MEXICO-FLAYED GOD TEMPLE
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities say Mexican experts have found the first temple of the Flayed Lord, a pre-Hispanic fertility god depicted as a skinned human corpse.
Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said the find was made during recent excavations of Popoloca Indian ruins in the central state of Puebla.
The institute said experts found two skull-like stone carvings and a stone trunk depicting the god, Xipe Totec. It had an extra hand dangling off one arm, suggesting the god was wearing the skin of a sacrificial victim.
Priests worshipped Xipe Totec by skinning human victims and then donning their skins. The ritual was seen as a way to ensure fertility and regeneration.
The Popolocas built the temple at a complex known as Ndachjian-Tehuacan between A.D. 1000 and 1260 and were later conquered by the Aztecs.
Ancient accounts of the rituals suggested victims were killed in gladiator-style combat or by arrows on one platform, then skinned on another platform. The layout of the temple at Tehuacan seems to match that description.
DOGS-NEW BREED RECOGNIZED
NEW YORK (AP) — A fleet-footed hound that hails from West Africa is the latest dog in the American Kennel Club’s pack of recognized breeds.
The club announced Wednesday that the Azawakh (AHZ’-ah-wahk) became the 193rd breed in its roster. That means Azawakhs can now compete in many dog shows, though they’re not eligible for the prominent Westminster Kennel Club show until 2020.
The long-legged, smooth-coated Azawakh looks elegant but is no dainty dog. Traditionally a companion of nomads, the breed has long been a hunter and guardian in parts of the Sahara Desert and semi-arid Sahel region, including in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Azawakhs are known for running fast and being loyal to their owners, though sometimes aloof with strangers.
Breeds must count hundreds of dogs around the country to be recognized.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Few experiences capture old New Orleans and the Mississippi River quite like a paddlewheel riverboat coming round the muddy bend with its tooting whistle horn, towering smoke stacks and water-churning propeller.
This month the first new riverboat in more than a decade is set to launch in the Louisiana port city. A plunge in tourism after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 forced the New Orleans Steamboat Company to sell off one of its two boats, but the arrival of the City of New Orleans is a sign of the steadily rising tide of tourists each year to this Southern city of Mardi Gras fame.
A century ago, countless paddlewheel riverboats plied the Mississippi and its tributaries. Today, New Orleans has two: the Natchez and the Creole Queen, which is operated by New Orleans Paddlewheels.
Now the City of New Orleans is coming full circle, back to the state where it was built in 1991. For years it operated as a casino boat in Rock Island, Illinois, until the mid-1990s. But after that state legalized onshore casinos, the boat became obsolete, said Matthew Dow, project manager heading the vessel’s renovation. The then-named “Casino Rock Island” sat unused for years until it was purchased by the New Orleans Steamboat Company in 2016.
Initially it was brought to a dry dock for hull repairs, then towed to New Orleans for a makeover.
There were additions, too. A dumb waiter was added to connect the galley to all three decks for food transport, along with passenger elevators and handicapped-accessible restrooms. The Associated Press was given the first look at the new riverboat recently.