In 2013, archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli made one of the most exciting discoveries of his career—a Mayan glyph of a grinning snake. Located at the site of Holmul near the base of a frieze marking the tomb of a Mayan king, the grinning snake proved to be the key to answering one of the most intriguing gaps in Mayan history.
In Search of the Lost Empire of the Maya
By Edward Vance (Photography by David Coventry)
National Geographic Magazine (subscription may be required)
September 2016 issue