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Historic photo of the Stone figures found in Oxkintok, plus photo of one stone figure, now in Natural History Museum in Merida. Source: Author provided

Examining Out-of-Place Stone Figures from the Forgotten City of Oxkintok


I’ve had an affinity for the Maya civilization for almost 30 years, and between working with native elders, vacations, and leading tour group visits to Mexico, I can vouch for the mystical nature of these people. It’s easy to see why television programs like Ancient Aliens are attracted to the Maya; they represent a complete departure from the norms we associate with an ancient culture. The Greeks, Romans, and Babylonians left us written records of their society, what they thought at the time, and descriptions of their daily activities. We have only fragments of information on the Maya lifestyle and nothing on why they chose to build pyramids, their interests in astronomy, and numerous other topics which appeared to have consumed their scientists, ruling elite, and shaman.

Unfortunately, for over one hundred years, we’ve been fed a history of the Maya by university-sponsored archaeologists, who, (without reason) chose to ignore the living descendants of this civilization, who to this day, still practice the sacred sciences handed down by their ancestors. This disastrous practice has led to vast misinterpretations, half-truths, and theories, damaging our understanding of the Maya.

Searching for the Truth

From 1995 – 2010, I spent my summers in the presence of a Maya DayKeeper/Shaman, who described an entirely different version of his ancestors, their way of life, and how they perceived the world. Few people realize there is an early period (The First People) or pre-Maya civilization that dates from 6000 BC and shows every indication of being significantly older. From what I have learned, it now appears the Classic Maya inherited a good deal (if not all) of their knowledge from these early people, who developed a unique, and still undeciphered, language and science. As fantastic as it sounds, the pre-Maya culture may have had its beginnings as far back as the Pleistocene epoch.

Oxkintok, Yucatan, Mexico, digital copy of print. (Gary Todd / Public Domain)

Oxkintok, Yucatan, Mexico, digital copy of print. (Gary Todd / Public Domain)

The ruins of Oxkintok (Osh-kin-took), which means “the city of the three cutting suns,” sits approximately 60 miles (66.6 km) south of Merida, the capital of Yucatan, Mexico. We first read about the city in 1839 in the popular book “ Incidents of Travel Yucatan” by the explorer writer and his artist companion, John Stephen and Fredrick Catherwood. My first visit to Oxkintok was telling. Besides the remains of a few buildings, most of the civic (central meeting area) were flattened, crushed by some massive force. All that was left were piles of stones. ( We see much the same throughout the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, where there appear to have been vast bodies of water, which pulverized most of these cities.) In my ongoing research on Maya cities in the Yucatan, I came across several geological studies that indicate massive flooding and good evidence for giant tsunamis over thousands of years.

Although I’m cautious not to write that the damage by tsunamis is the work of a biblical flood (9500 BC), it’s a fact that substantial volumes of water continually passed over the Yucatan peninsula and settled for long periods.

Out-of-place Artifacts

Located in a small courtyard just north of the city center, the fragments of a small temple with columns have been restored. An early photograph, (photo A below), taken at the turn of the century shows unusual columns with figures, partially exposed in sediment. Columns with figures are not uncommon in Classic Maya design and most are carved in relief style (inset from the surface), but what we see at Oxkintok is entirely out of the norm.

Photo A, old photo of carved stone columns at Oxkintok. (Author provided)

Photo A, old photo of carved stone columns at Oxkintok. (Author provided)

Of the two statues presented here, the large and distinctly clothed “Column 2”, has been moved to the Anthropological Museum in Mexico City, and the other, “Robot-head,” can be viewed at the Natural History Museum in Merida. You’ll understand why I named the second figure, Robot-head shortly. Both wear armor or protective clothing and may represent soldiers, guards, or ordinary people in protective outfits. Column 2 may also represent a noted (military) pre-Maya figure, as identical figurine-size reproductions are found in museums throughout Mexico.

