‘Shadows and whispers’, the chilling supernatural experiences of archaeologists during their excavations

Mexican archaeologists have witnessed unusual and supernatural stories difficult to explain in rational terms, during his excavations of ruins of great civilizations, churches and caves where ancient objects from all over the country abound

shadows and whispers. Strange and dark experiences in archaeology”, is the title of a book published by the Institute National Anthropology and History (INAH)from the publisher Red pointwhich collects for the first time testimonies of this type of researchers in archaeological sites, camps and areas of interest for their activity

The extraordinary experiences and anecdotes of the type of the popular American series “The Twilight Zone“of the Mexican specialists had only been told so far around a campfire, among the professionals themselves, without being known by the general public

The book, coordinated and co-edited by archaeologists Luis Alberto Martos and Luis Alberto López, collects 30 stories from Mexican and foreign researchers where they are narrated in detail episodes that defy reason while carrying out his archaeological work



Archaeologists visit places where no one has been for many, many years. Their jobs sometimes take them to dark places.

By scrutinizing the traces left by the human groups of the past, from their material vestiges, “archeology leads those who exercise it to contexts rarely visited or to which most people do not usually accesssuch as caves, cenotes (springs), jungles, deserts and high mountains”, explain the authors

Among other things, the researchers refer to “spirits, guardians, evil winds‘aluxes’ (goblins in the Mayan culture) and other entities, whose presence exceeds rational explanations”

Both archaeologists, students or workers assure that they usually have “synchronous dreams“During their stays in the field, they either solve some obstacle in their search work by praying to the local deities or placing an offering

Archaeologists visit places where no one has been for many, many years. Their jobs sometimes take them to dark places.


Archaeologists visit places where no one has been for many, many years. Their jobs sometimes take them to dark places.

“These were stories that had happened to us in the shadows and of which we only heard whispers, since many of us did not tell them openly,” says Luis Alberto López, who said that writing about this topic had the effect of a “catharsis” for many of them

Even some archaeologists collaborated with their own handwriting in the preparation of the book, such as Adriana Velázquez Morlet, Francisco Mendiola, Joel Santos, Raúl Arana, Rosalba Nieto, Christian Vitry and María José Con, among others.

According to the coordinators of the book, the idea of ​​preparing it was “to know, from a pleasant language, how archaeological work is done: the installation of camps, the registration of contexts or laboratory work, among other stages of the same”

“All the compiled authors arrive at the same moral: respect, since beyond being heritage sites, the places we approached were home to people who lived and died, who loved, worked, dreamed, planned and cried,” said Luis Alberto Martos

“And whether as archaeologists or as visitors to archaeological sites, cenotes or convents, we must respect all those memories,” he said.

Considered the first documentary record in Mexico of this type of stories, what seems like a simple book of ghosts, shamans, witches and apparitions in reality it is “everyday life” of archaeologists in their work to unravel the way of life of ancient human groups

In the opinion of Joel Santos, one of the authors of these stories, “a less scientific archaeological literature to arouse people’s interest” and by knowing these stories, and knowing what specialists do in the field, the public can respect more the monuments and historical sites

the horror stories about unknown facts that challenge logic emerged from a talk between the coordinators, they represent “a watershed for archeology works to be more accessible” to ordinary people, “by being disseminated in a colloquial, simple, clear and understandable way”.

Source: ANSA

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‘Shadows and whispers’, the chilling supernatural experiences of archaeologists during their excavations