Mayan Sculpture Cargo Cult - Thoughts on Visualization as a Research Method

Gösta Lindwall, March 18, 2020

In preparation for an upcoming book we are creating a lot of illustrations and information graphics in support of the written text.

There are much benefit and a lot to gain by doing illustrating that which we cannot directly observe, and for us it has also evolved into a research method.

Visualizing events and objects, pinpoints the subject in clear way and gives a working hypothesis a chance to get scrutinized using a realistic image.

Of course everything is in the eye of the beholder, and it is easy to give a judgement based on preconceptions. But in cases where two interpretations are compared against each other, or a specific practical situation need to be tested, this method has potential to give additional clarity.

This well known Mayan sculpture is often used as an example of some kind of high tech application being used in ancient times.

Renderings of two interpretations of a Mayan clay sculpture

Renderings of two interpretations of a Mayan clay sculpture

People see this sculpture as a representation of some kind of astronaut or diver. Just by viewing the details in the sculpture, the woven textile fibers, ropes and different kind of handicraft, also make a shamanic ritual dress seem plausible.

This is where the thought process can evolve a step further. When illustrating these two versions, the mind gets a reference point to speculate from.

Perhaps the shamanic dress is a representation of a cargo cult? The clay sculpture is then depicting a ritualistic version of a cultural collective memory of an encounter with a more advanced technological civilisation.

This article has also been published on Facebook in the group Forbidden Archaeology and other Mysteries.

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