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Jun 4, 2015

…Ancient Pottery and Jade Ornament Discovered

John Morris

Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Dr. John Morris, acknowledges the breakthrough as significant to the Maya civilization, particularly within the context of the story being told.  That account has been decrypted by Dr. Braswell, who commenced work at the site a few weeks ago.  The jade ornament, says Dr. Morris, is arguably the second largest decorated gemstone object in all of Mesoamerica.


On the Phone: Dr. John Morris, Director, Institute of Archaeology

“We started late in May, in the middle of May and we were working on one of the structures there at Nim Li Punit, Structure Seven, which is a range building and in our excavation of the structure, we were actually conserving the structure for better tourism purposes when we came across two tombs.  And in one of the tombs there were several magnificent vessels, the beautiful ceramic vessels but the highlight of it also was a stupendous jade plaque.  It’s an ornament that is usually placed around the neck of a ruler.  It’s not only a beautiful object of antiquity of the ancient Maya but the story it tells us is also extremely fascinating.  The archaeologist working at the site, Dr. Braswell, who has deciphered some of the information on the plaque has recounted that the story goes that a young man who was invested as a ruler at the site of Nim Li Punit.  The more fascinating aspect of it is that his parents are actually from the major site of Caracol which is in western Belize up in the Chiquibul.  And so we can see that even in ancient times the story of the ancient Maya was rich with intrigue, rich with these dynasties, these rulers, their children were sent to different sites and the story that you’d find in Roman literature and in the Middle East amongst the Greeks, you know.  We actually have the makings of these kinds of stories that will enrich our studies of the ancient Maya.  It’s an amazing site because it is a relatively small site but we have found quite a bit of material here at Nim Li Punit, it has the longest stellae in Belize and now we have perhaps the second largest carved jade in the entire Mesoamerica, in the entire Maya area.”


The artifacts were introduced to the public during an official ceremony held at the site on Wednesday.

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