Archaeologists have discovered a remarkable jade pendant fit for a king. Covered on one side with hieroglyphs, the buried jewelry belonged to a Mayan king who would have sported it on his chest ceremonially, the University of California, San Diego announced.
Not only is the hieroglyph-filled item itself fascinating to experts, but so is the fact that it was found in a rainy, parrot-filled corner of Belize, at the periphery— and not the hub— of the ancient Mayan world. There, archaeologists have excavated a Mayan palace and tomb.
“We would expect something like it in one of the big cities of the Maya world,” Geoffrey Braswell, a professor of anthropology at UC San Diego, said in a statement about the discovery. “Instead, here it was, far from the center.”
Braswell is the coauthor of a recent study on the find (described in the paper as a “wind jewel”) in the journal Ancient Mesoamerica as well as the author of another forthcoming study on the archeological site where it was found.