Palenque

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Palenque (Bàak' in Modern Maya) was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date back to 100 BC to its fall around 800 AD. After its decline it was absorbed into the jungle, but has been excavated and restored and is now a famous archaeological site attracting thousands of visitors. It is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen (see map) about 150 meters above sea-level.

Palenque is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings the Maya produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscription on the many monuments, and historians now have a long sequence of the ruling dynasty of Palenque in the 7th century and extensive knowledge of the city state's rivalry with other states such as Calakmul and Toniná. The most famous ruler of Palenque is Pacal the Great whose tomb has been found and excavated in the temple of the inscriptions.

By 2005 the discovered area covers up to 2.5 km ², but it is estimated that only was explored less than 10% of the total area of the city, staying more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle.

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