Archeology Headlines of June 2011

With the help of a tiny camera, archeologists hope to learn more about an inaccessible ancient Mayan tomb discovered in 1999. In this article, you will find out the details regarding the tomb, a rare shipwreck, and exciting Thracian discoveries.

Ancient Mayan Tomb Details Revealed

The tomb is hidden within a pyramid at Palenque in southern Mexico. According to the features of the funeral site, archeologists believe the bones inside of the tomb could belong to a sacred ruler from Palenque. One theory is that the tomb is the final resting place of one of the founders of a dynasty. The tomb dates back approximately 1,500 years.

A small, remote-controlled camera was lowered into the tomb and has revealed what seems like a completely intact funeral chamber filled with offerings. The walls of the tomb are painted red with murals. The footage also revealed a series of nine figures depicted in black that were placed on a brightly colored blood-red background. Archeologists will be able to study the early years of the city-state by analyzing the images found in the tomb.

Archeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History have been aware of the tomb since 1999, but were unable to enter it because the pyramid is positioned on unstable ground. The entrance of the tomb is breaking into the chamber and researchers do not want to risk any damage to the murals. The floors look like they are covered in debris, but it is not clear if any recognizable remains is visible. Jade and shell fragments seen on the video indicate a possibility of a funerary costume.

The chamber was located in a pyramid complex known as the Southern Acropolis, which shows signs of heavy deterioration. The region is covered in jungle and is situated rather close to the Temple of Inscriptions, where the tomb of a later ruler (Pakal) was uncovered during the 1950s.

5th Century Shipwreck Found

A shipwreck dating back to the 5th century has been found in a Byzantine harbor during what was supposed to be a dig to create a subway in Istanbul. What is so special about this discovery is that it that there is no other example of a shipwreck of this nature where the timber of the ship, as well as its load, is in such good condition. The reason the shipwreck was able to offer such a high level of preservation is because it was not found at sea.

Thracian Tomb Discovered

A Thracian tomb has been discovered in the northeastern part of Bulgaria. Inside, researchers have found six leaves of a gold wreath and bronze figures. As an excavation of the grave park was conducted, the site proved full of funeral artifacts that date back to the 2nd century CE. An archaeologist and historian working for the Popovo History Museum suggested that the man buried at the site was most likely someone of prominence and wealth within the Thracian society. Gold and bronze jewelry, as well as the figurines found at the tomb are only placed in final resting places of the richest inhabitants.