The Truth About The Red Queen

by Frank D. Gardner

Brand new speculation was created by a book

Recent studies revealed that the Red Queen, a royal tomb, and the bones of this character could be from this ancient Maya ruler's consort and not from his mother.

At the National Museum of Anthropology, the publication was presented which was also coedited by INAH and Turner Publications.

A whole new speculation declares that the The Red Queen's remains, uncovered at Palenque, Chiapas, could match the wife of the ruler of the ancient Mayan city, Pakal II, and not of his mother, as was assumed over the early decades of the uncovering of the tomb in the year 1994.

Such approach, inferred from the results of a number of conservation as well as restoration of bio anthropological and archaeological studies, is revealed in the book The Red Queen, a royal tomb, by the archaeologist Arnoldo Gonzalez Cruz, which has been displayed at the National Museum of Anthropology.

On this publication, copublished by the INAH or National Institute of Anthropology and History and Turner Publications, it is stated that the characteristics of the skull of the Red Queen have a resemblance to the representations on different boards found in the archeology area of the Pakal's wife.

The outcomes of investigations highly recommend the speculation that the skeleton discovered may possibly match Tz'ak-b'u Ajaw, who was the consort of King Pakal II K'inich Janahb, this method arose from the coincidence of the amount of years between the age of the skeleton, whose research place it in 672 AD, with the dates documented on the Palenque monuments, which make reference to November 13th, 672 as the time of death of the sovereign's wife.

To this, additional DNA or genetic research studies say that this character and also the Palenque ruler do not have some connection of kinship, and not his mother's bones.

Nevertheless, regardless of the improvement of brand new research,the Red Queen's biography doesn't end with this particular editorial contribution said Arnoldo Gonzalez, INAH archaeologist, "simply because it's likely that soon brand new archaeological data still left unseen underground as well as linking the queen with somebody in her family is going to be produced."


Alfonso de Maria y Campos, INAH general director said during the presentation of the book that, if it's confirmed that the Red Queen was the wife of Pakal II, over 1,300 years ago, it would have given a broader perspective of the Palenque 's founding moment in the Classic Period (650-900 AD), stating that this ruler made the city the western hegemonic Mayan center.

He likewise added that this brand new publication is, "a scholarly review of multidisciplinary researches which was done since 1994 and when this discovery was recorded. The publication is an important connection between what we know and reader's desire to know more about the Red Queen, after years of study."

De Maria y Campos mentioned that this text is an editorial ground satisfaction and an institutional project since it is done beautifully having a lively writing which does not omit the science and research which characterizes the institute."

In connection with this, he mentioned that, in the present administration, the INAH publishing project happens to be restored with the launch of new collections and scientific books, in addition to several digital options.

"At the same time, he added that the new copublishing agreements have been established and national and international publishing agreements have been renewed since the INAH is the most important publishing house in Latin America and among the world's most important anthropological issues."

In addition, Mexico Nestle Group was thanked by De Maria y Campos "for its imperative partnership as well as persistent protection and distribution of the country's cultural heritage, especially in Chiapas, where Nestle financed the creation of the Palenque Site Museum and also the disclosure of publications, just like the one presented on this occasion; in addition, bestowed several hectares in Chiapa de Corzo in support with the better protection of the ancient and historical remains."

Juan Carlos Marroquin Cuesta, chief executive of Mexico Nestle Group, for his part, reiterated the commitment of his company which was established in the country in 1930 - in the conservation, development and diffusion of the cultural heritage of Mexico, via actions taken for a number of years in Chiapas, amongst which includes participation in the Palenque Round Table, which brings Mayan culture scholars together.


Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, INAH emeritus researcher, stressed the importance of this finding, recorded inside the Temple XIII, which significantly expanded the knowledge about mortuary practices of the Maya societies during The Red Queen, a royal tomb, book review. According to the archaeologist, the book provides an overview of this ancient civilization, contextualizing the discovery of the Red Queen in the 138 graves found in Palenque from 1923 to date and telling its government, role of women and farming systems, myths, beliefs and architecture.

The grave contained a monolithic female sarcophagus, together with offerings comprised of jade pieces and a mask made from malachite, that was engrossed in thick cinnabar in 3 inches, because of the qualities of this red mineral, Arnoldo Gonzalez Cruz, archaeologist and, director of the excavation, referred to it as as the Red Queen.

As part of his presentation, an archaeologist at the UNAM Institute of Anthropological Research, Rodrigo Liendo Stuart stressed the work of the author, who handles the problem of the origin and also identity of the individual laid to rest in that burial plot as well as its impact in the Palenque society; additionally, the work makes implications in regards to the concepts and also rituals associated with death, via the analysis of archaeological materials and also the utilization of history and epigraphy.

The Red Queen, a royal tomb book is comprised of 11 chapters that deals with the recreation of life of the ancient inhabitants of Palenque, their funeral and burial system, architecture, the exploration techniques employed in 1994 in Temple XIII, whose interior the burial chamber was found along with the opening of the sarcophagus. Aside from that, analysis of the position that maintained the archaeological materials inside the grave of the Red Queen, description of the associated offerings as well as their possible significance, studies generated on the discovered mosaic masks, along with the similarities and differences between the Red Queen along with the Pakal's tombs are exposed.

The parts are titled: A Queen's City, Death in Palenque, A Bare Temple, Opening a Sarcophagus, Mosaics in Time, Transit to the Underworld, Tomb for Eternity, Buried Clues, The Footsteps of a Queen, The Red Queen and her relationship with Pakal, plus final Thoughts.

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