Brown University Expedition Locates Tomb of Mayan Ruler

In the jungles of Guatemala, a Brown University expedition has discovered an extraordinary tomb of a Mayan ruler believed to be 1,600 years old, it was reported on MondayHere’s a link to another good article on the find. 

Led by archaeologist Stephen Houston, the Brown team’s find is being compared to that of King  Tutankhamen, which remains the most complete tomb of an Egyptian ruler yet discovered. 

The site is located in the Mayan city of El Zotz, and from the top of the temple-pyramid where the burial is located the famous site of Tikal can be seen in the distance.  The ruler’s tomb was situated deep within the temple and well-sealed — so much so that when the chamber was opened fragile textiles were still preserved and a faint smell of putrefaction could be detected. 

In addition to the textile fragments and bones of at least seven individuals, investigators found ceramics, jade, and even residues of foodstuffs.  Houston speculates the tomb must have belonged to a very important individual, perhaps the founder of a dynasty. 

If you’re interested in the ancient Mayan civilization of Central America, you may like some of the following items available from Greensboro Public Library:  Secrets of the Maya, from the editors of Archaeology magazine; The Fall of the Ancient Maya:  Solving the Mystery of the Maya Collapse by David Webster; Secrets in Stone:  All About Maya Hieroglyphs by Laurie Coulter (juvenile); The Maya World:  The Rough Guide, written and researched by Peter Eltringham, John Fisher and Iain Stewart with additional research by Alex Robinson, Dominique Young and Nastasha Ward; and Maya:  The Blood of Kings (DVD).


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