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Anthropology Museum

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Board of the Temple of the Cross

This tablet from the Temple of the Cross in Palenque is composed of three large limestone slabs that show ceremonial acts during the reign of Pakal and his descendant Cham Balum. The balance between the human figure and glyphs can be seen in this segment.

The lateral figures portray the ajawo'ob (rulers) K'inich Hanab Pakal (known as Pakal the Great) and his son and successor Kan Balam II (Jaguar Serpent II). The scene shows a ceremony in honor of the mythical ceiba that Kan Balam II, the largest figure, made for his enthronement in 684 AD Pakal the smaller figure was included although he had already died, in order to transmit his prestige and ritual power to his heir child.

A band with signs of astronomical bodies crosses the lower part of the scene, denoting that the event takes place in the celestial heights. This area corresponds fully with the connotation of the Temple of the Cross as the architectural image of the upper world and "house" of GI, its ruling deity.

Anthropology Museum