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In 1849 Zapatera was visited by American diplomat and archaeologist Ephraim George Squier, who noted the presence of a considerable amount of statues and petroglyphs in an area known as Punta de las Figuras. More than 30 years later, in 1883, Squier's report encouraged Swedish naturalist Carl Bovallius to undertake a more extensive survey of the island. Bovallius discovered 25 statues in Sonzapote and a number of petroglyphs on the islet of La Ceiba. Mexican Felipe Pardines also published a series of articles on the El Muerto island petroglyphs in the 1930s. The most recent archaeological investigations were carried out in the 1980s and involved a number of small excavations, but an in depth study of the island is still lacking
The statues and the majority of the petroglyphs and pottery at Zapatera have been dated to between 800 to 1350 CE, and is ascribed to the Chorotega, an indigenous Mesoamerican culture. Finds from this period also include utensils and zoomorphic figurines in a similar style to examples from the mainland. Some of the petroglyphs and pottery may date back as far as 500 BCE, and others are contemporary with Spanish colonies.
The most prominent finds from Zapatera were statues. According to records, they were carved of black basalt, generally between 1 to 2.25 metres (3 ft 3 in to 7 ft 5 in) high, and more than 150 centimetres (59 inches) in diameter. They depicted both humans and animals and are speculated to represent either deities or high-status individuals. Most are found around earthen or stone mounds, facing outwards, suggesting they formed part of a ceremonial installation. On the basis of engravings near these sites it has been proposed that they may have been host to human sacrifices
Hmm, yea what about these folks?
Are we 100% positive they were "sacrifices?"
"We looked over toward the Great Pyramids and watched as [the Aztecs] ... dragged [our comrades] up the steps and prepared to sacrifice them," he wrote in his Historia Verdadera de la Conquista de la Nueva Espana (The True History of the Conquest of New Spain), published posthumously in 1632. "After they danced, they placed our comrades face up atop square, narrow stones erected for the sacrifices. Then, with obsidian knives, they sawed their breasts open, pulled out their still-beating hearts, and offered these to their idols."
reply to post by peter vlar
Mhmm, but you're linking maya info then switching over to aztec info and we know a little more abou why the Aztecs were doing this in open view
See the word "comrades"
It seems to me a bit incomprehensible that earlier and later cultures would be able to perform cranial procedures successfully yet an intermediate culture with the only verified written language as well as very accurate astronomical calculations managed to kill 1000's trying to perform medical procedures, often times on captured enemy prisoners. Who bothers trying to do random heart surgery on their enemies? Just my view of the scenario.