Palenque , Mexico

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The ruins of Palenque are among the most important Mayan archaeological sites in all of Mexico and Central America. Set on a ledge overlooking the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico, Palenque recedes into the dense tropical forest of the foothills of the Tumbala mountains of Chiapas, Mexico.

Although analysis of pottery shards demonstrates that the area was occupied by 100 B.C., most of the buildings we see today were constructed between the 6th to 10th centuries A.D.

The greatest ruler of this city-state was Pacal, who took power in 603 A.D. and commenced a construction boom of architecturally innovative buildings that lasted through and beyond his 68-year reign. One of the most impressive projects was the Palace. Its walls and roofs are covered with stucco carvings depicting the ceremonies and activities of rulers and gods, giving modern observers insight into the lives and beliefs of the Mayans. Another magnificent structure, the Temple of the Inscriptions, contains tablets of glyphs recounting the ancestral history of long ago rulers.

The true reward of a trip to Palenque is to revel in the mystery of the unanswerable questions that arise as he meanders through the ruins in morning mists that swirl around the ancient structures. Only 34 of perhaps 500 buildings have been excavated.

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~ by mlmcored on July 12, 2009.

One Response to “Palenque , Mexico”

  1. I’d love to visit all the ancient ruins in Mexico, but the recent outbreak of Swine Flu makes me wary. Something i’d like to go in the future, i think.

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