At the end of the seventh century, the Mayan queen K'abel was the most powerful ruler in northwestern Petén, Guatemala. Not only did she reign with her husband K'inich Bahlam for nearly twenty years, she also bore the titles Supreme Warrior and, most awesomely, Holy Snake Lord -- which meant her authority vastly exceeded that of the king.
El Perú-Waka' Archaeological Project The tomb of K'abel, Supreme Warrior and Snake Lord. Her skull peeps up just above the plate fragments.
Now a team of archaeologists, led by Washington University professor David Freidel, believe they have found her tomb.
Freidel and his group, which includes co-director Juan Carlos Pérez, a former official in the Guatemalan government, and a former student Olivia Navarro Farr, now a professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio, have been investigating the ancient Maya city of El Perú-Waka' since 2003. El Perú-Waka' is about 45 miles west of Tikal and is about two-thirds of a mile square. The archaeologists have been concentrating on what Freidel calls "ritually charged" areas.