Guatemala City: The tomb of a powerful seventh-century Maya queen was discovered at the El Peru-Waka site in the northwestern Guatemalan province of Peten, archaeologists said Wednesday.
The co-director of the expedition, US archaeologist David Freidel, called the tomb "the most important find" of his 43-years working in Guatemala.
K`abel was the wife of King K`inich Bahlam II, but her title, Kalomt`e, or Supreme Warrior, indicates she had greater authority than her spouse, Freidel said.
The couple ruled the Wak kingdom for at least 20 years in the late seventh century.
K`abel is depicted on a piece from El Peru-Waka, Stela 34, now on exhibit in the US at Cleveland Art Museum.
The excavations that uncovered K`abel`s tomb were directed by Mexican-born US scholar Olivia Navarro-Farr and Griselda Perez Robles, former director of prehistoric monuments with Guatemala`s National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The tomb was detected June 9 inside the structure known as M13-1, Navarro-Farr told EFE.
Work at the El Peru-Waka site, located inside the Maya Biosphere Reserve, began in 2003 and the current effort is sponsored by the Foundation for the Cultural and Natural Patrimony of Guatemala.