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Tomb of Mayan queen discovered

Oct. 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM   |   Comments

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ST. LOUIS, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Archaeologists in Guatemala say they uncovered the seventh-century tomb of one of the great queens of Classic Maya civilization.

The tomb of Lady K'abel was discovered during excavations of the royal Maya city of El Peru-Waka in northwestern Peten, Guatemala, Washington University in St. Louis reported Wednesday.

Washington University anthropology Professor David Freidel, co-director of the expedition, said a small, carved alabaster jar found in the burial chamber was evidence the tomb was that of Lady K'abel.

The white jar depicts a woman, mature with a lined face and a strand of hair in front of her ear, while four glyphs carved into the surface point to the jar as belonging to K'abel.

The newly uncovered tomb is a rare situation in which Maya archaeological and historical records meet, Freidel said.

"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," Freidel said.

K'abel ruled with her husband, K'inich Bahlam, from A.D. 672-692, Freidel said.

She was military governor of the Wak kingdom for her family, the imperial house of the Snake King, and carried the title "Kaloomte'," or "Supreme Warrior," higher in authority than her husband the king, he said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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