Archaeologists Find Maya Warrior Queen

Meet the 'Lady Snake Lord'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 4, 2012 6:11 PM CDT | Updated Oct 7, 2012 11:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Archaeologists in Guatemala think they've found the resting place of an ancient Maya warrior queen with the awesome nickname of Lady Snake Lord, reports the National Geographic. Her more formal name was Lady K'abel, and she ruled for 20 years in the late 7th century. A slew of circumstantial but compelling evidence led researchers to identify the skeleton in the ancient city of El Peru-Waka as the queen, including an alabaster jar that has the carved head of an old woman along with hieroglyphics of her nicknames. (She also went by the less fearsome Lady Water Lily Hand.)

"She was not only a queen, but a supreme warlord, and that made her the most powerful person in the kingdom during her lifetime," says Washington University anthropologist David Freidel. More at NBCNews.com.

A ceramic pot found in a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka archaeological site in Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.
A ceramic pot found in a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka archaeological site in Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.   ((AP Photo/El Peru-Waka' Archaeological Project))
An archeologist shows an artifact found in a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka archaeological site in the Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.
An archeologist shows an artifact found in a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka archaeological site in the Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.   ((AP Photo/El Peru-Waka' Archaeological Project))
A burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka' archaeological site in Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.
A burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka' archaeological site in Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.   ((AP Photo/El Peru-Waka' Archaeological Project))
An excavator shows a jade piece found in a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka archaeological site in the Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.
An excavator shows a jade piece found in a burial chamber at the El Peru-Waka archaeological site in the Laguna del Tigre National Park in Peten, north of Guatemala City.   ((AP Photo/El Peru-Waka' Archaeological Project))
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David Freidel discusses the find.   (YouTube)

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