Tomb of Mayan queen found in Guatemala

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Guatemala Maya Queen

In this June 17, 2012 photo released by the El Peru-Waka Archaeological Project shows a ceramic pot found in a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka archaeological site in Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City. Archaeologists say a stone jar found at burial chamber in northern Guatemala leads them to believe it is the tomb of a great Mayan queen. The team of U.S. and Guatemalan experts led by anthropologist David Freidel has also found other evidence, such as ceramic vessels and a large stone with carvings referring it as the burial site of Lady K’abel, considered the military governor of an ancient Maya city during the seventh century. (AP Photo/El Peru-Waka’ Archaeological Project)

The Mayan tomb is thought to be that of Lady K’abel, a seventh century Mayan Holy Snake Lord and a renowned military governor.The Classical Mayan tomb of famous Mayan queen Lady K’abel has been discovered in Northern Guatemala, scientists announced this week, in an archeological find that backs up intriguing ancient records.

The dig was led by Washington University in St Louis archeologist David Freidel, according to the university’s website.

Guatemala Maya Queen

In this June 17, 2012 photo released by the El Peru-Waka’ Archaeological Project shows a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka’ archaeological site in Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City. (AP Photo/El Peru-Waka’ Archaeological Project)

Scientists found the tomb while excavating the royal Maya city of El Perú-Waka, in the modern Guatemalan department of Petén.

Tomb of Mayan queen Lady K’abel

Dating from the Classical Mayan period, which ran from 200 to 900 A.D, the tomb is believed to be that of Lady K’abel, a remarkable female leader of the Maya. She is also known as Lady T’abi, according to an Archaeology Magazine website on the El Perú-Waka site.

Why is Mayan history considered “classical,” as opposed to other New World civilizations?

“The Classic Maya civilization is the only ‘classical’ archaeological field in the New World—in the sense that like archaeology in Ancient Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia or China, there is both an archaeological material record and an historical record based on texts and images,” chief archeologist Freidel said in a Washington University statement.

Lady K’abel was the principle wife of King K’inich Bahlam II, and appears to have held much power in El Perú-Waka, which she ruled with her husband from 672 to 692.

 

Guatemala Maya Queen

In this June 17, 2012 photo released by the El Peru-Waka Archaeological Project, an excavator shows a jade piece found in a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka archaeological site in the Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.

The Washington University reporton the find states that Lady K’abel was a military governor of the Snake dynasty and was eventually named Kaloomte or Supreme Warrior, a higher title than the one her husband held.

She is portrayed performing rituals in art from the ancient city, as exemplified by El Peru Stela 34, which currently resides in the Cleveland Art Museum.Lady K’abel is believed to be one of the highest status women who lived in Petén.

 

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