Kurioza naukowe / Scientific curiosities ISSN 1176-7545; rok VIII; No 1767
Jedno zdumienie dziennie...
Majów 'zabawa z kólkiem'.
zdumiewająca, ale wiele ludów nie używało koła i
jakby nie czuli potrzeby użycia. O ile wydaje się to
zrozumiałe w przypadku ludów o stosunkowo niskich
technologiach, jak australijscy Aborygeni,
Polinezyjczycy, Papuasi, to trudniej zrozumieć fakt nie
wynalezienia koła przez Indian przedkolumbijskich jak
Inkowie, Aztekowie i Majowie. A trzeba przyznać, że
mieli osiągnięcia technologiczne na skalę porównywalną
z technikami 'Starego Świata', a też osiągnięciami
współczesnymi. Przedziwnym wyjątkiem
były zabawki dziecinne, o czym było
poprzednio. (dzieci zawsze są mądre, głupieją
A tu bardziej konwencjonalne metody rozprawiania się z niewolnikami, choć i kanibalizmem nie gardzono. (Freski z Bonampak).
The Mayan "game with a wheel"
It is amazing, but many people never used a wheel and it seems like they didn't have a need to do so. It is understandable when it comes to people with relatively low technologies as Australian Aborigines, Polynesians, Papuans, however it is very difficult to understand the fact that a wheel had not been invented by pre-Columbian Indians like Inca, Aztecs and Maya. And one has to admit that the level of their technological achievements was similar to the "Old World" and even modern techniques. A very odd exception made childrens' toys, it was discussed previously (kids are always smart, we are getting silly with age...)
However especially one way of using a wheel is worth mentioning also for its amusement reason. Maya people used to inhabit the terittory of present southernMexico, Guatemala and Belize. They began leading a settled way of life 3500 years ago. They grew corn, bean and different types of pumpkin and in the second century of our era they lived in big cities with palaces and temples. Yet they didn't know the concept of a wheel in a technological sense. But it doesn't mean they didn't know it at all.
It has to be said they were very warlike and religious people. They loved making offerings to the gods. Individual cities and tribes were in a permanent state of war. The slaves were being sacrificed to the gods, it surely had something to do with overpopulation. They relished tortures, which were very sophisticated. It is well documented on numerous paintings, frescos and inscriptions, as Maya people knew writing. So from the catalouge of tortures we can mention breaking fingers, pulling out teeth, cutting lower jaw, tearing out nails. One of the most sophisticated torture was what we would call now "game with a wheel", that's where this note's title comes from.
Now, a prisoner's arms and legs were tied up together so they would form a wheel. Then in order to worship gods a wheel was being pushed down the stairs of wonderful pyramids. And there were lots of them in Maya's state. They stood out for its architectural artistry and decor, like for example this famous pyramid Kukuledu in Chichen-Itza.
And here there are more conventional methods of dealing with slaves, however cannibalism wasn't despised. (Frescos from Bonampak)