El papel de las cuevas en la guerras de los antiguos mayas

Alejandro Sheseña

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By studying archaeological and epigraphic sources, James Brady, Christopher Helmke and Pierre Colas have found that, among the Late Classic Maya, in contexts of war, caves of one's enemies could act as valued targets for destruction due to the great politico-religious significance they possessed. This is, in short, a very important contribution to the issue of the war between the ancient Maya. However, a modern conflict occurred between two indigenous communities in Mexico, which involved features of the natural landscape, suggests that the issue of the role of caves in the Classic warfare was much more complex. Whereas some aspects of this dispute modern indigenous and pre-Hispanic parallels found in classic Maya inscriptions, in this paper I argue the idea that in Classic times the enemy's caves were also used ritually and this use could sometimes trigger confrontations. In general, the article invites reflection on the complexity of the culture of the Mayan people.