April 1, 2021

Over-the-Top Mayan Tomb Reveals Man Who Lived a Bit Too Large

Archaeologists at the Maya site to El Palmar excavated the tomb of  Apoch’Waal underneath a temple dedicated to his life. But in the tomb were only two decorated pots. The glyphs in the tomb show that he was a mayan standard bearer, an important diplomatic figure. His remains show malnutrition in his bones when he was young. His skull was cranially deformed to show his noble status. Pyrite and jade were drilled into hi teeth to further show his elite status, as he inherited the position of his father as a diplomatic emissary.

In 726 CE, he traveled to Copan for the king of Calakmul, his ruler, to seal an alliance. Returning, he built his temple. A war between Copan and Calakmul 10 years later led to a sudden economic downturn at El Palmar. In his later years, he developed severe arthritis, gum disease, and lost a jewel in his teeth, not replaced due to poverty. He died between 35 and 50, and still had enough prestige to be buried under his temple. He lived his last years in pain.

The glyphs give us insight into shifts of fortune among the Maya elite in their time.

Yahoo News has the report here: