January 26, 2010
New Mayan Sculpture Uncovered At Dig Site
In Guatemala, archeologists have discovered a Mayan sculpture head that could prove that the little-known site in the Peten region may have once been a city, according to a recent Reuters report.
The stucco sculpture, which stands 11.5 feet tall and is 10 feet wide, was buried close to the border with Belize for centuries at the Chilonche ruins.
This discovery could mean that the site is much older than previously thought because Mayans constructed new buildings by using older ones as foundations. The statue dates back to between 300 and 600 A.D.
"It could be an imaginary being, something from the underworld, perhaps linked to a Mayan deity," Polytechnic University of Valencia professor Gaspar Munoz, part of the team of archeologists that found the head, told Reuters.
The infamous Mayan cities of Tikal and El Mirador in Guatemala have seen much more excavation than that of Chilonche.
The sculpture is similar to others decorating a solar observatory at another site, Uaxactun.
Looters dug a small tunnel passing the buried sculpture digging for artifacts to sell on the black market.
Guatemala's Peten region is home to many Mayan ruins, but the region is plagued with looters, poachers and smugglers taking cocaine to Mexico.
Image Caption: North Face of the Temple of Masks, E Group Uaxactun. Courtesy David Germain - Wikipedia
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