Ex­perts dis­cover tomb of Mayan ‘God-King’

Weekend Mirror - - CHILDREN’S CORNER -

ARCHAEOLOGISTS

IN NORTH­WEST­ERN GUATEMALA HAVE UN­COV­ERED THE TOMB OF A MAYAN KING THAT AP­PEARS TO DATE BACK TO 300-350 A.D.

The royal tomb, the old­est of seven dis­cov­ered in the an­cient city of El Perú-Waka’, is thought to con­tain the re­mains of King Te’ Chan Ahk, the Wak Dy­nasty monarch who ruled in the early 4th cen­tury. His­to­ri­ans believe the dy­nasty was es­tab­lished in the 2nd cen­tury.

Though no in­scribed ar­ti­facts were found that would pos­i­tively iden­tify the king, archaeologists said the pres- ence of a jade por­trait mask with a fore­head hair tab of the Maize God in­di­cates that the man in the tomb was a king. Mayan kings were reg­u­larly por­trayed as Maize God im­per­son­ators, ac­cord­ing to the Source, the in­for­ma­tion web­site of Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity in St. Louis.

“The Clas­sic Maya revered their di­vine rulers and treated them as liv­ing souls af­ter death,” said David Frei­del, an an­thro­pol­ogy pro­fes­sor at the univer­sity and re­search co-di­rec­tor of the U.S.-Gu­atemalan El Perú-Waka’ Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Project, which un­cov­ered the tomb.

“This king’s tomb helped to make the royal palace acrop­o­lis holy ground, a place of majesty, early in the history of the Wak — cen­tipede — dy­nasty,” he told the Source.

“It’s like the an­cient Saxon kings Eng­land buried in Old Min­ster, the orig­i­nal church un­der­neath Winch­ester Cathedral.”

El Perú-Waka’, lo­cated 40 miles west of the Mayan site of Tikal near the San Pe­dro Mar­tir River, once com­manded ma­jor trade routes run­ning north to south and east to west.

Among the ar­ti­facts found in the tomb were 22 ce­ramic ves­sels, Spondy­lus shells, jade or­na­ments and a shell pen­dant carved as a crocodile.

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