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Archaeologists discover a stucco sculpture depicting the crowning of a Maya ruler
Details of the Holmul frieze, in the Peten jungle, 600 kms north of Guatemala City, near the border with Mexico and Belize. The 1,413 years frieze, considered 'the most spectacular so far seen', was discovered at an archaeological site in northern Guatemala, reported archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli during a press conference on August 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ Holmul Archaeological Project.

PETEN.- A Mayan carving, considered as the most spectacular seen to date, was found in the pre Colombian archaeological center of Homul, located in the department of Peten, in the north of Guatemala, bordering with Mexico and Belice; revealed one of it's finders.

The Guatemalan Francisco Estrada-Belli, director of the site in Homul, explained in a press conference that the carving (8 meters [26.24 feet] long and 2 meters [6.56 feet] wide) was found in a Mayan pyramid that dates back to the year 600 AD, decorated with images of gods, rulers and a long inscription.

Underneath the site's structure however, they found a tomb with the remains of an individual accompanied by 28 ceramic pots and a wooden mask, which is why it's believed that this character could have been a ruler or a member of the elite in Homul, added Estrada-Belli.

The investigation and analysis done to determine the identity of this character and the historical circumstances in which he lived, gave origin to the discovery of the decorative carving found in the building associated with the tomb, said the archaeologist.

Estrada- Belli revealed that the composition includes three main characters dressed in an attire filled with quetzal feathers(the "quetzal" bird is a national symbol) and jade, sitting on the heads of mountain spirits.

The main character is identified as Och Chan Yopaat by the different hieroglyphic signs in his headdress, and the text underneath his image.

The archaeologist emphasized that beside him are the figures of two ancient gods; they grant the central character an object identified by a hieroglyphic sign which they believe means "first tamale" (food offering).

Estrada-Belli, who worked with a team of archaeologists and guatemaltecan diggers, recalled that the first investigation in Homul, which dates back to the Classic and Pre Classic period, was made in 1909, which he retook in 2000 but had to abandon because of a lack of funding.

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August 8, 2013

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