Monday, 6 May 2013

The Ancient Mayan City Of Palenque And The Great King Pakal II

By Frank D. Gardner

Traveling from the town of Palenque, in the Chiapas State of Mexico will take you to Palenque archaeological site for about 15 minutes. This site was once a home to ancient Mayans. In this ancient and interesting ancient city, impressive structures and many archaeological finds can be found. In addition, it's the city that was ruled by the Great King Pakal II who is one of the several most well known Mayan rulers.

Exploring The Interesting City Of Palenque

This very old city is now a National Park and there are great tours offered to this place. There is a museum that can be visited wherein one can see a number of treasures that are on display. If you are done visiting the museum, one can opt to explore the jungle and cross the hanging bridge that will lead you to 'The Queen's Bath', which is a well known sweet water creek. You may also go to 'The Temple of the Cross', 'The Palace', and the 'Temple of the Inscriptions' which is the most remarkable and also the most important ancient structure dominating the plaza where the Tumba real or grave of King Pakal (K'nich Kan B'alam) is found.

The Treasures Of The Palenque Museum

In the museum, one can find many treasures and remnant that serve as evidence of this ancient civilization. The well restored throne which was taken from 'The Palace' can be found in the museum. Two of Kan B'alam II's statues from the 'Temple of The Cross' (one is a stucco head and one is a full statue) along with other restored artifacts found in the ancient city are also displayed in the museum.

The Palace Found In The Ancient City Of Palenque

Palenque's palace is a complex of a number of connected as well as adjacent building structures and courtyards. During the Mayan era, it served as a place for ritual and a residential quarter for the city's ruler. Ornate benches can be seen in most of the rooms in the Palace. These benches were used as thrones by the rulers. You'll also find holes on the walls that could have been used for pegs that held tapestries, which are used to cover the doorways as well as to separate the rooms. Constructed at different times and in many stages, The Tower was the last structure built prior to the abandonment of the city. Courtyards, houses and buildings comprised and divided the entire Palace, making it complex and an impressive structure.

About The Temple of the Cross

Under the rule of the Great King Pakal II, The Temple of the Cross was built to commemorate the important dates in his life up to his succession to the throne. There are rumors spreading that the King might be actually laid to rest here and not on the Temple of the Inscription. This temple is also in pyramid form. A statue of Kan B'alam is on the top part with his father the first King Pakal in a smaller figure in front. Various other researches nevertheless deemed that the two figures could possibly be both Kan B'alam, one showing him as a young man plus the other as the king. The Tree or the Holy Ceiba can be found between the figures which represents the entrance to the otherworld.

The Temple of the Inscriptions At Palenque National Park

Among the most significant discoveries from the Mesoamerican era is the Temple of Inscription. Even though, this pyramid is not as dominating like the others, yet it holds great significance. This is because the most well known ancient Maya rulers, The Great Kan B'alam II tomb's lies in this place. The king started to reign when he was only 12 years of age and ruled over the city for 68 years. Perhaps the main reason why his tomb was the most famous in the Maya ruins. Discovered undisturbed, the tomb was sophisticatedly covered with 12 by 7 feet sculptured sarcophagus lid that weighs 5 ton and splendidly decorated. The cover was carefully engraved with the richly dressed king descending into the otherworld.

The Palenque National Park can be explored in no less than one day. Staying in the area for two to three days will enable one to discover and explore the place's beauty and the wonders of the well known ancient civilization.

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