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Did you KNOW?

FLEETING CHILDHOODS

Young Mayans didn’t have much of a childhood. They began helping their parents and learning a trade at the age of five or six, and had their coming of age ceremony – making them ready for marriage – by the time they were 15.

MIRRORS TO THE SOL ‘Kinich’ is assumed to mean ‘sun-eyed’ and was used as an honorific title for Mayan rulers

WHY DID THE MAYANS WANT THEIR CHILDREN TO BE CROSSEYED?

One must be willing to suffer for beauty – or at least that’s what the Mayans said to their infant children. Strabismus, or crossed eyes, was highly desired, both for its good looks and in honour of the Sun god Kinich Ahau. He was depicted as crosseyed, and having a single incisor in the upper row of his teeth.

To get the effect, mothers hung little objects in front of their babies’ faces for them to stare at constantly And it was not the only body modification – boards would be strapped to an infant’s head in the hope of elongating the skull, a popular status symbol.

ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS It was an unfair cop, but women PCs lacked powers of arrest until 1922
ALAMY X2, GETTY X4
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About BBC History Revealed

Despite being one of the most talked about artworks in history, the Mona Lisa remains enshrined in mystery. And while we will never know what she was smiling about, we explore what we do now know about the world's most famous painting. Plus: We look at the story of Robert the Bruce's fight for Scottish independence, the Nazi Occupation of the Channel Islands and the reign of Queen Anne, which saw the creation of Great Britain.