(Various, Guatemala) -- Archaeologists from Guatemala and the United States have discovered a rare tomb with the remains of an ancient Maya queen warlord, experts announced in Guatemala City on Wednesday (October 03).
Packed with glistening jade jewels and ceramic vases crafted in the late seventh century, archaeologists said that the tomb uncovered in the Peru-Waka dig site in Guatemala's northern Peten region contains the remnants of renowned Queen Kalomt'e K'abel.
Inside the tomb, researchers found a small alabaster vase decorated with an elderly woman's face and inscribed with the queen's name.
Lead archaeologist David Freidel briefed media on the amazing discovery.
"The tomb that we discovered was cut down through an earlier temple and then buried. The tomb consists of a stone chamber just large enough to hold the body of the queen. We know it is a queen because she is buried with special carved stone object, it's very small but it has a portrait of her in white alabaster. And on the other side of the same small stone jar is her name and it says that she is a queen and that she is a woman of the royal house of the snake dynasty. And in this period of time in Peten the snake dynasty ruled the Maya world," he said.
Uncovering the identity of buried Mayan leaders is difficult because tombs are often covered with ancient hieroglyphics and pictures that make it hard to decipher precise names, archaeologist Griselda Perez told Reuters.
"It's very important for us to know the name of the person that is in this tomb because in the Maya area it is very difficult. At the same site of Peru (Waka) there have been discoveries of other tombs with many hieroglyphic inscriptions or with none but if there are many inscriptions we don't know if they're referring to the person (in the tomb). In this case to be particularly specific and mainly this alabaster jar carved in the shape of a shell does have the name of the person including their origin that says Queen Lady of Kalackmul K'abel," she said.
Queen K'abel's portrait has appeared on Mayan plaques that associate her with the year 692 A.D. during the Mayan classic period when she lived with her husband, King Wak K'inich Bahlam II.
Historians believe that K'abel reigned over Calakmul, a Mayan community that often battled the powerful King El Zotz and his kingdom Tikal, just south of the Mexican border and a popular destination for U.S. tourists.