Quick, call the UN!

Anyway, the Los Angeles Times has an interesting, if shallow, article about the discovery of a mass grave containing 45 members of the Mayan royal family. I love history, so if anyone can find any other articles about this site I'd love to read them.

Archeologists excavating the ruined Guatemalan city of Cancuen have stumbled across the remains of what they believe is one of the pivotal events in the collapse of the Maya civilization — the desperate defense of the once-great trading center and the ritual execution of at least 45 members of its royal court.

An enemy as yet unknown not only wiped out the royal dynasty about AD 800, but systematically eliminated religious and cultural artifacts — in effect, killing the city and leaving it abandoned to the elements, according to new research announced Wednesday.

The archeological team found dozens of remarkably preserved skeletons piled in mass graves, as well as other artifacts, indicating what the lead researcher described as "a war crimes scene."

After the siege of Cancuen, cities in the western Maya lowlands in what is now Guatemala were abandoned, most within 20 to 30 years, the researchers said. The displaced populations moved to the east and north, where they eventually depleted local resources and faded away.

"This was a critical historical moment, like the assassination of [Austrian] Archduke [Franz] Ferdinand [which triggered] World War I," said archeologist Arthur A. Demarest of Vanderbilt University, whose team discovered the charnel house this summer. "It set off the domino of Classic Maya collapse."

Time to go learn more about the Maya civilization!



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