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Maya ruler burned bodies of old dynasty during regime change, charred human remains reveal

Still Waters

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A large, charred deposit containing royal human remains and ornaments found inside a Maya temple-pyramid was likely part of a "dramatic and public ritual" during a regime change.

Archaeologists discovered the aftermath of the destructive event in K'anwitznal (also called Ucanal), an archaeological site in northern Guatemala, according to a study published Thursday (April 18)  in the journal Antiquity.

After hauling away soil in bags and carefully sifting through their contents, researchers uncovered bits of scorched human bones, as well as hundreds of pieces of personal adornments made from valuable materials, according to a statement.


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