Mayan Tomb Found: Warrior Queen, Lady K’abel Secrets Told

By Mereb Gebremariam, Mstars Reporter | Oct 05, 2012 10:40 AM EDT
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A Mayan warrior queen, Lady K'abel's tomb has been discovered by archaeologist in Guatemala. The discovery of the seventh-century Mayan queen who is also known as, "Kaloomte' K'abel," which means "Holy Snake Lady," was led by assistant professor of anthropology at the college of Wooster, Olivia Navarro-Farr.

After identifying the tomb in June, Navarro -Farr released a statement, "Lady K'abel was considered the greatest ruler of Waka' during the Late Classic period. She ruled with her husband, K'inich Bahlam, for at least 20 years (672-692 AD). She was the military governor of the Wak kingdom for her family, the imperial house of the Snake King, and she carried the title 'Kaloomte,' which translates to 'Supreme Warrior' - higher in stature and authority than even her husband, the king. The significance of this woman's powerful role as a 'Kaloomte,' a title rarely associated with Maya women, provides tremendous insight on the nexus of gender and power in Classic Maya politics."

During examining architectural change, shrines, and dedicatory offerings, Lady K'abel's tomb was located at the bottom of the stairway in the structure.

In a statement, the excavation's co-diector is David Freidel, professor of anthropology at Washington's University in St. Louis said, "We've been at the site for a number of years," she said.  "Our objective was to define architecture, and establish a tighter chronology. We were hoping this season's research would address our question of why this building received so much ritual attention throughout its final occupation. Needless to say, encountering the royal tomb of Kaloomte K'abel herself is not only tremendously exciting and rewarding, but also humbling. It is an honor for all of us to share in and carry forward his work."

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