Eerily Preserved Tomb Yields Maya King
Royal ringed by dead babies, evidence of human sacrifice
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2010 5:36 AM CDT
Items line the floor of a tomb of what archaeologists believe to be a Mayan king in Guatemala.    (AP Photo/Brown University, Arturo Godoy, File)
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(Newser) – Archeologists believe they have unearthed one of the only tombs ever discovered of a founder of a Mayan dynasty. Whoever the man in the extraordinarily well-preserved 1,600-year-old Guatemalan tomb is, he tried to take a lot with him to the afterlife, the Los Angeles Times reports. The tomb under a pyramid at the El Zotz site near Tikal contains an array of treasures—as well as bowls filled with human fingers and teeth and six babies.

Archeologist aren't sure whether the infants were sacrificed to join the king, although the lead researcher says the presence of "a gruesome-looking obsidian blade gunked up with some red substance" nearby suggests that is indeed the case. The ancient royal was dressed for ritual dancing, complete with bell-like ornaments and clappers made from canine teeth.