Mirador Basin Project
The Cradle of Maya Civilization
Popol Vuh Relief found in Mirador Basin named one of Top Ten Archaeological Discoveries of 2009
From the Archaeological Institute of America:
While investigating the water collection system at the city of El Mirador in northern Guatemala's PetÚn rain forest, a team of archaeologists led by Richard Hansen of Idaho State University uncovered a sculptural panel with one of the earliest depictions of the Maya creation story, the Popol Vuh. "It was like finding the Mona Lisa in the sewage system," says Hansen. The plaster panel dates to approximately 200 B.C. and depicts the mythical hero twins, Hunaphu and Xbalanque, swimming into the underworld to retrieve the decapitated head of their father. The sculpture dates to the same period as some of the earliest artwork to depict the Popol Vuh, the murals at San Bartolo and a stela at Nakbe, two other nearby cities. Parts of the decorative panel extend beyond Hansen's excavation trench, so uncovering the rest of it will have to wait until next field season. In the meantime, the archaeologists have installed a climate-controlled shelter over the area to ensure the plaster remains intact.
To read more see the article at archaelogy.org