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Archaeologists discover pre-Columbian tombs in Guatemala

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 01:08

Guatemalan archaeologists said they hope two tombs and a monument uncovered in Peten, will shed light on a clash between two kingdoms located in the Maya Lowlands during the Classic period. Rough Cut - no reporter narration

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NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Guatemalan archaeologists said on Monday (September 26) they hope two tombs and a monument uncovered in Peten, will shed light on a clash between two kingdoms located in the Maya Lowlands during the Classic period (250-900 AD). Both tombs, located in northeastern Peten, some 500 kilometres (310 miles) from this capital city - escaped decades of looting at the site, a group of archaeologists told a news conference. Since the year 2000, archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli, who directs the Holmul Archaeological Project and his team have protected the site - the Classic Maya city of Homul - employing four park rangers to guard the site 24/7 from looters. The rangers also protect the Holmul's structures from erosion through the use of roofs. In 2013, this frieze dating back to the year 590 AD found in a temple in Holmul, changed the perception the Mayas were a peaceful people. The present day findings are important because one of the tombs - dating to between 650 and 700 DC - could be that of a ruler. Kaanul and Tikal, two great kingdoms from this period, competed with each other for control of resources and adjoining cities. This finding hopes to shed light on the political changes that occurred at the time. In another tomb in Holmul, the remains of a middle-aged person was found, accompanied by various vessels and jade ornaments. A jade necklace could be a "war trophy," explained Estrada-Belli at the National Palace of Culture. The Maya built soaring temples and elaborate palaces in Central America and southern Mexico, dominating the region for some 2,000 years, before mysteriously abandoning their cities around 900 AD.

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Archaeologists discover pre-Columbian tombs in Guatemala

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 01:08