There may soon be another chapter on Mayan history in the antique bookcases of Cumbria, following the discovery of a tomb believed to be that of 7th Century Mayan military ruler Lady K’abel.
Cumbria is the ideal place to search for ancient artefacts and antique cabinets are the ideal place to store them. However, the artefacts discovered by a team of archaeologists in Guatemala deserve their own museum, as they denote the last resting place of Lady K’abel. Otherwise known as Lady Snake Lord and Lady Water Lily, she is considered to be the greatest Mayan ruler of the Late Classical period, whose status was higher than that of her husband, the king.
The objects were discovered in a burial chamber at the royal pre-Columbian city of El Peru-Waka by a team of Guatemalan and American anthropologists. An alabaster jar carved with hieroglyphs strongly suggested this was the tomb of Lady Kaan, or K’abel, of the imperial house of the Snake King, who ruled over the Waka kingdom with King K’inich Bahlam. Mayan art usually portrays rulers as men, but K’abel’s title, which translates as Supreme Warrior, shows she was held in higher regard than her husband.
The jar, carved to resemble a conch shell with an elderly woman protruding from the front, was accompanied by jade jewellery, obsidian blades and other precious offerings. While there are of course no Mayan temples in Lancashire, an antique cabinet purchased from a local antique dealer is the ideal place to keep your own heirlooms and valuables.
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