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Mayan jadite ceremonial head found in Guatemala

A miniature ceremonial head made of jadeite has been found at the ancient Mayan city of Tak´alik Ab´aj (say that five times fast), in Guatemala.

On March 23, 2010 the team of archaeologists of Tak´alik Ab´aj, discovered in the ongoing excavations at the center of Structure 6 another extraordinary treasure: an offering of 50 jadeite mosaics which had been deposited into the soil of the mentioned construction fill.

These mosaics compose a miniature ceremonial head with celt like plaques hanging underneath the chin, which were worn as part of the ceremonial waist belt of the rulers, as is vastly represented at the Maya steles from Preclassic to Classic times.

These miniature ceremonial heads are made of jadeite mosaics, masterfully worked in order to fit neatly together like a puzzle.

In previous excavations at Tak’alik Ab’aj archaeologists had experienced the unique opportunity to find a miniature ceremonial head made of blue jadeite mosaics in situ in the royal burial No. 1 which had been introduced in Structure 7, the most sacred building of the Central Group by end of the Late Preclassic (200 B.C. -150 A.D. – Phase Ruth). The precise position of the miniature mosaic head in the waist area of the burial confirmed by then that effectively those miniature heads were part of the ceremonial waist belt, an element which can be considered as important in the royal outfit worn by the rulers as the headdress.

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