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4th-May-2006 09:15 am - Archeologists discover Maya tomb
By Mica Rosenberg

Archeologists outsmarted tomb raiders to unearth a major Maya Indian royal burial site in the Guatemalan jungle, discovering jade jewelry and a jaguar pelt from more than 1,500 years ago.

The tomb, found by archeologist Hector Escobedo last week, contains a king of the El Peru Waka city, now in ruins and covered in thick rainforest teeming with spider monkeys.

He may have been the dynastic founder of the city, on major Mayan trade routes that could have stretched from the city of Tikal in Guatemala up through Mexico.

"If this is indeed the founder, then it is a discovery of a lifetime," said David Freidel of Southern Methodist University in Texas, who co-directs the project with Escobedo.

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By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer

Archaeologist William Saturno said Tuesday he was awe-struck when he uncovered a Maya mural not seen for nearly two millennia. Discovered at the San Bartolo site in Guatemala, the mural covers the west wall of a room attached to a pyramid, Saturno said at a briefing.

In brilliant color, the mural tells the Maya story of creation, he said. It was painted about 100 B.C., but later covered when the room was filled in.

"It could have been painted yesterday," Saturno said in a briefing organized by the National Geographic Society, which supported his work and will detail the finding in the January issue of its magazine.

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17th-Nov-2005 01:59 pm - Maya 'War Crimes Scene' Uncovered
Archeologists say bones and other items indicate a massacre that was key to the civilization's fall.
By Thomas H. Maugh II Times Staff Writer

Archeologists excavating the ruined Guatemalan city of Cancuen have stumbled across the remains of what they believe is one of the pivotal events in the collapse of the Maya civilization — the desperate defense of the once-great trading center and the ritual execution of at least 45 members of its royal court.

An enemy as yet unknown not only wiped out the royal dynasty about AD 800, but systematically eliminated religious and cultural artifacts — in effect, killing the city and leaving it abandoned to the elements, according to new research announced Wednesday.

The archeological team found dozens of remarkably preserved skeletons piled in mass graves, as well as other artifacts, indicating what the lead researcher described as "a war crimes scene."

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