Photos C and D of the column 2 stone figure from Oxkintok, now in the Anthropological Museum in Mexico City. (Author provided)

Photos C and D of the column 2 stone figure from Oxkintok, now in the Anthropological Museum in Mexico City. (Author provided)

Column 2 (photos B, C, D) is an intricately carved pot-bellied man, in full armor, wearing a tall and impressive Toltec headdress. Discovered in pieces, archaeologists are unsure where the statue was placed, what it represents, and if the armor signified leather, metal, or another material.

Photo B showing the upside-down hand necklace on the Column 2 stone figure from Oxkintok. (Author provided)

Photo B showing the upside-down hand necklace on the Column 2 stone figure from Oxkintok. (Author provided)

Close-ups of the face, (photo B), show a bulbous and protruding cartoon-like appearance, with, what looks like protective eye goggles and perhaps a partial facemask. His unfriendly frown may be a deterrent, suggesting a guard. In addition, he wears a neckless with an upside-down hand as an ornament, a symbol that archaeologists do not understand. This neckless appears on numerous figurines and statues, and I believe it symbolizes a group association. A few years ago, I interviewed a field researcher who traced the symbol to the mythical continent of Atlantis. She claimed the hand was Atlantean and represented the Children of the Law of One, one of two factions (political parties) described in detail by Edgar Cayce, in his readings.

The sculptor was careful to carve the right hand of Column 2, palm up and forward. In ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions, this gesture is the Abhaya Mudrā , a way of removing fear from your mind. Abhaya mudra has a significant meaning. The word Abhaya is Sanskrit for “Fearless.”  This isn’t fear in the modern sense though. It’s fear that includes stress, anxieties, worries and so on. The gesture is ancient and has a clear body language meaning.  By showing that the hand is empty the individual show’s friendship and peace. It is said that this is the gesture made by Buddha after finding enlightenment. The Buddha used the gesture again when he was about to be attacked by an elephant. When Buddha saw the animal attacking, he held his hands in this gesture and the animal stopped.

Close up of the left hand of the Column 2 stone figure. (Author provided)

Close up of the left hand of the Column 2 stone figure. (Author provided)

The left-hand grasps a handle (control) which leads to a star-shaped device or gear. What’s the sculptor representing here?? Without any reference, everything points to technology in a form we have not encountered in Maya art. Is this a lever to operate a device or machine? Who is this man? The survivor of a great war, a mystical protector of the people? I’m reminded of another out-of-place artifact I found a few years ago, in Mexico City, at the National Anthropological Museum.

Artifact at the National Anthropological Museum, Mexico City. (Author provided)

Artifact at the National Anthropological Museum, Mexico City. (Author provided)

Here the figure is clothed in a loose-fitting protective outfit and ornate mask, standing upright against a column. The left hand is grasping a control or maneuvering arm to guide something - but what? On the top of the helmet, we can see the flames of some rudimentary rocket as it lifts off the ground. Is the figure operating a self-propelled rocket?

The figure is estimated to be over 1,000 years old and may represent a memory, fable or myth from the past. Is the figure on Column 2 driving a similar version of this craft? For now, we can only guess. Unfortunately, archaeologists are unwilling to consider this valuable evidence of a technological past. I believe once we’ve deciphered the necklace on Column 2, we’ll have our answer to what is represented in this fascinating sculpture.

The ‘Robot Head’ Figure

‘Robot head’ stone figure, now in Natural History Museum in Merida. (Author provided)

‘Robot head’ stone figure, now in Natural History Museum in Merida. (Author provided)

The second statue, “Robot-head” has a skull shaped like a 1950s toy robot, with a large square head, protruding rectangular eyes, extended ears, and an angular mouth. Here again, we see a pot-belly figure in full armor with a few notable differences.

A large circular shape protrudes from his mid-section and is attached to a support strap secured to the column. The right arm is bent, and the hand grasps a control connected to another star-shaped object. A large section of the raised right arm is missing, but the wrist and clenched hand are still visible.

