GUATEMALA CITY Archaeologists in Guatemala say they have uncovered the tomb of a very early Mayan ruler, complete with rich jade jewelry and decoration.
Experts say the find at the Tak'alik Ab'aj temple site could help shed light on the formative years of the Mayan culture.
Government archaeologist Miguel Orrego says carbon-dating indicates the tomb was built between 700 and 400 B.C., several hundred years before the apogee of the Mayan classic period.
Orrego said Thursday that a necklace depicting a vulture-headed human figure appeared to identify the tomb's occupant as an "ajaw," or ruler.
No bones were found during the excavation of the tomb in September, probably because they had decayed.
Experts say the rich array of jade articles in the tomb could provide clues about production and trade patterns.