Exclusive Preview: Science Channel’s ‘Lost Tombs of the Maya’ Female Warrior Discovery

Exclusives, Reality TV

A Mayan warrior princess may have met a gruesome death in Lost Tombs of The Maya. TV Shows Ace has an exclusive preview ahead of Sunday’s airing of this two-hour special on the network.

Archaeology fans and lovers of history from South America can tune in on Sunday’s Science Channel special, Lost Tombs of the Maya. A remarkable skeleton lays silently in a tomb at Copán. It’s a woman, but she has a fracture that shows she might have been a warrior.

Entombed with three men, we find out they had their heads severed. The researchers believe this to be a group sacrifice, showing that prisoners of war were executed and ritually buried as offerings to the gods along with jewels, animals, and reptiles.

Lost Tombs of the Maya special

To investigate,  archaeologist David Sedat received special access to Copán’s research center.  The burial’s prime location and a royal carving suggest this could be the body of a king.

But there’s a problem, as Sedat explains: “When measured, the hips of this skeleton indicate that we have a woman. These are not the remains of a king.”

Who could this remarkable woman be? Sedat posits that the remains indicate that the Maya had female warriors, and offerings were part of her gravesite. Moreover, they include the heads of three men.

Sedat says: “This is actually a rather graceful young woman in her mid-20s.” And closer inspection of the bones reveals something astonishing, a fracture of the right forearm, an injury associated with battle warfare.

Explaining how this could be, Sedat says: This woman has injuries that suggest that she may have been a warrior.” And experts now believe that some Maya warriors were women.  And buried with this female skeleton were the skulls of three men, the remains of some turtles, deer, and even a puma. Also buried with this skeleton was a treasure trove of jade jewelry.

The grave goods make clear this is no ordinary burial. Sedat notes: “It’s really interesting, where the human skulls on top still had the neck vertebrae attached to them and obvious signs of cut marks on those neck bones indicating that those heads had been severed, the clear evidence of sacrifice by beheading.”

Sedat suspects this remarkable tomb could be a group sacrifice. He says: “The Maya often sacrificed warriors
captured in battle from enemy kingdoms.”

And an isotope analysis of the skeleton reveals that the woman is not local. She’s from a region far north of Copán
and that there is a strong likelihood that this woman herself was a sacrificial victim.

Science Channel November Archaeological Moments

Science Channel will host special events to air weekly beginning Sunday, November 7, with Lost Tombs of the Maya.
This is a new lineup of compelling weekly specials for the entire family throughout the month of November.

These specials are the ultimate dinner conversation starters, shining a light on some of the world’s most incredible archeological monuments.

Questions like: Are humans responsible for the Maya civilization collapse? Could the Trojan horse story be based on an actual event? And what happened precisely during Julius Caesar’s reign?

Science Channel is tackling the most significant archeological discoveries and using the latest scientific technology and 3D animation to bring these stories to life.

The programming lineup will include:

LOST TOMBS OF THE MAYA

We follow a team using the latest technology to search for clues to what caused the Maya to abandon their cities in the 9th century AD. Was it a climate disaster? And experts examine the Maya’s unique burial practices and uncover what researchers think was a group sacrifice, buried as an offering to the gods.

LOST CITIES OF THE TROJANS

This is next up and will premiere Sunday, November 14 at 8 PM ET/PT.  New evidence reveals more about this notorious story. In Turkey, investigators have excavated ruins of a city that some think could be Troy itself. Next, the special will travel to Amsterdam, where archaeologists reexamine the pioneering work of early explorers. It will also take viewers to Greece, where a team of archaeologists has discovered the remains of a wealthy town that could be linked to the famous story.

CAESAR’S DOOMSDAY WAR

This event will premiere Sunday, November 21 at 8 PM ET/PT on Science Channel.  For centuries, the truth about what exactly happened during Caesar’s reign has been a mystery. Now archaeologists in this new special explore the events of the war and the Gaul people, tracing their origins, following the events that gave them such a fearsome reputation in Rome. Archeologists will take viewers along their hunt to find clues behind the lost cities of the Gauls and investigate where they procured their wealth. Using 3D animation, the special brings to life the technology believed to be used at the time and charts critical moments in Caesar’s conquest.

 

Lost Tombs of the Maya airs Sunday, November 7 at 8 PM ET/PT On Science Channel.

April Neale

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