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Anthropology Museum

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Tomb of Pakal

1300 years ago an entourage accompanied the mortal remains of the Mayan ruler K'inich Janaab 'Pakal to be deposited in a crypt, inside the Temple of the Inscriptions, in the ancient city of Palenque, in Chiapas. This museum has a magnificent replica of this tomb. The hieroglyphic inscriptions of Palenque relate that the Mayan dignitary, also known as Pakal II, died and "entered the road" on August 28, 683 AD. However, his repose was interrupted a millennium later by the Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier, who after four years of intense excavations, discovered the burial chamber on Sunday, June 12, 1952. As guards, nine warriors modeled in stucco surrounded the extraordinary gravestone sculpted on a monolithic slab of approximately seven tons; 2.20 meters wide by 3.60 meters long. In the 50s it was elevated by the archeologist Ruz Lhuillier to explore the interior of the tomb where the remains of the ruler rest. In 2004, Pakal's tomb was closed to the public as a conservation measure, since the massive entrance caused the increase of the temperature and the humidity of the space.

Next, you will see an impressive funerary mask covered with jade mosaic. It was included in the rich offerings in which Mr. K'inich Janaab 'Pakal was buried. It represents the face of the governor, with his deformed skull, front line, and sharp teeth. It must have fulfilled three objectives: to represent the physical characteristics of the sovereign, to indicate the attributes of the divinity after the death and to express the essence of the religion and the Mayan customs. According to the above, Pakal would reincarnate as the god of corn. The funerary masks, in addition to revealing the face of the rulers, had an association with the divine, since the materials of the tiles or mosaics with which they were made (jade, chrysoprase, snail, shell, obsidian, and spectacular hematite) were reserved to represent the sacred.

Anthropology Museum