A news release from the University of Calgary notes:
The discovery was made earlier this year in Guatemala at the site of Naachtun, a Maya city located some 90 kilometres through dense jungle north of the more famous Maya city of Tikal. The woman's face, carved on a stone monument called a stela [STEE-la] – and in an artistic style never before seen – suggests women played significant roles in early Maya politics.
"I've worked in the Maya area a long time and I've never seen anything like it," says Dr. Kathryn Reese-Taylor, the director of the U of C-led Naachtun project. "We have images of queens, who ruled both singly and with their husbands or sons, depicted on stelae later in Maya history beginning in the early 6th century AD. But this stela is completely unique in style and likely dates to the 4th century AD."