Mexican Archaeologists Discover Head of the Young Maize God

    The work represents "the most important deity of the Mayan panorama of gods"

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    A stuccoed head representing the young maize god, more than 1,300 years old, was discovered in the Mayan ruins of the Palenque archaeological complex, in the state of Chiapas, southeastern Mexico, reported the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

    The work represents “the most important deity of the Mayan panorama of gods,” the INAH highlighted in a statement. This sculpture has a maximum length and width of 45 cm and 16 cm, respectively, and 22 cm in height.

    At the site of its discovery, it kept an east-west orientation, “which would symbolize the birth of the corn plant with the first rays of the sun.” The discovery took place in 2021 during another exploration project in those ruins.

    Finding Details

    “Inside a semi-square receptacle made up of three walls and under a layer of loose earth, the nose and the half-open mouth of the divinity emerged,” detailed the INAH. It is the “axis of a rich offering that was arranged on a pond with a floor and stuccoed walls.”

    This measures almost a meter wide by three meters long, approximately. This to emulate the entry of this god into the underworld in an aquatic environment,” he added. It also shows how the Mayans of that region revived the mythical landscape about the birth, death, and resurrection of the maize god.

    The piece belongs “to the late classic period of the Mayan civilization, between the years 700 and 850 of our era. In other words, “it remained hidden for around 1,300 years,” the INAH concluded.

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