Spring Break 2020 — IV

img_9456Spring break shouldn’t be all about getting sun, relaxing, reading, and soaking up flavorful tropical beverages.  In my view, it’s also important to explore some of the native culture in your spring break locale and broaden your horizons.

Fortunately, our spring break destination this year has many intriguing cultural artifacts that can serve to stimulate the imagination.  Today we took a guided tour of some of the curious items left behind by past civilizations.  From our review of the two items pictured above, it appears that the early humans in this location worshipped frogs, among other creatures in the pantheon of their gods.  Archaeologists theorize that the two frogs represent male and female deities, and some kind of ancient fertility ritual, and that the dish balancing on their heads might be an altar where small animals were sacrificed as part of ancient religious rites designed to bring about more bountiful  harvests.

The carefully crafted sculpture of the dog, on the other hand, has puzzled historians.  Some theorize that the dog is part of the ancient civilization’s creation myth, in which a gigantic dog god unearthed the first humans from underground.  Others maintain that the close proximity and juxtaposition of the dog figure and the frog figures indicate a linkage between those gods and their function in the ancient culture — and perhaps that after creatures are sacrificed on the altar, the dog buries them as part of the death rituals celebrated by local shamans.

It’s great to get some culture on spring break!  With exposure to artifacts like these, I feel like I will return from this sojourn more worldly, and wiser, than when I left.