The Temple of the Inscriptions-The Tomb of King Pakal

Mayan Cities in virtual

Palenque represents the western regional variant of Classic Maya civilization. Although the earliest occupation of the site dates to about 100 BC, it becomes a major population center only at about 600 AD and all construction at the site has ceased by about 800 AD. The ruins now visible are the heavily restored remains of the ceremonial center 
       One of the most important structures in Palenque is the Tomb of Pakal, discovered in 1952 by Alberto Ruz  inside the Temple of the Inscriptions.
       Pakal's body was placed in the limestone sarcophagus and then it was sealed with a 3.8 by 2.2 meter stone lid.




The Pakal's Tomb



         The scene depicted on the cover plate represents the instant of
Pakal's death and his fall to the Underworld. The open mouth of the Underworld (Xibalba), is carved on the bottom of the plate. The snake's skeleton make up a container that represents the entrance.
The snake' lips are curved inward, as though closing over Pakal's falling body. There, inside the Underworld at the center of the Universe, stands the Tree of the World with a Celestial Bird—symbol of the kingdom of heaven—poised on
its highest branch.

Lid of the Pakal's sarcophagus