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Ancient tombs found under Maya pyramids shed light on mysterious ‘snake kings’


Archaeologists have discovered previously unknown tombs under Maya pyramids. This discovery could change everything that we know about this ancient civilization.

Archaeological excavations of Maya pyramids in several locations across modern-day Guatemala have led to the discovery of two ‘untouched’ toms that somehow were left untouched by looters.

Among the discover artifacts, archaeologists recovered a skeleton, with teeth jade inlays, and an inscribed human tibia bone. Researchers argue that the teeth suggest the tomb belonged to some from within the ruling elite.

Archaeologist Estrada-Belli told the Guardian in an interview that the bone was a “very, very rare find,” could have belonged to a relative of the person buried in the tomb, or an important prisoner of war, but we should know more once the inscription has been decoded.

The second tomb which also contained a skeleton was found in another pyramid and was decorated with an array of vessels and jade ornaments, and a jade necklace that according to Estrada-Belli could be a “war trophy.”

“This is the first major find of this kind. The offerings include some elaborate ceramics and objects of bone and shell,” he said. “The most interesting is one that has an inscription that states that the object is a jade necklace piece and belongs to a king from another place.”

According to Alexandre Tokovinine, this is the first jade artifact ever discovered which makes reference to a ‘snake king.’

“The inscription on the necklace, which holds a carved cormorant’s head that morphs into the image of a sun god, is unusual because it belongs to a king from an entirely different city: ‘Yuknoom Ti’ Chan, Holy King of Kaanul,’” Yuhas reports.

“The King was a member of the Snake dynasty, 100 miles [160 km] from their ancient capital of Dzibanche, which stands in modern Mexico.”

The recently found toms are of GREAT importance

Experts believe the tombs date back to the period before the mystery collapse of the ancient Maya. The contents of the tombs will offer insight into the history of the ‘civil’ war fought between a family of so-called ‘snake kings’ and a rival kingdom.

According to reports, the tombs were found in the remains of the ancient city of Holmul, located about 500 kilometers north of the Guatemalan capital.

The discovery was made possible thanks to a revolutionary new technology that allows experts to search the ground with the use of lasers from a helicopter in order to recreate a detailed imagery of our planet’s surface.

This new technique is expected to reveal many more structures from the ancient Maya civilization in the near future.

“We have the tip of the iceberg,” one of the archaeologists, Francisco Estrada-Belli from Boston University, told Alan Yuhas at The Guardian.

“We’re going to have to rewrite all the books of Maya history and the complexity of Maya civilization, culture. Right now, we have 1 percent, in spite of 100 years’ research.”


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