GUATEMALA CITY, (Reuters Life!) – Archeologists in Guatemala have discovered a Mayan king’s tomb packed with a well-preserved hoard of carvings, ceramics and children’s bones that cast fresh light on the vanished civilization.
Researchers uncovered the burial chamber dating from 300 – 600 AD beneath the El Diablo pyramid in the city of El Zotz in the jungle-covered Peten region in May, but the discovery was only made public yesterday.
The well-sealed tomb — measuring 10 feet (3 meters)l, by nearly 4 feet wide (1.2 meters) wide and 5 feet deep (1.52 meters) — helped preserve textiles, wood carvings and red and yellow ceramics decorated with fish and wild boar motifs, researchers said.
“It’s like their Fort Knox, their depositary of wealth with textiles and … trade items and that’s what’s overwhelming about it,” said Stephen Houston, the dig’s director at El Zotz, who is based at Brown University in the United States.
The Central American nation is dotted with pyramids and ruins from the ancient Mayan civilization, which reached a high point between 250 and 900 AD and covered territory from modern day Honduras to central Mexico.