Ancient tombs found under Maya pyramids shed light on mysterious ‘snake kings’

Alexandre Tokovinine/University of Alabama
Alexandre Tokovinine/University of Alabama

According to researchers, this discovery will result in the rewriting of all books about ancient Maya history.

Archaeological excavations of Maya pyramids in several locations across modern-day Guatemala have led to the discovery of two ‘untouched’ toms that somehow were left untouched by looters.

Among the discover artifacts, archaeologists recovered a skeleton, with teeth jade inlays, and an inscribed human tibia bone. Researchers argue that the teeth suggest the tomb belonged to some from within the ruling elite.

Archaeologist Estrada-Belli told the Guardian in an interview that the bone was a “very, very rare find,” could have belonged to a relative of the person buried in the tomb, or an important prisoner of war, but we should know more once the inscription has been decoded.

The second tomb which also contained a skeleton was found in another pyramid and was decorated with an array of vessels and jade ornaments, and a jade necklace that according to Estrada-Belli could be a “war trophy.”

“This is the first major find of this kind. The offerings include some elaborate ceramics and objects of bone and shell,” he said. “The most interesting is one that has an inscription that states that the object is a jade necklace piece and belongs to a king from another place.”

According to Alexandre Tokovinine, this is the first jade artifact ever discovered which makes reference to a ‘snake king.’

“The inscription on the necklace, which holds a carved cormorant’s head that morphs into the image of a sun god, is unusual because it belongs to a king from an entirely different city: ‘Yuknoom Ti’ Chan, Holy King of Kaanul,'” Yuhas reports.

“The King was a member of the Snake dynasty, 100 miles [160 km] from their ancient capital of Dzibanche, which stands in modern Mexico.”

The recently found toms are of GREAT importance

Experts believe the tombs date back to the period before the mystery collapse of the ancient Maya. The contents of the tombs will offer insight into the history of the ‘civil’ war fought between a family of so-called ‘snake kings’ and a rival kingdom.

According to reports, the tombs were found in the remains of the ancient city of Holmul, located about 500 kilometers north of the Guatemalan capital.

The discovery was made possible thanks to a revolutionary new technology that allows experts to search the ground with the use of lasers from a helicopter in order to recreate a detailed imagery of our planet’s surface.

This new technique is expected to reveal many more structures from the ancient Maya civilization in the near future.

“We have the tip of the iceberg,” one of the archaeologists, Francisco Estrada-Belli from Boston University, told Alan Yuhas at The Guardian

“We’re going to have to rewrite all the books of Maya history and the complexity of Maya civilization, culture. Right now, we have 1 percent, in spite of 100 years’ research.”

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  1. “…a revolutionary new technology…to search the ground with the use of lasers from a helicopter.”

    It’s called LIDAR and was developed shortly after laser technology in the late ’60’s…neither new nor revolutionary nearly 60 years later.
    “…archaeologists recovered a skeleton…with teeth jade inlays…suggest the tomb belonged to some from within the ruling elite.”
    Why does it have to be elite? Why couldn’t it be the thing to do in the day…a fad…passing (permanent) fancy? Perhaps this tribe had their own famous person and his name could’ve been Mih-ke’e Kulkulpow’an Rourke.

    1. Because, bright green jade was saved for only the elite and royalty in Mesoamerica. See, you would know that if you did the research instead of picking the article apart.

      1. Is it your job in life to be an idiot? Just because you read somewhere that jade was saved for the royalty doesn’t mean it was. Smugglers, thieves, miners….hell, lot of people that jade has to go through to get to the royals and elites. Stop being dumb.

        1. Awww what’s wrong? Is your boyfriend not making with the cock? Why so tense? We have ourselves an honest to goodness internet warrior here, folks. You know, willing to be an asshole behind a computer but wouldn’t dare say that shit to my face.

    2. Yes, because LIDAR is SO prevalent in modern commercial applications, right? No. It isn’t. So, to people who aren’t familiar, it may seem new and it is most certainly revolutionary, regardless of how long it has been.

      1. More prevalent than you think…part of the tool bag, in fact.

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