Palenque History, Mayan Ruin Site, Photos,
Chiapas State, Mexico

Palenque Temploe of the Inscriptions
Palenque's Temple Of The Inscriptions
Palenque's Temple of the Inscriptions was built above the tomb of the Emperor Pacal, ruler from 615 AD to 683 AD.  The tomb, at ground level, was discoverd by Mexican Archaeologist Albert Ruiz  Lhuillier during a 1949 to 1952 archaeological investigation.
Palenque Ruin Site view of the Temple of the Inscriptions, a building that housed the tomb of the Emperor Pacal, leader from 615 to 683 AD.

The History Of Palenque, Excavations In The 1930s And The 1950s.

Palenque History

Palenque was settled in 100 AD and saw a florescence  during building stages between the 5th and 9th centuries AD.  The complex of stone buildings built  near the Usumacinta River in what is now Mexico's southern most State of Chiapas became a regional power according to some researchers. 
Palenque ruled as an important Mayan political center until the  people abandoned the city around 1000 AD and for unknown reasons left the city deserted.

Palenque's Olmec Settlers

Some researchers cite legend and stone inscription that suggest that around 300 BC the area was first settled by Olmec people.  The artifacts showing Olmec artistic influences in the small museum at the lower entrance to the site lead to this theory. 

Early European Visitors

After the decline of the center in 9000 AD the area farmers continued to live in the valley below the city but according to reports by the spanish the area was nearly deserted when they arrived in 1520.

The Spanish colonizers gave the name Palenque to the site and Friar Diego de Landa (1524-1579) described the city in his 1567 book, "Yucatan Before And After The Conquest, "

Palenque remained unknown to the outside world, however, until American travel writer John Lloyd Stephens and English artist Frederick Catherwood documented the site during 1839 and 1842 visits when they created text and drawings for their 1843 publication,  "Incidents of Travel In The Yucatan."

Modern archaeology at Palenque began with a Tulane University expedition headed by Franz Blom in 1923. Later, Mexican researchers headed by Albert Ruiz  Lhuillier,  working from 1949 to 1952,   discovered the tomb of Pacal at ground level within the pyramidal platform supporting the Temple of the Inscriptions. Scientific work continues within the site which is presently 10% excavated and stabilized.

Palenque's most notable leader was 7 Th Century king or emperor Pacal who ruled from 615 to 683 AD. He built what today is called The Temple of the Inscriptions, dedicated in 692 atop the pyramidal building enclosing his tomb.

Palenque history is found in legend and stone inscription at the Mayan archaeological ruin site which suggest to some researchers that the first inhabitants were Olmec people.
Palenque's History is written in the many glyphs  found at the Mayan Ruin Site.   Now being deciphered, the stone inscription and temple artifacts yield dates and names.  To some researchers the art suggest that the first inhabitants were Olmec people, a cultural group that had lived not far north in Veracruz and Tabasco State at setlements in La Venta and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan.
Temple of the Inscriptions, Pacal's Tomb
Palenque's buildings seen today date from the 5th to the 9th centuries AD and were abandoned by 1000 AD
Palenque History
Palenque Ruin Site
Palenque Area Ruin Sites
Maya Archaeological Sites
Palenque Area Ruins Tour
Palenque Lodging, Hotels  
Scientific study, mapping, excavation, and stabilization began in 1932 with Frans Blon and a Tulaine University project
View from the Temple Of The Cross
Visitors climb the Temple Of The Cross
The Plaza below the Temple Of The Cross and Temple of the Foliated Cross

To Reach The Palenque Archaeological Site and Museum

To reach the modern town of Palenque (37,000), which occupies a hillside 8 miles from the  site, use ADO bus service from Oaxaco, Villahermosa, Merida, or cancun. Air service reaches Villahermosa where ADO shuttle vans serve Palenque.  High speed roads reach San Cristobal or Villahermosa.  
Self guide in Palenque by catching the white collective taxis to the site for 20 Pesos.  Tours are  also available to the Palenque site and to other nearby sites such as Bonampak, Yaxchilan, the cascades of Agua Azule, San Cristobal de las Casas, and the Mayan archaeological site of Tikal.

Visitors climb the Temple Of The Cross
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