Previously unknown Mayan tombs discovered in Guatemala

Archaeologist discovered two Maya tombs at the ancient ruins of Holmul, 300 miles north of Guatemala City. The tombs, located underneath two Maya pyramids date back to about 650-700AD, the era of Maya dominance before their mysterious collapse a few centuries later.

Content of the Holmul  tomb (by The Guardian)
Content of the Holmul tomb (by The Guardian)

Inside one of the tombs was the skeleton of a middle-aged individual whose teeth had jade inlays, a custom of Maya royalty, and an inscribed human tibia bone. The researchers are waiting for an epigrapher with scanning equipment to read the badly eroded text written on the bone.

Scan of a relief depicting a king wearing an avian sun god headdress emerging from a sacred mountain spirit head amid feathered serpents (by The Guardian)
Scan of a relief depicting a king wearing an avian sun god headdress emerging from a sacred mountain spirit head amid feathered serpents (by The Guardian)

Meanwhile, in Tikal archaeologists discovered a similar carved bone that bore the name and image of a captured warrior. A carved frieze near the tomb depicts five rulers, but the person in the tomb is probably not one of them. The team of archaeologists also found numerous artefacts, including a conch shell that had been made into a scribal ink pot and artefacts made of jade, obsidian, human bone, ceramics and marine shells.

Jade carving of a ruler wearing a crocodile head (by The Guardian)
Jade carving of a ruler wearing a crocodile head (by The Guardian)

The second tomb was found in a separate pyramid, and its two chambers seem to have been palace rooms converted into a tomb. Within it archaeologists found remains of a middle-aged person, a large masonry bench, and offerings of ceramic, bone and jade, including a necklace – the first finding of a jade artefact with the name of a snake king, Yuknoom Ti’ Chan, Holy king of Kaanul. The king was a member of the snake dynasty, 160 kilometres away from their ancient capital of Tz’ibanche (Dzibanche), which stands in modern Mexico.

(after The Guardian)

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