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Photographer's Note

Temple XXI sits only 50 metres to the south of the Sun Temple at Palenque. I have a number of photos of a limestone panel from the temple, treating with dynastic succession, but have chosen to upload only this central portion, for purposes of clarity. Alright, now, the story. Front and centre is K'inich Janaahb' Pakal (the Great), the former ruler who had died 53 years earlier. Pakal wears a headband decorated with the names of two, early, mythical rulers, nicknamed Casper and Snake's Stingray Spine. The glyphs suggest that Pakal's essence is fused with these earlier kings. The stingray spine bloodletter in his right hand symbolizes the blood relationships with the two figures on his immediate right and left.

The overall scene features five figures - participants in a ceremony that took place July 22, 736 CE. The figure on the left, to his right, is the current ruler of Palenque, K'inich Ahkal Mo' Nahb III. On the right, his left, is the brother and designated successor, U Pakal K'inich. The brothers are in the midst of bloodletting, and they face two other figures (out of the photograph) that offer them bouquets of cloth, paper, and leaves. The out of photograph figures are priests with the head of a rat, feline claws, and wearing a jaguar-pelt cape.

This photograph was taken at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, Quebec.

Addenda: The largest structure in the Southern Plaza is a pyramid, mostly of rubble, atop which sits Temple XX. In 1999, a painted (bright red) tomb was found at the base of the temple's northeast corner, dating from the 5th or 6th centuries. The tomb was not entered until October of 2012, although pictures had been taken earlier of the interior. There are brilliant red murals on the walls showing male figures in elaborate headdresses, carrying a spear and shield, and wearing sandals. The tomb measures 3.4 metres long, 1.4 wide, and 2.5 high. No sarcophagus or skeleton has yet been seen. Pictures and the latest information on Temple XX may be checked out on the Internet.

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Additional Photos by Ken Boulter (Sardonik) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 0 N: 957] (1979)
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