Discovered huge Mayan relief in Guatemala   Leave a comment

Exposed eight meters long and two meters high stone carving at 1,500 year old pyramid

Guatemala City – “This is extraordinary, it’s only once in the life of an archaeologist,” says Francisco Estrada-Belli. The historian is excited about a sensational find, he and his team of Boston have made a few weeks ago in northern Guatemala near the border with Belize. The research group has performed in July at the Mayan ruins in the Peten Department Holmul excavations among the 20 meters high towering remains of a recent building. In a passage that have probably left looters, archaeologists stumbled onto a previously unknown pyramid. The building is adorned with a spectacular stone frieze.


The eight-meter-long relief formed the outside of a building, which is still largely hidden under the rubble of a younger structure .

How do Estrada-Belli reported at the presentation of the discovery on Wednesday, the relief is likely to be around 1,500 years old. It was in a good state once, says the researcher. About 95 percent of the portrait had survived. The eight meters long and two meters high stone carving shows remnants of an earlier painting. The scientists found red, blue, green and yellow paint residue. You can see several people and mythological creatures. Including runs a border of 30 characters, indicating the effect that the building was commissioned by the ruler of Naranjo, a more southern kingdom.

In detail, the relief shows three human figures with elaborate feather head-dresses and jade jewelry, sitting cross-legged on the head of a mountain spirit. But each individual has a cartouche on the head to decipher was only the central figure: Och Chan Yopaat what about means as much as “the storm god rises into the sky.” Two feathered snakes come out of the mountain spirits under the main figure in the middle out and form an arch with their bodies. Including the relief depicts two ancient deities who carry a sign with characters. Before the mouths of serpents sit two more figures.


The archaeologists found the remains of an earlier painting on the stone relief ( Click photo to enlarge, source: APA / EPA / Homul Archaelogical Project).

Other inscriptions provide valuable information about the local political situation and suggest that the influence Holmuls was greater at times than was previously thought. The letters tell of numerous alliances that extended as far as Teotihuacan in Mexico today. This Holmul could even bring the mighty Tikal Mayan kingdom in the south in distress. From the depicted events, the researchers were able to conclude that the building was constructed in the 590er years. 


The inscriptions (shown here with red paint residue) reveal details about the political conditions of the Maya site Holmul around the year 600 ( Click photo to enlarge, source: AP / Proyecto Arqueologico Holmul, Francisco Estrada-Belli).

The city Holmul was founded around 800 BC. Only when the Mayan civilization collapsed around the year 900, was also Holmul leave. This makes the city with 1,700 years to one of the oldest populated Mayan sites.The height of their power reached the city between 750 and 900 At this time Holmul likely to have had an enormous impact on the surrounding kingdoms.

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Posted August 8, 2013 by kitokinimi in Uncategorized

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