December 21, 2016
Giant Shark Teeth Fossils and Maya Religion
Archaeologist Sarah Newman published a paper in Antiquity called “Sharks in the Jungle: real and imagined sea monsters of the Maya.”
She has explained that the giant teeth of an extinct shark species were used by the Maya as sacred offerings at several Maya sites. Ancient Maya depictions of a sea monster called “Sipak,” also known as Cipactli among the Mexica have a single giant tooth that looks like the tooth of the shark species fossils. The Maya word for shark is “Xook.” This name was taken by some Maya royalty, Yax Ehb Xook ("First Step Shark”) at Tikal and Yax Ehb Xook ("First Step Shark”) at Yaxchilan. The interconnecteness of the shark teeth with myths across Mesoamerica are an indication of long distance religious influences.
Live Science has the report here with photos;
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