Belize Cave Used by the Maya New Dental Research

November 17, 2022

Belize’s Midnight Terror Cave, which was named by locals, and was used for burials by the Maya from 250-925 CE had 118 burials of people sacrificed by head trauma is being researched Cal State archaeologists. They looked at the mouths of the victims and found blue fiber in the teeth of a few of them. It appears to be cotton. The blue pigment which would have been used to dye the cotton was used for ceremonial purposes in the Maya world. It was sometimes used to paint the bodies of sacrificial victims. Perhaps the fiber was in gags used on the victims. There is some skepticism about this claim.

The rate at which plaque forms in teeth is based on the food that was eaten and physiology. So determining where these blue fibers were trapped is hard to determine and very few teeth in the victims had any dental calculus that could be determined the researchers pointed out.

The research is published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

Live Science has the report here: