Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Discovery made at previously looted temple went unnoticed by thieves

Archaeologists stumbled across an enormous frieze while excavating a tunnel in the city of Hummel in the Peten region of Guatemala last month. The discovery, made late last month was ironic as the tunnel had been previously ransacked. "The looters had come close to it, but they hadn't seen it," Maya archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Bell says.

The enormous frieze, which measures 26 feet by nearly 7 feet depicts human figures in a mythological setting,

The enormous frieze, which measures 26 feet by nearly 7 feet depicts human figures in a mythological setting,

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Guatemala, Maya, frieze, discovery, looting, Tikal and Kaanul


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The elaborate carving depicts the carved legs of a ruler sitting atop the head of a Maya mountain spirit. Measuring 26 feet by nearly seven feet, the carving displays human figures in a mythological setting. This suggests that these figures may be deified rulers. The carving was found in the buried foundations of a rectangular pyramid in Holmul.

The frieze is one of the best preserved examples of its kind, according to Estrada-Bell. "It's 95 percent preserved. There's only one corner that's not well preserved because it's too close to the surface, but the rest of it isn't missing any parts."

Affiliated with Tulane University, Boston University and the American Museum of Natural History, Estrada-Bell is also a National Geographic Explorer. His excavations at Holmul were supported by the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program.

"We often dream of finding things this well preserved, and Francisco did it," Maya archaeologist Marcello Canuto says, calling the frieze "amazingly and beautifully preserved." Canuto is also the director of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University in New Orleans; he was not involved in the project.

Traces of red, blue, green, and yellow paint are still visible on the frieze in spite of its age.
"It gives you an idea of how intricate and ornate these sites that we are excavating must have been during their apogee," Canuto said. "These sites must have been a feast for the eyes when they were inhabited."

A Maya hieroglyph expert at the University of Texas at Austin, David Stuart pointed out that archaeologists think most large Maya temples were probably decorated with similar sorts of designs.

"But not all temples were so carefully buried and preserved like this," Stuart says, who did not participate in the project. "Also, each temple facade was slightly different and therefore unique in terms of its detail and message."

The section of the temple at Holmul where the frieze was found dates back to about A.D. 590. This period is aligned with the Maya classical era, a period defined by the power struggles between two major Maya dynasties: Tikal and Kaanul.

The Tikal and the Kaanul competed with one another for resources and for control of other, smaller Maya city-states. It ha been previously unclear which dynasty Holmul owed its allegiance. An inscription on the newly discovered frieze reveals that the temple was commissioned by Ajwosaj, ruler of a neighboring city-state called Naranjo, which archaeologists know from other discoveries was a vassal city of the Kaanul kingdom.

"We now know that Holmul was under the influence of the Kaanul dynasty," Canuto said.
Recent discoveries at sites like La Corona and Holmul are helping reveal how these sites, despite being relatively small compared with some of their neighbors, were important players on the region's larger geopolitical stage.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Americas

First U.S. Hispanic Saint: Pope Francis to canonize Junipero Serra during U.S. visit Watch

Image of Father Junipero Serra's canonization will

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis and the Vatican have announced plans to canonize the Blessed Junipero Serra during the Pope's visit to the United States on September 23. Serra will become the United States' first Hispanic saint. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Often times, the ... continue reading


Canadian couple takes to amazing floating fortress to get away from it all Watch

Image of Located off the coast of Tofino, British Columbia, Freedom Cove was built in 1992. The couple, who have two children, live in the home year round.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Wayne Adams and Catherine King  are an unconventional Canadian couple who have forsaken the bustle of city life with their floating fortress that they've named "Freedom Cove." Off the grid and self-sustaining, the pink and green floating home is a welcome respite ... continue reading


New species of prehistoric 'terror bird' found in Argentina Watch

Image of Researchers say that the Llallawavis likely lived around 3.5 million years ago, near the end of terror birds' reign. It stood about four feet tall and weighed about 40 pounds.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Birds, it is commonly believed, evolved from dinosaurs. However, between now and then, some horrific, carnivorous birds ruled the prehistoric world with an iron claw. A new species of "terror bird" has been uncovered in Argentina; paleontologists are gaining ... continue reading


Dozens of mummies uncovered in Peru's Cotahuasi Valley Watch

Image of Finding the reasons behind the selective destruction of the mummies and artifacts is a challenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tombs, containing at least 40 mummies each have been discovered in Peru's Cotahuasi Valley. Archaeologists say that at least 171 mummies have been unearthed at the 1,200-year-old ceremonial site. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Located on small hills ... continue reading


Underground tunnel between U.S. and Mexico found hidden in wardrobe Watch

Image of When soldiers raided the property, they also reportedly seized 44 pounds of marijuana and a truck being used by the racket to move the excavated earth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An average wooden wardrobe near San Diego served a far more sinister purpose. Concealed within its doors was a small trapdoor that led to a secret underground passageway stretching some 500 feet towards the U.S. border. The Mexican military uncovered the ... continue reading


Rare video shows 'successful' exorcism on woman 'possessed by devil' Watch

Image of Laura was described by locals as

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 22-year-old woman, only identified as Laura, was reportedly a good girl before the devil turned her bad, according to Argentina locals. In this disturbing footage, Laura is seen writhing in pain, screaming as Bishop Manuel Acuna performs an exorcism on her. LOS ... continue reading


Magical Chilean hotel straight from 'The Hobbit:' features living wall, waterfall Watch

Image of The hotel, completely made out of wood and stone, is located under the majestic Andes Mountain range, the unique hotel is right in the middle of one of the most valued, as well as endangered regions in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Montana Magica Lodge, located in the middle of the southern Andes is something straight from "The Hobbit." It is a literal "Magic Mountain." There is a manmade volcano with a stunning waterfall cascading down its side. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Falling to progress, the beautiful Lake Nicaragua will be compromised by artificial canal Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive, fabricated canal, headed by the Hong Kong-based consortium HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company, or HKND is set to undergo construction. The $50 billion project, called the Nicaragua Canal, or the Nicaragua Grand Canal and Inter-oceanic ... continue reading


Mummified bodies of two climbers missing for 55 years believed found Watch

Image of Local officials are confident that the cadavers correspond to two of three Mexicans who went missing after an avalanche 55 years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At 18,000 feet, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico is the country's highest elevated level. Several climbers have lost their lives trying to scale the mountain. The skeletal remains of two climbers, recently discovered there, are believed to be two of three members of ... continue reading


Villarrica's spectacular eruption: Nature's version of 'fireworks' Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chile's most active volcano finally erupted, after starting to show signs of seismic disturbance a few days ago. The volcanic activity raised alarm to over 3,300 residents who were evacuated from the small towns of Villarrica, Pucon and Conaripe before the eruption ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 4:8-12
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 21, 29
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:11-18
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 3:1-2
1 You must see what great love the Father has ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 26th, 2015 Image

St. Cletus
April 26: St. Cletus was the third bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter