Priceless Maya Stone Vessel Looted in Guatemala

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Just days after the rare discovery of an untouched royal Maya tomb in Guatemala comes news of plundered Maya treasure in that same Central American country.

Looters have stolen a rare and exquisitely carved 1,500-year-old stone box from a cave near the city of Cancuén, experts told the National Geographic Society this week.

Archaeologists expressed dismay that the artifact was stolen, saying the theft was most likely to benefit a collector in the United States or Europe.

"This is one of the most impressive finds from the Early Classic" period of the Maya Indian civilization (A.D. 250 to 600), said Brent Woodfill, the archaeologist who discovered the theft two weeks ago.

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