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Maya kings led opulent lives and, in death, lay in spectacular tombs. This book, illustrated with over 350 photographs and graphics in full color, publishes a royal crypt found in 2010 at El Zotz, Guatemala. Covered by a temple with celestial symbols, the tomb proved unusually rich. The main body belonged to the likely founder of a dynasty in the fourth century AD. The treasure with him included effigy ceramics, jade masks, regalia, textiles, objects of decayed wood, straw mats, necklaces, and paint cakes of specular hematite. For companions he had sacrificed infants and children, some decapitated, who were then burned and placed in bowls. Above, his temple displayed stucco effigies highlighting the sun at night, conceived to be jaguar-like and powdered with stars. Built to house a dead king, the temple continued for a century or more as a dynastic memorial, visible for miles. During its heyday, red paint blazed at sunrise and sunset, a sign of daily renewal for the dead king and testimony to a powerful story of dynastic origin and survival. This volume reports in detail on the excavation of the tomb, as clarified by numerous drawings, photographs, and technical studies by renowned experts. Temple of the Night Sun stands as one of the most important and revealing accounts of royal interment in the New World.
Precolumbia Mesoweb Press, 288 p.