The burial chamber was inside a pyramid, which had lay hidden underneath thick jungle, near to the city of El Zotz. It appears to be largely intact, subject only to the ravages of Mother Nature, rather than the plundering of later people. The art and artifacts found inside are going to advance our understanding about the Maya, especially since they include some oddities.
Alongside carvings, ceramics and beads, there was the grisly find of six sacrificed infants. As already discussed in previous blogs, the Maya did not undertake the industrial scale human sacrifice, as shown in films like 'Apocalypto'. But the sacrifice of one or two individuals was not unknown, especially during the ascension of a new monarch. It would appear now that the sacrifices were also linked to the demise of the previous one. However, that is open to interpretation.
A team from Brown University, Rhode Island, USA, led the excavation. Andrew Scherer, one of its anthropologists, said, "Why the children would have been killed is a mystery. But the youth of the victims hints that their value as sacrifices may have lain in their being, to Maya eyes, on the verge of personhood."
Read the full story, by John Roach, at the National Geographic News website: Bowls of Fingers, Baby Victims, More Found in Maya Tomb. Meanwhile, the current home-page has a photographic slide-show of some of the artifacts from the tomb: Click here to see it
There is also a interactive map on the site, showing the cities of the Maya Empire, as well as a quiz about its people and settlements.
Various tours, to suit every wallet or time-frame, to the most famous of all the Maya ruins.
Tulum & Xel-Ha All Inclusive
Combine Maya history with natural beauty! Tour the Tulúm ruins, then swim in the Xel Ha natural aquarium.