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Guatemala tomb may hold founder of a Maya dynasty

Guatemala tomb may hold founder of a Maya dynasty

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Exciting news from the world archaeology.

U.S. and Guatemalan archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved burial chamber of the founder of a Maya dynasty.

U.S. and Guatemalan archaeologists have found an unusually well-preserved burial chamber that they believe is the tomb of the founder of a Maya dynasty, a find that promises new information about the empire’s formative period.

Archaeologist Stephen Houston of Brown University said the tomb was so tightly sealed that the team found remains of textiles, wood carvings and other organic objects that normally don’t last in the humid tropics. Even after 1,600 years, the smell of decay was still present when the team broke through the walls of the tomb, Houston said.

Enclosed with the remains of what the team believes to be an early king were the bodies of six infants, who may have been sacrificed to be sent to the afterlife with the king. Blood-red bowls surrounding the tomb contained human fingers and teeth wrapped in decaying organic matter, perhaps leaves, that may have been symbolic meal offerings, Houston said. Sacramental breads are still wrapped in that manner today in the region, he said.

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