Excavating a Mayan ruin

Excavating a Mayan ruin

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Credit: PASQUALE SORRENTINO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Excavating a Mayan ruin. Archaeologists exploring hidden stairs beneath the floor of the Palace of Taj Chan Ahk in Cancuen. A cache of jade and shells, possibly used as money, was found here. Cancuen was a major trade city that was at its peak during the 7th century AD. The city, located in Pasion, El Peten, Guatemala, specialised in trading jade, pyrite and obsidian. Its strategic position on the Pasion River helped it dominate trade in the region. Taj Chan Ahk, one of the city's most powerful rulers, built his huge palace in 770 AD.

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