Social media users are freaking out over a 2,000-year-old green stone mask found in an ancient pyramid by archaeologists in Mexico.
Let’s just hope Jim Carrey doesn’t get his hands on it.
The image which began to recirculate on Twitter yesterday (12 August) is actually from 2011.
Researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) found remains of offerings that were believed to be left as part of a ritual to inaugurate the construction of the Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun, which was built around 100 AD, LiveScience reports.
The pyramid is the largest building in Teotihuacan, an archeological site north-east of Mexico City.
After accessing the ground level through a 380-foot-long tunnel dug in 1930s, INAH discovered various artefacts – clay pottery, three serpentine human figurines and, of course, the unique green mask.
Now the image of the mask has found its way back onto Twitter, with one post garnering over 13,000 likes and 1,500 retweets.
Naturally the references to Jim Carrey’s The Mask came in thick and fast due to the striking similarities.
One user wrote: “Don’t let Jim Carrey get near it.”
Yeah, we don’t really want him turning into a cartoon mask man with crazy supernatural powers…or would we?
While a second user replied: “We’re not touching it, right? We’re leaving the creepy mask where we found it, right?”
A final user concluded: “Geeze… put it back already! Let’s not unearth some ancient god’s wrath. Got enough problems already.”
Perez Cortez, an investigator with the Zacatecas INAH Center, said in a statement when the mask was discovered: “We know [the offerings were] deposited as part of a dedication ceremony.”
George Cowgill, an archaeologist at Arizona State University, gave some background on the ancient city of Teotihuacan where the pyramid was built.
He said: “It was the largest city anywhere in the Western Hemisphere before the 1400s. It had thousands of residential compounds and scores of pyramid-temples… comparable to the largest pyramids of Egypt.”
In the first half of the first millennium (1 AD to 500 AD), the population of Teotihuacan was said have been around 125,000, which happened to be one of the highest populated cities in the world at the time.
The figure is just 5cm tall and is thought to have adorned the handle of a cooking tool. It was discovered at the National Trust’s Wimpole estate in Cambridgeshire in 2018 and has since been cleaned up and re-analysed.
As pictures clearly show, the figurine’s hairstyle is short on the top and sides, and long at the back – a classic mullet.