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Ancient Mayan city of Palenque. Source: adolfousier / Adobe Stock.

Ancient Mayan City of Palenque Was Home to a Legendary King (Video)


Nestled amid lush Mexican forests lies Palenque, a lesser-known Mayan city boasting remarkable architecture, sculptures, and carvings. Palenque's allure extends beyond its aesthetic beauty; it stands as a remarkable example of Mayan technological sophistication. An intricate aqueduct system ensured an abundant supply of spring water for its residents. In the 7th century AD, Palenque was under the rule of King Pakal the Great, who held his throne for a record-breaking 68 years. His reign oversaw the construction of iconic structures like the grand Central Palace and the Temple of the Inscriptions.

In 1952, an archaeological revelation provided insight into Mayan beliefs about life and the afterlife. A hidden chamber beneath the temple revealed a sarcophagus bearing hieroglyphs confirming it as the final resting place of King Pakal. This tomb, while a burial site, held a deeper purpose: resurrection. The intricate lid's imagery depicted the Mayan belief in a tripartite universe – Earth, the Underworld, and the Heavens. Pakal's journey symbolized departure from this world, emergence from the Underworld, and rebirth into eternal celestial life, encapsulating the essence of Mayan spirituality.

Top image: Ancient Mayan city of Palenque. Source: adolfousier / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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