Art News

Millennium-Old Sarcophagus Could Help Clarify Fall of the Maya Civilization

OCOSINGO, MEXICO (EFE).- Mexican archaeologists working at the Mayan acropolis of Tonina in the jungles of the southern state of Chiapas discovered a more-than-1,000-year-old sarcophagus they say could help clear up the mystery of the fall of the Maya civilization. Juan Yadeun, who heads the archaeological dig located in the municipality of Ocosingo, said that the sarcophagus measures 2 meters (yards) long by 70 centimeters (27.5 inches) wide and 60 centimeters (about 2 feet) deep, and it is comparable in its importance to the “Red Queen” in Palenque, Chiapas, discovered in 1994. The archaeologist said that the object dates from the years 840-900, the epoch when the last known Maya inscription was made. “In A.D. 840 there was a very important transformation in the Maya cities. They stopped producing sculptural representations and inscriptions, which has been interpreted as a massive abandonment of the settlements,” Yadeun said.