Las Sepulturas: The Temazcal

Plaza G at Las Sepulturas Plaza G – Temazcal Group G lies immediately to the south of Plaza A and directly behind Structure 9N-82 (the House of the Scribes), known to be the most important of all the building at Las Sepulturas. Group G is a very simple and small group, containing a trio of diminutive looking buildings. One of those building has a large hole in the front of it, which is strikingly reminiscent of the Temazcalli, or Temascal, found at Tikal. Temazcal are sacred steam baths (or sweat lodges) that are thought to have featured throughout the Mayan cities. They were used by the elite for cleaning, but were also used for medicine, relaxation and spiritual enlightenment. With Plaza A being the primary centre for religion, and presumably home to the Lord of Las Sepulturas, it is likely that Group G was a sanctuary of medicinal and spiritual healing. In particular, the temazcalli were used for mothers having problems during childbirth to lower their blood pressure and relax, and warriors or ball-game players whose wounds needed cleaning and sterilising. This may be another reason why an abundance of ball-game paraphernalia was found in the vicinity (click here to read more in the full article on Mesoamerican Steam Baths).

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