Archaeologists working on the Mayan train that is set to link up a number of pre-Hispanic sites in the Yucatan Peninsula have unearthed a statue of the god of lightning Kʼawiil.
The statue depicts the pre-Columbian Mayan deity Kʼawiil, which has a large snake-like head and an upturned snout.
Kʼawiil is associated with lightning, serpents, fertility and maize and the statue is said to be an elaborate urn lid.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia; INAH) on Thursday, 27th April, saying that it was “found as part of an urn, whose lid ends with a head of this pre-Hispanic deity, linked to power, abundance and prosperity.”
The INAH said: “A representation of the Mayan god K’awiil, linked to lightning, strength and power, among other attributes, was discovered by researchers from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), a body of the Federal Ministry of Culture, during the work archaeological salvage project carried out in Section 7 of the Mayan Train project, which runs from Bacalar, in Quintana Roo, to Escarcega, in Campeche.”
Announcing the impressive discovery, the director of the INAH, Diego Prieto Hernandez, said: “This finding is very important because there are few bulk representations of the god K’awill; Up to now, we only know of three in Tikal, Guatemala, and this is one of the first to appear in Mexican territory.”
He added that the urn might show the face of a solar deity who has yet to be identified, with the lid representing the head of the god K’awiil.
Prieto Hernandez said that the deity is often depicted in paintings but does not often appear as a three-dimensional figure.
He added that the piece was shown to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during a tour last weekend to see the progress of Section 7 of the Mayan train, which is his pet project.
Archaeologists have been unearthing thousands of artefacts since the beginning of the Mayan train (Tren Maya) project, which has been a source of controversy, with environmentalists objecting to it being constructed through the jungle.
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