A Mayan temple devoted to a long dead snake god sounds like it belongs in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, but, recently, archaeologists have found evidence that it is all too real. According to the Guardian, a recently unearthed tomb in the ancient city of Xunantunich has shed more light on the snake-headed dynasty.
The structures at Xunantunich in Belize were still being explored when researchers discovered the new tomb. Researchers were investigating a large pyramid temple when they discovered a staircase buried by the ages. At the bottom of the staircase was one of the largest tombs yet discovered in Xunantunich. Inside the tomb, archaeologists found the remains of a muscular male, who was likely the tomb’s honoree, as well as jaguar and deer bones, ceremonial stone blades, and a host of other artifacts.
However, the most amazing find in the tomb was the set of hieroglyphics that shed a little more light on the so-called “snake dynasty,” which is thought to have been a power around the 7th century, so-called because the symbol of their house and power was a snake.
The new hieroglyphics are thought to have been taken from another site, and placed in the tomb as a way of obscuring the victories and history of the powerful house. That might have been an effective move in its day, though, as it turns out, they’ve just been better preserved for our own understanding.