Published on Sep 15, 2012 by N0LINKNEWS
Mexico, Sep 14 (Prensa Latina) Experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) entered for the first time a burial chamber in Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico, which at present could have the remains of one of the rulers of the ancient city.
It is estimated that in the mortuary premises, which was discovered 13 years ago, would be the remains of Kâ Öuk-Bahlam I, who ascended to power in the year 431 of our era and founded the dynasty to which the famous Mayan ruler Pakal belonged.
Before the group of specialists managed to break into the burial chamber, only the lens of a tiny video camera had been the one to film inside.
The first time was in 1999, during the work of the Research Institute of Pre-Columbian Art, and the most recent was in June 2011, when the first images from the INAH circulated in the media.
Arnoldo Gonzalez, the archaeologist who in 1994 made the discovery of the tomb of the Red Queen, also in Palenque is together with the restorer and archaeologist Rogelio Rivero, leader of the project.
With the work, they now pretend to intervene the tomb of Temple XX, in the South Acropolis of this ancient territory that should have been called Lakamha or ‘Place of the Great Waters.’
Mexican experts entered for the first time a 1,500-year-old funerary chamber in Palenque believed to contain the remains of one of the first rulers of this Mayan city, officials said.
A multidisciplinary team from the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, began exploring the mortuary chamber that could hold the remains of K’uk Bahlam I, who came to power in 431 A.D. and founded the dynasty to which the famed Mayan ruler Pakal belonged.
The royal tomb, discovered 13 years ago inside Temple 20 of this archaeological zone in the southern state of Chiapas, is at least two centuries older than the tomb of Pakal, discovered 50 years ago at the same site, INAH said in a communique.
“As for dates, we’re looking at the birth of the Palenque dynasty around the year 400 A.D., since we could be talking about the tomb of its founder,” the archaeologist Arnoldo Gonzalez, who along with restorer Rogelio Rivero is leading the project to open the burial site, said Thursday.
Nonetheless, he warned that this is all speculation until the archaeological exploration gets underway. “This space could simply be an antechamber, because we don’t know what we’ll find deeper down,” he said.
Inside the entry to the tomb, where no skeletal remains have yet been found, 11 vessels were uncovered and close to 100 other pieces, mostly large beads of green stone, possibly jade, and including a kind of ring and a pendant.
The chamber and antechamber of Temple 20 has no sarcophagus, at least not up to the point that has been explored, but it does have a mural painted in lively tones of red on three sides, with representations of the Nine Lords of Xibalba, or the underworld.
“What is important in tombs of that time, the Early Classic Period (400-550 A.D.), is the painting. We’re looking at one of the few examples of murals discovered in a funerary context in Palenque, which is why the work we’re doing is so important,” Gonzalez said.
While the Temple 20 tomb is evidently replete with archaeological riches, Gonzalez and Rivero said that these will not be explored nor recovered until the murals are stabilized.
Rivero said that the emergency measures taken to preserve the murals will require at least three weeks, and will consist of fixing and consolidating the pictorial layer, while making a graphic and photograpic record of the works.