Close up of the Robot head figure torso. (Author provided)

Close up of the Robot head figure torso. (Author provided)

Although several areas of the figure are poorly conceived, and portions of the face are damaged, the statue stands out as bizarre, with no other examples. Perhaps we’re looking at a figure wearing a strange protective helmet, a soldier charged with handling combustible liquids or explosives. Later articles and an upcoming book describe my belief that the Maya were part of a great war for Earth, known in the Hindu Vedas as the Mahabharata Wars. This statue may represent a soldier from this battle.

There are no references for Column 2 or the Robot-head statues, which leads me to wonder who they are and what historical period they represent. Unfortunately, these questions are entirely out of the context of the current historical and archaeological narratives, which appear to be struggling with the growing evidence that ancient Mesoamerican culture had a technological past.

I believe these figures and the city of Oxkintok are from a forgotten period in Earth’s history and were in ruins when the Classic Maya resettled the area a few thousand years ago. There is a good chance that Lidar scans, combined with directed ground penetrating tech, will uncover many of the unanswered questions we seek.

Cliff Dunning is host/producer of the award-winning podcast Earth Ancients: Startling New Discoveries from our Planets Distant Past. He's the author of Cannabis and Sexual Ecstasy for Men and the soon-to-be-released, The Maya Controversy.

Cliff Dunning is host/producer of the award-winning podcast Earth Ancients: Startling New Discoveries from our Planets Distant Past. He's the author of Cannabis and Sexual Ecstasy for Men and the soon-to-be-released, The Maya Controversy.

Top image: Historic photo of the Stone figures found in Oxkintok, plus photo of one stone figure, now in Natural History Museum in Merida. Source: Author provided

By Cliff Dunning



IronicLyricist's picture

What if the kt impact was actually an arkship from mars after its atmosphere was stripped crash landed? Any archaeological theories as to the rivers of mercury under the pyramids? (Hint its also the most efficient propellant for sublight spaceflight) and depending on the size and velocity would easily cause the fractures of the Yucatan, as well as the iridium(another essential element for space travel) iapetus is a death star, the e class asteroids were escape pods, from the destruction of tiamat(waterworld that the asteroid belts the core remains) theres so many potential actualities out there, so we need to go there asap. See if phobos really is the remains of a asteroid mining attempt turned biosphere... The mathematics encoded at cydonia could be the greatest thing for us since the prehumous maxwell equations.. 160 something is now 4 because his editor was a guy who thought he was smarter than he really was.. ill stop now .

infinitesimal waveparticles comprise what we call home the earth
manipulatable by thought ability supressed in humans since birth

Pete Wagner's picture

So anything that’s odd can be written off to ‘...oh, they’re just the odd creations of odd ancient people known for doing odd things’?  I guess that explains EVERYTHING!  Mystery solved, move on?  But if you’re like me, you see the ancients, whose culture evolved and survived for a good long while, as something like us today, except BEFORE MODERN POP CULTURE took over.  Maybe like the Amish, who farm the land and do NOT spend any time carving nonsensical forms into big stone blocks.  But maybe they would, if it was real, and there was an important purpose for memorializing it.  But that’s way, way out of the box.

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

I don't see anything too unusual about the statues. They are obviously mythological beings who look different from normal people, that difference emphasised by the sculptors. I haven't seen the destroyed cities, but do know that the Yucatan peninsula sits on a number of sub groundlevel freshwater courses that would've been destroyed in any tsunami. Could the damage be the result of earthquake activity?

Pete Wagner's picture

Very interesting, fruitful, but seems lonely, angle!  Is it a mystery why the ‘professional’ set are not pursuing it, or is that intuitive in light all the other great angles they divert from or steer around?  

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Cliff Dunning's picture


Cliff Dunning is an archaeo-investigator, author, host, and producer of the award-winning history & culture podcast Earth Ancients. He served as the Program Director for The Learning Annex, Whole Life Expo, and numerous national conferences. He developed a keen awareness... Read More

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