Posted by: Johan Normark | October 6, 2012

Brief comment on the Maya warrior queen(s)

The main Maya archaeological news the recent days has been the discovery of the tomb of a so-called ”warrior queen” at the site of El Perú/Waka’ in Guatemala. Lady K’abel has been known from a stela before but the researchers are fairly sure the discovered tomb is of the same woman (due to the presence of carved alabaster vessel bearing her name). Her lavish tomb can be explained by the fact that she came from the Kan kingdom and was married to a king of a smaller polity. As Rosemary Joyce comments, one should therefore not be surprised that royal women’s tombs were extraordinarily wealthy.

Lady K’abel was one of five known warrior queens. These have been thoroughly described in an article by Reese-Taylor and others (2009). A sixth possible warrior queen, not mentioned in the article, is the woman mentioned on Stone C at Yo’okop, Ix Ch’ak Kab. These “warrior queens” have in common that they are affiliated with the Kan kingdom and perhaps is the result of an alliance between a Northern Yucatecan alliance and the Kan kingdom since the earliest mention of a “warrior queen” is found in Coba, not too far from Yo’okop.

Before the end of the year my own article on gender identity among Maya royalty should be out. The “warrior queens” are of special interest in the article.

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