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Sculpted on the stone are three cats sitting in profile, looking west and surrounded by great scroll decorations. The work – standing more than 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall – was discovered in late April on the north slope of Chalcatzingo as archaeologists were building a containing wall and protective roofs for the other monoliths in the area.
Since the first explorations there in the 1930s, some 41 monuments have been discovered in Chalcatzingo up to now, four of which have cat figures, animals feared and venerated by the Olmecs, who inhabited the area between the years 800-500 B.C., a period known as the Middle Pre-Classical
The Olmec civilization flourished between 1800 B.C. and A.D. 400 in the region occupied today by the states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
Originally posted by Staafke
It's truly amazing how such a 'little' civ have created such monuments. I also wonder why they depict these felines like this. They all look different, especially the heads. And rather mean if you ask me. Any ideas on this?
Wikipedia Cats (Felis silvestris catus), known in Ancient Egypt as the mau, were important in ancient Egyptian society. Beginning as a wild, untamed species, cats were useful for limiting vermin in Egyptian crops and harvests; through exposure, cats became domesticated and learned to coexist with humans.
The people in what would later be Upper and Lower Egypt had a religion centering around the worship of animals, including cats. Praised for controlling vermin and its ability to kill snakes such as cobras, the domesticated cat became a symbol of grace and poise. The goddess Mafdet, the deification of justice and execution, was a lion-headed goddess. The cat goddess Bast (also known as Bastet) eventually replaced the cult of Mafdet, and Bast's image softened over time and she became the deity representing protection, fertility, and motherhood.
Originally posted by Yukitup
reply to post by anon72
Nice find -- thanks for sharing. Regarding experts, what we need here is some Slayer insight!! Slayer-signal lit, Slayer phone activated, come in Slayer!