Archaeologists have uncovered a Maya council house at the site of Nixtun-Ch’ich’ in Guatemala dated to 1300 CE. The council house has altars, incense burners and animal figurines. The house, with two colonnaded halls decorated with parrot and turtle imagery, would have been used for meetings, religious worship, marriage ceremonies, and discussions of alliances. An incense burner in the image of Itzanma, the shaman of the gods, was among the collection. One incense burner was in the image of the ceiba tree. There is a large ball court at the site, the second biggest in the Maya world. The house was in use from 1300-1500 CE. At the end of its usage, the council house was ritually destroyed by having the altars demolished and covering the building with large amounts of dirt.
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For a slide show of some of the finds, click here.