Mysterious T-Shaped Jade Maya Pendant Unearthed In Southern Belize
Archaeologist Geoffrey Braswell from the University of California, San Diego unearthed a massive but precious T-shaped jade pendant, which once belonged to an ancient Maya king.
The jade pendant found in 2015 was supposedly worn by kings on their chest during religious ceremonies during that time.
The pendant currently resides at the Central Bank of Belize along with several other national treasures.
The Jade Pendant
Considered as the second largest jade pendant to be discovered in Belize, its width is 7.4 inches while its thickness is 0.3 inches and it has a height of 4.1 inches. This in itself is a marvel to behold as the Mayans had to carve using string, fat and jade dust.
More importantly, the pendant discovered by Braswell has carved inscriptions on its back, which coincide with 30 hieroglyphs that give a detailed account of its first owner..
Where Was The Pendant Was Found?
The jewelry was discovered at the Nim Li Punit in the Toledo District of Belize. According to Braswell and his team, the place is estimated to have been inhabited by Mayans between 150 A.D. and 850 A.D.
The team also discovered a damaged tomb which is believed to be around 400 years old. Within the tomb the team found 25 pottery vessels along with a large piece of stone, shaped in the form of a deity and several priceless jade pectorals.
Archeologists were surprised to find it in Nim Li Punit and not in one of the areas, which represented the bigger cities belonging to the Mayans.
What Can Be Learned From The Pendant
The front portion of the T-shaped Jade pendant was also carved with "T", which according to the experts describes the Mayan glyph, "ik" meaning "wind and breath."
Braswell also said that based on the inscriptions at the back of the pendant, it can be construed that it was first used in 672 A.D., during a ritual performed by the Maya kings to bring the wind and the rains.
"A recent theory is that climate change caused droughts that led to the widespread failure of agriculture and the collapse of Maya civilization," says Braswell which may indicate why the kings were praying for rain.
The T-shaped pendant found also revealed information about a king named Janaab' Ohl K' inich. It also reveals that his mother was from Cahal Pech, which is 60 miles from the Nim Li Punit. It states that the king's father died at the age of 20 and hailed from somewhere in Guatemala.The pendant also reveals information about the crowning ceremony of the king in 647 A.D.
Details about the significance of the T- shaped pendant have been published by Braswell in the Cambridge University's journal Ancient Mesoamerica.
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