Archaeologists have found a jade pendant worn by an ancient Maya king during important religious ceremonies. The jewel was unearthed at Nim Li Punit, a small site in the Toledo District of Belize. It is the second largest Maya jade found in Belize till date.
7.4 inches wide, 4.1 inches high and just 0.3 inches thick, the pendant represents a technical feat. Its most notable feature is the inscriptions, 30 hieroglyphs, at the back. These hieroglyphs tell about the first king to own the pendant. The jewel was made for king Janaab' Ohl K'inich. It goes on to tell about the family of the king and his accession rites. It ends by probably linking the king to the powerful and immense Maya city of Caracol.
The pendant is T-shaped with a T carved in its front. This is the Mayan glyph "ik'," which stands for "wind and breath." Next to the pendant, archaeologists found a vessel with a beaked face. That possibly depicted the Mayan god of wind. Mayans saw wind as a powerful force as it brought monsoon rains that made the crops grow. Mayan kings performed rituals wearing this pendant to invoke wind and life-giving rains.
A recent theory states climate change as the reason for the collapse of the Mayan civilization. Droughts led to the widespread failure of agriculture and thus, the collapse.