reply to post by Mianeye
Having read your source links and being an armchair archeologist, here's my theory.
Since the temple was obviously an important site for rituals and ceremony, perhaps the 'spheres' represent deceased persons of great standing,
office, or status, such as priests or others closely associated with the temple, or family of those persons, perhaps even ruling families, or heroic
warriors. It could be seen as being a great honor to have one's sphere entombed beneath the temple after death.
They could also represent sacrificial victims, placed there in either honor or as a means to continue to provide an ongoing source of 'power' after
death, much in the way their sacrifice empowered the rite they were slain for.
The reasons to back up this supposition are these:
An interior core of clay representative of the body or spirit of the departed, rather the inner part of a person.
An outer shell of oxidized pyrite representive of the material or visible, the outer part of a person. It may also be representive of worldly assets
the departed accumulated in life, but it could also be meant as a symbolic offering to the gods, much in the way coins were laid upon the eyes to pay
Charon the Ferryman for the ride across the river Styx. Since actual gold was highly prized and unlikely to be surrendered lightly, as the clay is a
stand-in for the body, gold was substituted with something of similar appearance yet of lesser value, again a symbolic representation.
Since the source did not mention any skeletal remains being found, and from what I understand of the culture, they did have interment customs. The
physical bodies were buried elsewhere or otherwise disposed of in the preferred manner and the spheres are conveyed within the temple, analogous to
being placed in a revered cemterery or mausoleum.
From the numbers discovered in the size of the space, it would not be convenient for several hundreds of actual bodies to be placed within, nor would
the effluvia of decomposition exactly be conducive for those working or regularly visiting the site. This is evidenced in other cultures, both modern
and ancient, (Indian, Egyptian, Japanese, etc.) by the institution of caste systems wherein persons who dealt with the dead were shunned or considered
The varying size of the spheres could be hypothesized to symbolize the age of the deceased person, the smaller ones indicating children while the
larger ones would stand for an adult or an elder of advanced years.
Of course, I could be wholly off base and the reflective walls and ceilings and glittering spheres were merely a tricked out basement where the
priests after a hard day's work of sacrificing victims would get together, drink cocoa, and trip on jungle fungus.
>[In a Cheech and Chong voice]...Hey, man, look at that cool sparkly rock...whoa dude, did it just move? LOL
S and F for an interesting update! I'll keep checking in to see if they do figure out what they mean.