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November 7, 2014

More site drawings from Disney!

This is a study while we were at Palenque. Palenque is a late classic Maya site in the Yucatan peninsula in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It held it’s own in the sway of large Mayan city states between 226 BC to around 799 AD. One of the most notable Mayan rulers, Pakal of Palenque, can be seen depicted all over the remaining plaster and in a very well preserved tomb that held his body. He was responsible for the largest build out of the Palenque’s architecture. He’s very easy to recognize as he had a very distinctive face, notably his large misshapen nose. I am under the impression he may have not been the most attractive of leaders, he was however, very successful and reigned for a solid 68 years, the longest known ruler of the Mayan kingdom. The Mayans were prolific to say the least with Pakal being no exception. Pakal’s tomb was remarkably well preserved. So well preserved that a lot of the painted plaster held up. His sarcophagus lid as well as his jade funerary mask are well represented today in a lazy google image search. If I remember correctly a few family members were buried with him, including his pregnant wife. That must have sucked for her.

Most of the time grave robbers in Mexico dig out holes and loot the Mayan archeological artifacts and sell them on the black market. This happens today. Sadly there are SO MANY uncovered Mayan ruins there just isn’t enough money to keep the sites secure- or to even excavate them. You can pretty much walk down a jungle path, find a big hill overgrown with trees and not realize it’s a Mayan stepped pyramid.  BUT BACK TO BLACK MARKET MAYAN ARTIFACTS… people are jerks and even though this site is amazing, people take bits of plaster off of the buildings. The site isn’t secured and is one of the pyramids you can still climb, as a result people take the liberty steal things or yank off detailed bits of plaster for keepsakes. So what I saw in 2007 very well might not be the details I would see if I visited today. You can kind of see in the sketch of the foot at the top right- It used to be attached to a leg and most of the bas-relief has been lost to tourism. Nothing is being done to combat this. *Sad face*


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