MEXICO CITY, 26 JANUARY 2010 A 1000-year-old stele with the
sculpted image of a Mayan ruler was found in the archaeological area of
Lagartero in the southern Mexican state of Chaipas, the National
Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.
In the bas-relief sculpture the Mayan ruler rises above an individual
who lies at his feet, "a scene representing the seizing of power by one
Maya group from another," INAH said, adding that the archaeological area
of Lagartero will be open to the public this year.
INAH experts found the stone monument in late 2009 at the 10th section
of Pyramid 4 in Lagartero, the source said.
Archaeologist Sonia Rivero Torres, who heads the Lagartero
archaeological project, said that the stele or commemorative monument -
the first to be found complete on the site - measures 2 meters (6 1/2
feet) long, 55 centimeters (22 inches) wide and 6 centimeters (2 1/3
The stele was sculpted in metamorphic rock, known locally as "heart of
"In the pre-Colombian monument the profile image of a Mayan ruler is
seen standing over a bench carrying a bag of incense in one hand and
dressed in a loincloth bound with a sash and wearing sandals and a feather
"At his feet, lying on his back on the bench, lies another, smaller
person with his torso opened as a sign of sacrifice or of being
overthrown," the archaeologist said.
The expert added that the stele was discovered while exploring a
rectangular stone casket, which had possibly been plundered in
pre-Columbian times since no bones were found inside.
The archaeologists also found, when they went down to a lower level of
the pyramid, a pair of large earthenware pots, broken but complete, one of
which contained an smaller, unbroken pot.
Together with these ceramics was a polychrome plate and a black vase
with a zoopmorphic lid that contained a rich offering of jade objects,
notable among which were two earflaps, a jointed turtle and a beaded
Another box was found in the fifth section of Pyramid 4, from which 40
vessels of different shapes, zoomorphic vases and a few human bones were
recovered, INAH said.
Lagartero's pre-Columbian ceremonial center extends the length and
breadth of the 8 hectares (2 1/2 acres) that make up the islet of El
Limonar, the biggest of the 11 dotting the lakes of Lagos de Colon, in the
community of Cristobal Colon in the municipality of La Trinitaria,
Lagartero is known to have been occupied from the Classical Period to
the Early Post-Classical Period, which is to say from 300 A.D. to 1200
Given its strategic wetlands location, the habitat of fresh-water
species like the alligator, the Maya settlement controlled the area's
natural resources and could also restrict access by water.
Lagartero was a key point for trading goods and products between the
highlands of Guatemala and Mexico's
Archaeologists working at the site have uncovered an enclosed
ball-playing court together with its five altars, along with a series of
architectural structures, INAH said. EFE
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e
Historia (INAH), Mexico
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