While digging through a looter's tunnel in the ancient Maya city of Holmul, archaeologists exposed an amazingly well-preserved façade on the outside of a 1,400-year-old building. They are studying the artwork and inscriptions on the frieze to learn more about ancient Maya politics and religion. This part of the monumental carving shows an ancestral deity holding "first tamal" sign with feathered serpent.
The frieze decorates the outside of a building that is mostly buried under rubble; archaeologists have only been able to explore part of the structure. This is a virtual reconstruction of building with the frieze.
Archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli with newly found Holmul frieze (AD 600).
Last year, the archaeologists found a tomb near the site where they found the frieze.
Archaeologist Anya Shetler cleans an inscription below a glyph on the huge Maya frieze found in Holmul.
The name of Ajwosaj, one of the greatest Naranjo rulers, was expressed in this glyph inscribed into the frieze.
This image of the 26-foot-long (8 meters) and 6.5-foot-high (2 m) Holmul frieze is a mosaic of photos.