Meet the Largest Maya Figurine Workshop That Has Ever Been Discovered

The city of Coban’s outside was excavated by heavy machinery in May 2018 in the highlands of Guatemala, and it has been sliced into a large earthen mound. In that millions of parts from Classic Maya figurine molds, incense burners, and figurines have been found as well. It received the name of the largest Maya figurine workshop ever encountered in the Maya world.

Kaminaljuyú is located beside an ancient lake that several centuries ago dried up and it once contained the largest Maya population in the southern highlands. Unfortunately, all that is left from that are grassy overgrown pyramids within the Kaminaljuyú Archaeological Park instead of the thriving ancient metropolis. The contractors cut into the mounds, and after that, they stopped their machinery immediately and contacted local authorities who called on Dr. Brent Woodfill of Winthrop University to assess and investigate the site.

Maya Figurine Workshop

The archaeological site is dated between 750 and 900 AD and experts consider it the major center of ceramic figurine production. As it has been discovered in a largely undisturbed state, according to a paper published in the National Science Foundation, scientists that will be working on studying the workshop hope they will be able to relate “figurine production and exchange to other economic activities that occurred here, and the relationships the producers maintained with local and far-flung Mesoamerican groups.”

The sheer quantity of ceramics has been mentioned in a report in Science Magazine, and it also detailed that 7,000 sherds per cubic foot of soil were discovered in one single burial mound. Furthermore, an astounding total of 15 million fragments has been found in the entire mound part of them being 500,000 once-intact ceramic vessels. It is amazing that some of them can be seen in their whole beauty.

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About the Author: Emmy Skylar

Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News.  She covers politics and the economy.

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