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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Rock Stone Pond in Belize Rural North, Belize, Belize
 

The Tomb of the Jade Head at Altun Ha

 
 
The Tomb of the Jade Head at Altun Ha Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, May 13, 2017
1. The Tomb of the Jade Head at Altun Ha Marker
Inscription.
Tomb at Altun Ha
Discovered deep within the huge stair block at the top of the Temple of Masonry Altars (Temple B4) of Altun Ha, was the tomb of an elderly priest along with the largest carved jade artifact ever recovered in the Maya area. The maximum length of the tomb is 427 cm and maximum width is 143 cm at tomb center. The total height is 149 cm at the north end and 159 cm at tomb center and the south end. The skeleton was found fully extended dorsal, with the skull oriented south south west. Forensic evidence indicates that the skeleton was of a middle aged man with a height of 170-171 cm. Virtually the entire crypt appears to have been draped in dyed red cloth. There was a total of 82 artefacts found associated with the tomb including the jade head.

Jade Head
The 'Jade Head' as it is most commonly known is a giant full-rounded elaborately carved head of the deity, the Sun God, Kinich Ahau. The face is marked by large, nearly crossed circular eyes, bordered by raised ridges extending to the headress and down to connect with the ear ornaments. At the base each eye enclosure is a pendant, covering the greater part of the cheeks. The short snout like nose has a pendant like piece that may be an extension of the upper lip with a smaller decoration atop.
The B4 Temple at Altun Ha, site of the discovery of the Jade Head image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, May 13, 2017
2. The B4 Temple at Altun Ha, site of the discovery of the Jade Head
At the mouth corners are large 'fangs' extending down and curving backwards. Immediately beneath the chin are pendants with an area marked by a series of lines curving backward towards the sides of the head.
Material: albite-jadeite Dimensions: 14.9 cm (5.8 ins.); circumference 45.9 cm; weight: 4.42 kg (9 ¾ lbs.)
 
Location. 17° 45.942′ N, 88° 20.803′ W. Marker is near Rock Stone Pond, Belize, in Belize Rural North. Marker can be reached from Old Northern Highway. Touch for map. The marker is inside of a protective kiosk directly after entering the Altun Ha Archaeological Site near Rock Stone Pond Village, near Lucky Strike Village. Marker is in this post office area: Rock Stone Pond, Belize 7M3Z0 KXSTB, Belize.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 24 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Burrell Boom (approx. 22.8 kilometers away).
 
Regarding The Tomb of the Jade Head at Altun Ha. "The jade head was discovered in the Belize District's Mayan site of Altun Ha in 1968 by Dr. David Pendergast of the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada. The head, along with forty other objects, had been placed within a large tomb that was located below the stairblock on the Temple of the Masonry Altars (Structure B4). At the center of the tomb were the remains
Another view of the Temple B4 at Altun Ha image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, May 13, 2017
3. Another view of the Temple B4 at Altun Ha
of an elderly adult male. This elite person was likely an important ruler of the site during his lifetime and may have commissioned an artist to produce the large carved object. We do not know the exact date that the head was carved, but analysis of cultural remains within the tomb suggests that the burial, and accompanying grave goods, were deposited in the structure sometime between 600 and 650 A.D", from Museum of Belize and Houses of Culture.
 
Also see . . .  The Jade Head at Altun Ha. (Submitted on July 3, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.)
 
Categories. AnthropologyCemeteries & Burial SitesMan-Made FeaturesNative Americans
 
An overview of the Altun Ha site, seen towards the south. image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, May 13, 2017
4. An overview of the Altun Ha site, seen towards the south.
This view is from the top of Temple A6, with A1 towards the right. A3 is almost at the center in this view. Towards the left in the distance is B4.
A view towards the south of the Altun Ha site from the marker's kiosk image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, May 13, 2017
5. A view towards the south of the Altun Ha site from the marker's kiosk
The additional marker in the middle of this view indicates that work at the site was done in cooperation with the Government of Belize and USAID.
Temple A3 at Altun Ha image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, May 13, 2017
6. Temple A3 at Altun Ha
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 3, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 3, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 60 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 3, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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