The hieroglyphs on an ancient tomb dating back to a Maya king discovered in Mexico have recently been deciphered. They reveal the name of the man who was buried within…more than six decades after the tomb’s initial discovery, of King K’inich Janaab’ Pakal.
Since the tomb’s discovery in 1948 by Alberto Ruz Lhuillier, some have pointed to the iconography on the sarcophagus lid as pictorial evidence of ancient civilizations being visited by extraterrestrial entities, calling it the Ancient Astronaut Theory.
In the case of Pakal’s tomb, theorist Lhuillier actually pointed towards the similarity between some of the stone carvings and modern rockets, in a book published just two decades after the tomb’s discovery.
In 1952, Ruz Lhuillier was excavating the staircase of the Pyramid Temple when he found a sealed passageway that led to the burial crypt and sarcophagus of King Pakal. This was the first burial crypt found in Central America, actually even in a pyramid, and fueled a debate that the Incas were in some way connected to Egypt.
The sarcophagus lid was found to have been decorated with classic Maya iconography – and the then undecipherable hieroglyphs.
With the efforts of Guillermo Bernal and his team of researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the secret has finally been unraveled as to what the tomb said.
Bernal also found that a particular pictogram, one that resembled the molar of a jaguar, was linked to a similar one found elsewhere that means “edge”, as in the sharpened edge of a weapon such as a spear.
When placed in context with the rest of the hieroglyphs within the tomb, the translation became clear: “House of the Nine Sharpened Spears,” which is a direct reference to the nine warriors depicted in Maya iconography on the sides of the tomb.
King Pakal was one of the most successful Maya ever to rule the kingdom of Palenque, located in southern Mexico just west of the Yucatan Peninsula. He reigned for nearly seventy years, which is an unprecedented stretch among the Maya and the 28th longest reign ever recorded around the globe.
Pakal presided over the kingdom for the majority of the seventh century BCE until his death in around 683.
The ruins of Palenque are considered to contain some of the most advanced examples of Maya art and architecture, even though the city-state itself is smaller than more major archaeological finds such as Chichen Itza; much of the most noteworthy construction was overseen during Pakal’s reign, according to the archaeological record.
And the new discovery of the actual content of the inscription on Pakal’s sarcophagus may not do much in regards to the carving which Ruz Lhuillier noted.
The carving appears to be a picture of a man seated at the controls of a type of flying ship. His hands and feet appear to be working instruments and pedals. The outline of the craft can be seen with many mechanical features and what appears to be flames coming out of the bottom of the craft.
According to the Mayan legend, the symbols of the lid shows King Pacal falling into the jaws of the Earth monster each night to rise again with the power of the sun each morning. Its teeth are enlarged to demonstrate its encompassing power.
As we explore this region, we hope to find out…was this king actually an Ancient Astronaut?
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