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"Dramatic" temple, allegedly dedicated to "night sun," could prove an archaeological gold mine
A "dramatic" Mayan temple has been rediscovered in Guatemala, Discovery News reported today, in a find that could prove to be an archeological gold mine for students of the vanished Central American culture.
AFP reports the temple is decked out in huge stucco masks, and also contains a "remarkable" stucco frieze. Much of the temple still remains to be excavated by scientists.
The temple was reportedly dedicated to the "night sun," reports AFP, and archeologists speculate that the ornate building was constructed to honor deceased leader Pa'Chan, whose name translates to "fortified sky."
Read more from GlobalPost: New discovery casts doubt on Mayan calendar doomsday
Scientists reported to AFP that the rediscovered temple dates from the earlier years of the Mayan empire - somewhere between 350 and 400 AD.
The ancient American culture of the Mayans made the news earlier this year when an ornate calendar of remarkable antiquity was discovered and announced to the public - a calendar that appears to disprove the (somewhat) popular belief that the Mayans predicted the end of the world in December 2012.
The Mayans reached their cultural peak around the 6th century AD, building monolithic cities and making remarkable advances in astronomy, mathematics, and other disciplines in their Mesoamerican home, according to History.com.
Mayan culture all but collapsed around 900 AD, and it's still debatable in archeology circles as to why.
Some aspects of Mayan culture and beliefs have persisted into modern times, according to modern Maya awareness groups, although they have faced threats to their way of life from persistent Central American conflict.
Video describing the remarkable find may be viewed below.