Archeologists Find Water Tunnel Under Pakal Tomb In Mexico

Posted: Jul 25 2016, 10:32pm CDT | by , Updated: Jul 26 2016, 6:06pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Archeologists Find Water Tunnel Under Pakal Tomb in Mexico
Mayan ruin site of Palenque. Credit: Ales Liska

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Researchers suggest that the water tunnel discovered in Palenque represents a symbolic path to the underworld.

Mexican archeologists have discovered an ancient underground water tunnel in Palenque which began under the tomb of Pakal and ends in front of a temple, suggesting a symbolic path to the underworld.

King Pakal was the ruler of Maya city Palenque located in the southern part of Mexico in the seventh century. During his 68 year reign, Pakal constructed some of the most notable monuments and structures of the city which are still evident today. Researchers believe that the tomb of the king and the pyramid were deliberately built over the tunnel somewhere between 683 and 702 AD after the death of Pakal and apparently its purpose was to connect Pakal’s spirit to the underworld.

Submerging the deceased person is believed to be the part of Mayan religious rituals as the carvings on a pair of stone in the grave also says a god “will guide the dead toward the underworld, by submerging them into the water so they will be received there.”

The underground tunnel is made of stone and is about two feet wide and tall. The dig of the Mayan ruin site was started back in 2012 when mysterious anomalies were detected with geo-radar right under the area where the tomb was built. Researchers decided not to track these anomalies through the tomb which might end up damaging or collapsing the monument. Instead, they started the dig at spot and uncovered three layers of stone covering the top of the tunnel. The same three-layered stone covering was also found in the floor of the tomb within the pyramid, reflecting some sort of connection between the two.

Currently, researchers are unable to confirm this connection since tunnel is too small to crawl through and to find where it ends up. They have been using various tools including robots and cameras to get more details about this narrow underground tunnel.

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