Mexican researchers have reconstructed the political, economic, religious and cultural life of the ancient Mayan capital of Palenque on the basis of inscriptions left behind by its governing caste, the National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, said Wednesday.
The governing caste of Palenque, from its first ruler, or Ajaw, to the last, left written testimony of dates, myths, births, deaths and battles, the INAH said in a statement.
The researchers traced the history of the nobility of Palenque, which was located in what today is the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas and reached its peak in the 7th century, by deciphering what its 18 rulers left inscribed on stelae, lintels, panels and structures decorated with mural painting and reliefs.
The information obtained by deciphering these glyphic texts has been compiled in the book “‘Palenque-Lakam Ha,’ an Immortal Presence of the Indigenous Past,” by experts Mercedes de la Garza, Martha Cuevas Garcia and Guillermo Bernal Romero.
The inhabitants of Palenque, a significant western capital of the Early Classic Maya period, called the city “Lakam Ha,” or “Place of the Great Waters,” because of its numerous springs, streams and wide cascades.