Saturday, July 18, 2009

Femur scepter

It has long been suspected - from sculptures like the one above - that the men of the Zapotec culture (500 B.C.-1,000 A.D.) carried human femurs as status symbols. The earlier excavation of a tomb containing 9 skeletons missing only their femurs lent credibility to the theory, but now more conclusive proof is offered by the discovery of a femur-less skeleton buried beneath a home in a grave that was reentered 25-100 years after the death. Zapotecs fluorished in the Oaxaca Valley in Mexico and I have seen the sculptures at Monte Alban while visiting the area with my sister and her husband in the early 1990s. We flew to Mexico for the Day of the Dead celebrations. My sister was the only one on whom Montezuma did not exact his revenge...

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