing the left hand represents the eastwhile the right hand represents the west. Thus these large feet represent the “great walk” of Venus inthe east and west. We also not e the Large Serpents that Frame the Feet. One Serpent, the associativeimagery for a stream of water, faces east while the other faces the west. The gaping mouths of the
 Illustration 1: Temple Facade at Holmul, Guatemala Illustration 2: The Mayan Cosmological Center
Serpents represented a source of of subterranean water that had risen to the surface such as a spring ona hill or mountainside. Such sites were considered doorways or portals for the deceased who upon theirdeath found their spirit diving into the underworld. These spirits were caught up in the undergroundstreams or currents of water that carried them through a number of levels until they once again arrivedat the surface. These spring sites were consider the doorways to the sky because it was from here thatthe Feathered Serpent arose. The meaning of the Feathered Serpent was a stream of water whose parts(feathers of a bird) flew as particles of water up to the sky as evaporation. This understanding of thewater cycle became a metaphor for a phase of the cosmology –the afterlife.The Facade at Holmul with its (green) Horizontal Rectangle (a horizontal-place) in its middle waserected at a place that was considered a cosmological center for the culture and, most likely, near asource of water. At the bottom of the Facade there is a break in the rectangular place sign and a headcan be seen emerging from below. There is another break at the top of the Rectangle where we can seethe large Face (
his great appearance
) with his wings in the Stance of
The Wings are in theForm of multiple Quetzal Bird feathers. Such feathers with their iridescent blue-green sheen must havelooked like water streaming through the air and were thus used to depict evaporating water.The Lower Jaw of the Left Serpent's Mouth is in the Form of a Mud-skipper or Gobi, The Fish,
the swimmer, the one that walks out of the water and leaps upwards.
The Form of the Body is in theshape of the gesture sign for
The Vertical Rectangle that alludes to the Eye (
the place of theeye of the Sun, Venus
). The fact that Mud-skippers live in burrows made in the soft mud must not have
 Illustration 3: The Mayan Cosmological Center Illustration 4: Mud-skipper Imagery Illustration 5: Actual Mud-skipper

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