My recent trip to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City was a deep dive into the enigmatic world of the ancient Maya.
One exhibit that stands out is the tomb of Pakal the Great. Pakal, a revered Maya ruler from the city-state of Palenque in Chiapas, is a central figure in Maya history. His rule, spanning an impressive 68 years from 615 to 683 CE.
The mask is composed of finely crafted jade pieces, which were highly valued by the Maya and often associated with life, fertility, and power.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is a replica of Pakal’s jade death mask, a treasure originally found in the Temple of the Inscriptions.
This mask was likely intended to protect Pakal’s soul and to represent his eternal status as a ruler. The jade pieces are said to be held together by some type of cement or mortar.