There are a handful of important cities in Ahau, the boad game. Although Palenque does not reach the size of other famous Maya cities like Tikal or even Chichen Itza, it is definitely the home of several valuable remains and great historical importance – like Kinich Janabb Pakal.
Also known as Pacal the Great, he was born into quite violent times in Palenque – the city was just attacked and taken by Kaan (also known as Calakmul), an opposing Mayan state. Pakal became an ahau by the age of twelve and lived until he turned eighty. During these years, he expanded the power of Palenque and made art and architecture flourish.
The Temple of Inscriptions, known as the largest Mesoamerican stepped-pyramid, offers valuable knowledge about the Maya thanks to the hieroglyphic text found on Inscription Tablets.
The tomb of Pacal was also found in this pyramid. The art on the lid depicts Pakal lying on top of the “earth monster.” Above him, there is the Celestial Bird, on the top of the Cosmic Tree, holding a Serpent in its branches. The artwork representing the ruler existing between two worlds, the heavens, and the underworld, symbolizes the significance they dedicated to King Pacal.
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