Palenque, Chiapas

In a dense rain forest, Palenque covers 15 square miles. The buildings are against a hill. The city was visible from a great distance so that the Maya could find their way back after a journey in the dense forest.

Palenque features many decorative designs not found anywhere else. Some of them seem almost Chinese, which makes one wonder if there was contact with East Asia. This is very unlikely, but the similarity is strange.

So far, only 34 out of 500 ruins have been excavated. But the studies have revealed a lot about ancient Mayan culture.

The Temple of Inscriptions is perhaps the most interesting pyramid. It is the tallest, and has the crypt (coffin) of Pa Kal, a Mayan priest.

Archeologists took out many fine objects which have been taken to other museums for display and study. The most famous piece, Pa Kal’s jade mosaic death mask, has been stolen from the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

Palenque, Chiapas, originally uploaded by carloco2007.

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