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The Palenque ruins date from ca. The most famous ruler of Palenque was K’inich Janaab Pakalor Pacal the Great, whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions. Bythe discovered area covered up to 2. Palenque receivedvisitors in Mythological beings using a variety of emblem glyphs in their titles suggests a complex early history.

The famous structures that we know today probably represent a rebuilding effort in response to the attacks by the city of Calakmul and its client states in and He is known through his funerary monument, dubbed the Temple of Inscriptionsafter the lengthy text preserved in the temple’s superstructure. At the time Alberto Ruz Lhuillier excavated Pakal’s tomb, it was the richest and best preserved of any scientifically excavated burial then known from the ancient Americas.

El Astronauta de

It held this position until the discovery of the rich Moche burials at SipanPeru and the recent discoveries at Copan and Calakmul. Beside the attention that K’inich Janaab’ Pakal’s tomb brought to Palenque, the city is historically significant for its extensive hieroglyphic corpus composed during the reigns of Janaab’ Pakal, his son K’inich Kan B’ahlam, and his grandson K’inich Akal Mo’ Naab’, and for being the location where Heinrich Berlin [4] and later Linda Schele and Peter Mathews outlined the first dynastic list for any Maya city.

A list of possible and known Maya rulers [9] [10] of the city, with dates of their reigns:. The first ajawor king, of B’aakal that we know of was K’uk Balam Quetzal Jaguarwho governed for four years starting in the year After him, a king came to power, nicknamed Casper by archaeologists.

The next two kings were probably Casper’ s sons. Little was known about the first of these, B’utz Aj Sak Chiik, untilwhen a tablet was found describing a ritual for the king.

The first tablet mentioned his successor Ahkal Mo’ Naab I as a teenage prince, and therefore it is believed that there was a family relation between them. For unknown reasons, Akhal Mo’ Naab I had great prestige, so the kings who succeeded him were proud to be his descendants.

K’an Joy Chitam I governed for 36 years. This word was used also by later kings. B’alam was succeeded in by Yohl Ik’nalwho was supposedly his daughter.

Palenque – Wikipedia

The inscriptions found in Palenque document a battle that occurred under her government in which troops from Calakmul invaded and sacked Palenque, a military feat without known precedents. These events took place in In this occasion, the king of Calakmul entered Palenque in person, consolidating a significant military disaster, which was followed by an epoch of political disorder.

Aj Ne’ Yohl Mat was to die in B’aakal began the Astronaut Classic period in the throes of the disorder created by the defeats before Calakmul.

The glyphic panels at the Temple of Inscriptionswhich records the events at this time, relates that some fundamental annual religious ceremonies were not performed inand at this point states: Janaab Pakal assumed the functions of the ajaw king but never was crowned.

He was succeeded in by his daughter, the queen Sak K’uk’who governed for only three years until her son was old enough to rule. It is considered that asgronauta dynasty was reestablished from then on, so B’aakal retook the path of glory and splendor. He began rule at the age of 12 years after his mother Sak Kuk resigned as queen after three years, thus passing power on to him.

Pakal the Great reigned in Palenque from toand his mother remained an important force for the first 25 years of his rule. She may have ruled jointly with him. Known as the favorite of the gods, he carried Palenque to new levels of splendor, in spite of having come to power when the city dee at a low point.

K’inich Janaab’ Pakal

Most dde the palaces and temples of Palenque were constructed during his government; the city flourished as never before, eclipsing Tikal. The central astrobauta, known as The Palace, was enlarged and remodeled on various occasions, notably in the years, and In this structure, is a text describing how in that epoch Palenque was newly allied with Tikal, and also with Yaxchilanand that they were able to capture the six enemy kings of the alliance. Not much more had been translated from the text.


The first continued the architectural and sculptural works that were begun by his father, as well as finishing the construction of the famous tomb of Pakal.

Pakal’s sarcophagus, built for a very tall man, held the richest collection of jade astronwuta in a Mayan tomb. A jade mosaic mask was placed over his face, and a suit made of jade adorned palenqe body, with each piece hand-carved and held together by gold wire.

Thanks to numerous works begun during his government, now we have portraits of this king, found in various sculptures.

His brother succeeded him continuing with the same enthusiasm of construction and art, reconstructing and enlarging the north side of the Palace. Thanks to the reign of these three kings, B’aakal had a century of growing and splendor. For 10 years there was no king. Although the new king belonged to the royalty, there is no evidence that he was the direct inheritor direct of K’inich K’an Joy Chitam II.

It is believed, therefore, that this coronation was a break in the dynastic line, and probably K’inich Ahkal Nab’ arrived to power after years of maneuvering and forging political alliances. This king, his son, and grandson governed until the end of the 8th century. Occasionally city-state lords were women. Lady Sak Kuk ruled at Palenque for at least three years starting in CE, before she passed her title to her son. However, these female rulers were accorded male attributes. Thus, these women became more masculine as they assumed roles that were typically male roles.

During the 8th century, B’aakal came under increasing stress, in concert with most other Classic Mayan city-states, and there was no new elite construction in the ceremonial center sometime after An agricultural population continued to live here for a few generations, then the site was abandoned and was slowly grown over by the forest. The district was very sparsely populated when the Spanish first arrived in the s. The Temple of Inscriptions had begun perhaps as early as [13] as the funerary monument of Hanab-Pakal.

The temple superstructure houses the second longest glyphic text known from the Maya world the longest is the Hieroglyphic Stairway at Copan. The Temple of the Inscriptions records approximately years of the city’s history from the 4th through 12th K’atun. The Pyramid measures 60 meters wide, The Summit temple measures The largest stones weigh 12 to 15 tons.

These were on top of the Pyramid. The Total volume of pyramid and temple is 32, cu.

In Alberto Ruz Lhuillier removed a stone slab in the floor of the back room of the temple superstructure to reveal a passageway filled in shortly before the city’s abandonment and reopened by archeologists leading through a long stairway to Pakal’s tomb. The tomb itself is remarkable for its large carved sarcophagus, the rich ornaments accompanying Pakal, and for the stucco sculpture decorating the walls of the tomb.

Unique to Pakal’s tomb is the psychoduct, which leads from the tomb itself, up the stairway and through a hole in the stone covering the entrance to the burial. This psychoduct is perhaps a physical reference to concepts about the departure of the soul at the time of death in Maya eschatology where in the inscriptions the phrase ochb’ihaj sak ik’il the white breath road-entered is used to refer to the leaving of the soul.

A find such as this is greatly important because it demonstrated for the first time the temple usage as being multifaceted. These pyramids were, for the first time, identified as temples and also funerary structures. The much-discussed iconography of the sarcophagus lid depicts Pakal in the guise of one of the manifestations of the Maya Maize God emerging from the maws of the underworld. The temple also has a duct structure that still is not completely understood by archaeologists.

It has been suggested that the duct aligns with the winter solstice and that the sun shines down on Pakal’s tomb. The Temple of the CrossTemple of the Sunand Temple of the Foliated Cross are a set of graceful temples atop step pyramidseach with an elaborately carved relief in the inner chamber depicting two figures presenting ritual objects and effigies to a central icon.


Earlier interpretations had argued that the smaller figure was that of K’inich Janaab’ Pakal while the larger figure was K’inich Kan B’ahlam. However, it is now known based on a better understanding of the iconography and epigraphy that the central tablet depicts two images of Kan B’ahlam.

The smaller figure shows K’inich Kan B’ahlam during a rite of passage ritual at the age of six 9. The Palacea complex of several connected and adjacent buildings and courtyards, was built by several generations on a wide artificial terrace during four century period. The Palace was used by the Mayan aristocracy for bureaucratic functions, entertainment, and ritualistic ceremonies.

The Palace is located in the center of the ancient city. Within the Palace there are numerous sculptures and bas-relief carvings that have been conserved.

The Palace most unusual satronauta recognizable feature is the four-story tower known as The Observation Tower. The Observation Tower like many other buildings at the site exhibit a mansard -like roof. The A-shaped Corbel arch is an architectural motif observed throughout the complex.

The Corbel arches require a large amount of masonry mass and are limited to a small dimensional ratio of width to height providing the characteristic high ceilings and narrow passageways.

The Palace was equipped with numerous large baths and saunas which were supplied with fresh water by an intricate water system. An aqueduct, constructed of great stone blocks with a three-meter-high vault, diverts the Otulum River to flow underneath the main plaza.

The Palace is the largest building complex in Palenque measuring 97 meters by 73 meters at its base.

The site also has a number of other temples, tombs, and elite residences, some a good distance from the center of the site, a court for playing the Mesoamerican Ballgameand an interesting stone bridge over the Otulum River some distance below the Aqueduct. Del Rio’s forces smashed through several walls to see what could be found, doing a fair amount of damage to the Palace, while Bernasconi made the first map of the site as well as drawing copies of a few of the bas-relief figures and sculptures.

Juan Galindo visited Palenque inand filed a report with the Central American government. He was the first to note that the figures depicted in Palenque’s ancient art looked like the local Native Americans ; some other early explorers, even years later, attributed the site to such distant peoples as EgyptiansPolynesiansor the Lost Tribes of Israel. Starting in Jean Frederic Waldeck spent two years at Palenque making numerous drawings, but most of his work was not published until Meanwhile, the site was visited in first by Patrick Walker and Herbert Caddy on a mission from the governor of British Hondurasand then by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood who published an illustrated account the following year which was greatly superior to the previous accounts of the ruins.

Alfred Maudslay encamped at the ruins in — and took extensive photographs of all the art and inscriptions he could find, and made paper and plaster molds of many of the inscriptions, and detailed maps and drawings, setting a high standard for all future investigators to follow.

Maudslay learned the technique of making the papier mache molds of the sculptures from Frenchman Desire Charnay. Several other expeditions visited the ruins before Frans Blom of Tulane University inwho made superior maps of both the main site and various previously neglected outlying ruins and filed a report for the Mexican government on recommendations on work that could be done to preserve the ruins.

Ruz worked for four years at the Temple of Inscriptions before unearthing the tomb. Inthe first of the very productive Palenque Mesa Redonda Round table conferences was held here on the inspiration of Merle Greene Robertson ; thereafter every few years leading Mayanists would meet at Palenque to discuss and examine new findings in the field. Meanwhile, Robertson was conducting a detailed examination of all art at Palenque, including recording all the traces of color on the sculptures.

Palenque remains much visited, and perhaps evokes more affection in visitors than any other Mesoamerican ruin.