Uncovered Mayan sculpture may show female ruler with captive

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A high-relief wall sculpture exhibiting a feminine ruler subduing a captive male warrior was simply uncovered, authorities in Mexico stated Monday.

The statuary discovered on the Mayan break web site of Ek’Balam, on the Yucatan peninsula, exhibits a determine sporting a skirt with crossed bones on it.

The determine is proven holding the hair of a smaller individual, who has his arms tied behind his again.

“You possibly can see a feminine ruler, sporting a skirt with crossed bones on it, greedy the hair of a person,” stated Diego Prieto, the director of Mexico’s Nationwide Institute of Anthropology and Historical past.

Prieto known as it “an essential discovery.”

Solely the decrease half of the dominant determine is preserved, and specialists differed on whether or not it actually depicts a ruler and whether or not she is feminine.

Mexico’s Nationwide Institute of Anthropology and Historical past introduced the discover Monday, however President Andrés Manuel López Obrador posted a photograph of it Sunday alongside a nighttime snapshot of what he stated seemed to be an “Aluxe” — a legendary, Mayan forest spirit just like an elf.

“It’s an attention-grabbing discover. We already know of a number of queens who have been highly effective navy figures, from locations additional south,” stated David Stuart, a professor of Mesoamerican artwork and writing on the College of Texas at Austin.

However Stuart stated that the sculpture “in all probability exhibits a goddess, based mostly on the bony skirt she wears. It could be an underworld determine, associated to themes of rebirth and sacrifice.”

“There have been essential feminine rulers, one thing that’s lengthy recognized,” wrote Susan Gillespie, an anthropology professor on the College of Florida.

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She famous that “it’s onerous to inform that the individual on the left sporting a skirt with crossed-bones motif is a ruler per se, and typically male rulers are depicted sporting feminine garb.”

Positioned between Cancun and Chichen Itza, Ek Balam is a Mayan cultural and spiritual heart that in all probability flourished between 600 and 850 A.D.