Mayan tomb sheds new light on status of women

// 12 June 2005

A new archelogical find has prompted speculation that Mayan women may have had a much more powerful role in their society than previously thought, reports.

A recently opened crypt in Guatemala, the site of the ancient Mayan city of Waka, contained the remains of two murdered women, arranged in a ritual tableau. One was pregnant, and laid face down, with the second woman laid on top.

David Freidel, an archaeologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, who co-directs the excavations at Wak\xE1 said that stingray spines placed near their groins may indicate that they were on the same level as warriors.

Dorie Reents-Budet, a Maya specialist who works for the Smithsonian Institution from North Carolina, said: “This tomb tells us that women were extremely powerful. When there were political disagreements, women were killed.”

Have Your say

Comments are closed on this post

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds