Most Shocking Mysteries of The Maya

1. The Red Queen (known in Spanish as "La Reina Roja"): Perhaps one of the most controversial stories of the Mayan civilization was the story of the Red Queen. The remains of the Red Queen were recovered by archeologist Fanny Lopez Jimenez who discovered that one of the main temples in Palenque had a substructure that contained a sarcophagus with remains of one of the most elite Mayan rulers of Palenque.  Who was she? Could she have been the wife a lord? Or could this have been the remains of the most powerful leader of Palenque?  To this day many speculations have surfaced about the origins of the remains.  Scientists who performed DNA testing on the remains have found no immediate kinship with the remains of the last known lord of Palenque who was also buried there, ruling out possibilities that she could have been his mother or sister. The gifts or commemorations in her sarcophagus are those that were reserved for the lords of Palenque.

2. Many Mayan temples are built with excellent engineering, as we all know. However, when looking at the main temples of the largest Mayan cities, we see there are endless combinations of types of windows - some large, some small and some that are too tiny to even be considered to be made for any purpose beyond air circulation or the passage of light. Could there be a purpose for these windows? Perhaps so: according to archeologist Michael Creamer, the tiny windows in El Castillo pyramid in Tulum are believed to have been used as navigation tools for the Mayas to sail safely to the Tulum shore. The section of the Tulum shoreline contains sharp reef that could take down any boat. Creamer maintains that the windows are placed in such a way that when it is nighttime and a fire torch is placed behind these windows you can use these as night lights to guide you away from the sharp reef. Mayan sailors could avoid collision by maintaining the direction of the vessel pointed towards their line of sight of the light from the torch. If they veered from this path their canoes would very well have been destroyed by sharp coral. One can only imagine the gruesome fate of invading tribes once the torches behind the windows were put out. If you want to know more, here is a link to a video:

3. The Mayan Code: Like any other human civilizations, the Mayans had a means of communicating that was quite extensive - in fact, we can see many examples of Mayan stories, whether factual or not, painted or inscribed on stone walls. An alphabet rich in letters was made to record the history of important events, including the rise and fall of leaders. Nowadays, some schools in the Yucatan Peninsula are attempting to promote more Mayan pride by teaching young people the letters used in local Mayan dialects. However, much of the Mayan writings on stone or paper have almost completely disappeared, due in part to the colonization by the Spanish. The Mayan language was nearly destroyed as stone, paper or any medium for words, including the speaking of Mayan, was obliterated. The destruction of thje Mayan language cost the lives of thousands who were unwilling to give up their heritage without a fight. For more information check out this link: