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Ancient Mayan Astronaut?

Updated on February 3, 2013

Controversial Tomb of Ancient Mayan King

"Pacal's Sarcophagus" as it is commonly called, refers to an enormous monolithic coffin lid with an intricate carving of the great Mayan ruler, King Pacal aka Pakal (603 - 683), who ruled over the ancient Mayan empire at Palenque (located in Chiapas, Mexico). It is one of the great mysteries of ancient art and has commanded the attention of archaeologists, art historians, ufologists, anthropologists, cosmologists, and more. Those who study Mayan symbols and iconography say it clearly depicts the cycle of death and portrays the great King going into the underworld to be reborn. Others interpret it as an image of King Pacal as an ancient astronaut and say it is proof that aliens visited the Earth and interacted with the Maya peoples.

Pacal the Great by A.Skromnitsky

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Biography of Mayan King Pacal the Great

Information from Wikipedia

Information from Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia:

"Pacal ascended the throne at age 12 on July 29, 615, and lived to the age of 80. The name Pacal aka Pakal means "shield" in the Maya language. Pacal saw expansion of Palenque's power in the western part of the Maya states, and initiated a building program at his capital that produced some of Maya civilization's finest art and architecture. Pacal was buried within the Temple of Inscriptions.

Though Palenque had been examined by archaeologists before, the secret to opening his tomb-closed off by a stone slab with stone plugs in the holes, which had until then escaped the attention of archaeologists-was discovered by Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier in 1948/49. It took four years to clear the rubble from the stairway leading down to Pacal's tomb, but was finally uncovered in 1952. His skeletal remains were still lying in his coffin, wearing a jade mask and bead necklaces, surrounded by sculptures and stucco reliefs depicting the ruler's transition to divinity and figures from Maya mythology."

Tomb of Mayan Astronaut - Discovered Under Pyramids In Palenque Mexico

The ancient Mayan site of Palenque had been studied for years by the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History, but they didn't realize until 1949 that the tomb of a great King was beneath the surface of one of their most important pyramids i.e. the Temple of Inscriptions. This video shows the how the sarcophagus of King Pacal, aka Pacal, was discovered in 1949 when Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz decided to further explore the Temple of Inscriptions. In doing so, he uncovered the Tomb of the Mayan king, god and astronaut.

Pacal's Sarcophagus

Aliens Among Us or Spiritual Symbol?!

Pacal's Sarcophagus has commanded a great deal of attention since its appearance in the 1968 best selling book by Erich von Däniken, "Chariots of the Gods." It has become proof for many who insist that alien astronauts visited the Earth and that they interacted with human beings, and with the Mayans in particular. They say that this image clearly depicts King Pacal as an astronaut, with his hand on the control panel and his foot on the pedal. It has been speculated that he has an oxygen tube in his mouth.

On the other hand, those fluent in Mayan iconography will tell you that this carving is not that of an ancient astronaut, but of the great Mayan ruler, King Pacal, at the moment of his death. He is shown falling through the Mayan equivalent of the Tree of Life into underworld where he will be re-born.

Pacal the Great from Wikipedia

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Ancient Mayans: Gods Among Us? - Great reading material about the Ancient Mayans

Carving on tomb of King Pacal aka Pakal

Check it out!

The image below is an outline of the carving from Wikipedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Look at this image and make up your own mind. Whether you see an astronaut or symbolic representation of the cycle of death and rebirth, this is an amazing and wonderful image.

Palenque, Site of Pacal's Sarcophagus

Archaeological Maya site located in Chiapas, Mexico

Information from Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia:

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, which is made up of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, 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 (81 mi) south of Ciudad del Carmen (see map) about 150 m (164 yd) above sea-level. It stays at a humid 26°C (79°F) with roughly 2160 mm (85 in) of rain a year.

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 that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments; 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 was Pacal the Great whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions.

By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km² (1 sq mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle.

View of Palenque

View of Palenque
View of Palenque

Mayan Ruins of the Ancient City of Palenque - in the foothills of the Tumbalá mountains of Chiapas, Mexico

Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico.:
Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico.

get directions

Palenque and the Ancient Maya World - National Geographic Live!

Pakal's Tomb is Now Closed

This controversial carving of King Pacal was found in Paleque's Temple of Inscriptions, depicted below. In order to preserve its condition, the tomb has been closed to the public since 2004.

A replica of this amazing carving is in the Archaeological Museum of Palenque, along with his a replica of his jade mosaic death mask, jeweled skeleton and necklaces.

Suggestions and Feedback Welcome - I would love to hear from you!

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Is saw film about a week ago I I was really seandded as well. But the light, positivity and courage that these modern Maya have towards the future of their own culture and the future of all the Earth gives me hope and courage as well. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Let say the big bang theory is correct. The universe expands faster and faster and then what, it just stops.Or will it compress faster and faster to its original state, and then like a heart beat start again?

    • LluviaDeArte profile image


      5 years ago

      Wonderful writing- thank you so much for a wonderful read! Thank you

    • LluviaDeArte profile image


      5 years ago

      Wonderful writing- thank you so much for a wonderful read! Thank you

    • geosum profile image


      5 years ago

      Good subject. I've been to one Mayan temple in Belize. Impressive race.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is such an interesting topic, and you have to covered very well my dear. :)

    • JohnCumbow profile image


      5 years ago

      My wife and I are headed to Palenque in just a few weeks. Can't wait to check this out up close!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image


      5 years ago

      I just wanted to say I am reading this interesting lens - just 2 days before the end of the Mayan Long count calendar - and dire prophecies all say that the world will end in 2 days!!! We shall see...

    • DownToEarthLiving profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I really enjoy reading about ancient civilizations, especially the Mayans. Great lens with lots of good information.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      6 years ago from Texas

      A fascinating subject, to be sure. Who knows what the real answer is?

    • LynetteBell profile image


      6 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      A really interesting lens.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Truly fascinating information. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a very interesting lens. This subject intrigues me!!!

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 

      6 years ago

      I love all the Ancient Aliens shows and I have many books on this subject..very interesting lens! Blessed*

    • mjtaylor lm profile image

      mjtaylor lm 

      6 years ago

      I've read about this before and I find it fascinating. Great lens, thanks!

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 

      6 years ago

      Nice lens and featured in my lens Mankind: An Amazing Creation ... or a Collossal Mistake?

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 

      6 years ago

      I am so very happy to have found this treasure of a lens :)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent lens and it's amazing how advanced the Maya were in many ways, and how similar their use of Pyramids is in ways to that in Egypt and Sumeria. I wondered if you had read any of the books by Zecharia Sitchin, which chronicle mankind's ancient past and in which he unravels many ancient texts from around the world. It really puts a new light on our history.

      I haven't been to Palenque (it's on my list), but I have been to the Mayan cities of Tikal in Guatemala and Copan in Honduras, and they are truly remarkable to visit.

      I added this as a featured lens on mine about Zecharia Sitchin and the origins of mankind.

    • Commandrix profile image


      6 years ago from Benson, IL

      I was just watching a History Channel documentary about "Ancient Astronauts." They were saying that ancient societies like the Mayans had access to building techniques and possibly "magical" artifacts that can't be recreated with modern technology. Kinda hard for me to believe, but who knows?

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      6 years ago

      I've always loved this topic, great page!!!

    • Mauhro profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens. I am always curious to read about them.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image


      6 years ago

      You always do such good work, hon! Great job!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Fascinating topic! Looking forward to learning more from you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      interesting, funny and well written. good job!

    • Aquavel profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for your Angel blessing, awesome comment and feature!

      You are amazing!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, you have put a lot of work into creating this informative Mayan lens. Blessed, and I'm going to feature it on my Mayan Calendar Coloring Books lens. Very cool!

    • Aquavel profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @hlkljgk: Thank you for your feedback! I'm glad you learned something!

    • hlkljgk profile image


      6 years ago from Western Mass

      great lens. i even learned a little something. :)


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