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The Chiapas branch of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has just reported a notable find in the heavily excavated Palenque Archaeological Zone in the southern part of the country, in what was once Maya territory. During salvage work taking place in what was to be the zone’s new restroom area, archaeologists uncovered a grave at a depth of six feet (1.80 meters) that contained the skeletal remains of a woman who was buried there sometime in the pre-Hispanic era.

The ancient city-state of Palenque, which was known as Lakamha in the Mayan language , was an important regional center in the Maya Empire during the latter’s Classical Era. Archaeologists are certain the remains belonged to a Maya woman, who would have lived sometime before the end of the eighth century AD, since all the ruins and relics found at Palenque date from the third century BC to that time.

Furthermore, because she was buried in a fairly extravagant tomb along with some fine grave offerings made from stone and obsidian, the archaeologists believe she would have been a member of the ancient Maya ruling elite. It is known that the city of Palenque was home to many members of the ruling class, based on its status as a major political and administrative center in the first millennium AD.


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