Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations






Maya Temple XVII in Palenque is opened to public

Category: News reports

INAH, Palenque, Chiapas, March 25, 2009. The 17th Temple at the Palenque Archaeological Zone, in Chiapas was opened to public after guaranteeing visitor’s safety. After a year of maintenance work, this monument reincorporates to the circuit near Crosses Group, where visitors’ affluence concentrates. In 2008, the direction of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) archaeological zone decided to close temporarily the 17th and 19th temples to conduct building conservation work, generate access infrastructure and reinforce vigilance, which was achieved with the Minor Maintenance Project.

Archaeologist Carlos Miguel Varela Scherrer, man in charge at Palenque Archaeological Zone, commented that regarding the corridor that surrounds 17th Temple, the way was delimited and covered with fine gravel, while microorganisms such as lichen and algae were removed to avoid slipping of visitors. A limestone stairway was built at the side of the structure to help people access the top, where the temple locates. The original staircase undergoes consolidation to recondition it as the access.

The 17th Temple dates from 600 AD approximately and is a typical sample of the Palenque Maya architecture. It is conformed of 2 lateral rooms and a sanctuary, with a banquette decorated with reliefs, which was intervened by restorer Gabriela Mason. More than 10 years ago, the Warriors Tableaux was discovered here, which is exhibited at present in the “Alberto Ruz Lhullier” Site Museum.

Varela made public that 19th Temple could be opened by the next Holy Week holiday season, where work similar to the one performed at 17th Temple took place. “The 19th Temple presents a good conservation state. This is where the polychrome tableaux that represents the Palenque ruler Akhal Mo’ Nahab was found; a replica was placed at the temple. Temples 17th and 19th are located at the southeast of the archaeological zone, where the high forest flora is exuberant and endemic fauna such as howling monkeys or saraguatos can be watched, making it an attractive zone for visitors”, expressed the INAH specialist.

Opening the area known as Group 4 is being considered. This conjunct is located next to the driveway and “works are being conducted to habilitate the sector and, even as it has never been part of the visit area, it undergoes periodical maintenance”.

With the support of the Secretariat of Social Development (SEDESOL), near 100 persons will be hired to help in different maintenance labors at Palenque Archaeological Zone that include cleaning, walkway’s delimitation, weeding and reparation of modern structures such as the site museum.

Carlos Varela concluded that opening of 17th and 19th temples and possibly Group 4 would enlarge the visit route in 60 square meters, which will lighten the visitors’ charge around the Crosses Group.

Source: INAH


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