Tikal - Mayan - North Acropolis Tomb
Type of Spiritual Experience
One mechanism of achieving spiritual experience is via sensory deprivation. An added method is via hypoxia - oxygen starvation or a form of controlled suffocation. Both are horrible methods, but both were employed in Ancient Egypt for example. And one of the risks, as children are still finding out who try the same methods and call it 'the fainting game', is that you can get it wrong and die. I believe that this is what happened here, it was an attempt to have an experience by a revered priest that went wrong. He was seated and he was in a painted chamber, in many of the approaches, sensory deprivation was not initially complete, a candle was used to light the walls to enable the man to enter a trance state.
Fakirs are capable of being buried alive and do so to achieve extreme out of body experiences. They also employ techniques which require stimulation of key trigger points [the roof of the mouth for example] Tariq Bey [on this site] is one supreme example of a magician who had total bodily control.
But this magician got it wrong and never came back. They honoured him by taking his head [beheaded] and hands.
He may have taken two adepts with him.
A description of the experience
Volume 4; Issue 1; September 1961 - The Painted Tomb At Tikal - An important discovery by the Museum's expedition in Guatemala. By: Edwin M. Shook and Alfred Kidder, II
One day, perhaps late in March of the year A.D. 457, masons set the final stone in the wall they had built to seal off the cave . …..For several days they had worked inside the 'tomb', cut horizontally into the bedrock, plastering the walls and ceiling; as they worked, an artist, painting with a fibre brush, frescoed the large glyphs with bold strokes on the still wet, light gray plaster of the walls. Later they cleared the floor and brushed up the entrance way …..It is relatively easy to make deductions such as these about the masons from the physical evidence exposed by the Museum’s sixth expedition to Tikal early in 1961.
The tomb, 'Burial 48' in our field notebooks and catalogue cards, had been tunneled into bedrock from the north face of a shaft penetrating the lower terrace of the North Acropolis. The rock-cut chamber lay on the axis of the North Acropolis directly beneath a succession of temples, the final one (Structure 5D-33) being in the middle of the row of temples facing south to the Great Plaza of Tikal. On one of the uniquely painted walls (unique as far as present knowledge of Maya tombs is concerned), there is a date, 184.108.40.206.10. in the Maya calendrical system, well into the Early Classic Period of Maya civilization, which corresponds to March 18, A.D. 457. The rich offerings in the tomb and two young teen-age skeletons, one on each side of the chamber as well as the important central position of the tomb itself, all bespeak the high rank and power of the deceased.
Beyond those rather simple, probably reasonably accurate, mental reconstructions of what went on both preceding and following the death of the principal occupant of the Painted Tomb, our inferences, based on the contents, are little more than guesswork. We have already decided that the general richness, compared to burials in simple graves, means high rank; ….. In the first place, we are sure that the bones found in the center of the floor of the tomb are those of a man, fully adult, but, on account of the very bad condition of the bones and the lack of any part of the head, of uncertain age. This fact, coupled with the apparent, but not entirely conclusive, absence of the hands as well, makes the burial an unusual one. As a rule, the men of high rank buried in tombs in the region of Tikal were laid out at full length, and are found as complete skeletons. So, we are confronted with a headless and possible handless skeleton that was not laid out at full length, but which was found as a heap of rotted bones occupying a space that measured at most, two and a half feet in any direction. Some of the bones were in articulation, so we reason that the man was probably placed in the tomb in a seated position.