Belize is known for its abundance of Mayan Ruins, some excavated but most still left to be discovered. During an archaeological dig being done at Nim Li Punit Maya ruin in the Toledo district, an ancient tomb was discovered.
The archaeologist working on the site is Dr. Geoffrey Braswell, a professor of Anthropology from the University of California in San Diego. Dr. Braswell is an anthropologist with the Mesoamerican Archaeology Laboratory at the University of California.
During the dig, a pair of burial chambers including twenty-six clay pots dating back to around 800 A.D. Along with these clay pots, a Jade ornament was also unearthed. Jades are often used in jewelry for the Mayan royalty.
In an interview with News 5, Dr Braswell says, “We are currently excavating in the royal palace of the site where the kings and queens of Nim Li Punit lived from about 400 A.D. until after 800 A.D. We’re showing the villagers today two tombs in this palace. The first dates to the beginning in about 400 A.D. and it has beautiful pots including one that probably comes from Central Mexico from Teotihuacan, north of Mexico City. This shows connections between the ancient Maya of Toledo District and people a long way away, more than a thousand miles away. The other discovery that is really exciting is a much later tomb that dates to about 800 A.D. and in it we found twenty-six beautiful pots, the nicest of which is in the visitors’ center in Nim Li Punit, so you can come and see it. We also found an incredible jade pectoral, a piece of jade that would be worn around the neck of Maya kings for their rituals.”
Although Nim Li Punit is a relatively small Mayan site, it now has the longest stellae in Belize and now, perhaps the second largest carved jade in all of Mesoamerica.