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Palenque Walking Tour


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Temple XIII and the Tomb of the Red Queen
temple xiii, palenque, red queen, maya, mexico, chiapas

Temple XIII with the thatch roofed entrance to the subterranean chamber, Palenque, Chiapas

Nicoletta Maestri

Sharing the same platform as the Temple of the Skull and the Temple of the Inscriptions is Temple XIII. This temple is divided into three rooms with a frontal porch, and it was roofed by a masonry vault. On the front stairway is an accessway to a substructure.

In 1994, when the Mexican archaeologist Arnoldo Gonzales Cruz entered the sealed structure, he discovered the funerary chamber and sarcophagus of a noble woman. The woman, nicknamed the Red Queen because her tomb was completely covered in red cinnabar, was accompanied by a rich offering containing jewelery, a jade mask, shells, and whistles. It has been speculated that the noble woman could be Lady Sak Kuk, mother of Pakal the Great, but this has not been proved yet. 

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