Death mask of Pakal the Great

Q: Have you seen this? Thought you might enjoy it. Death Mask of Pakal the Great The striking jade death mask of an ancient Mayan king is displayed in a replica tomb in Mexico City. Derek, 1538

A: When I was studying at Mexico City University in 1956 I took some time off and went to the recently discovered ruins of Palenque in the jungles of Yucatan. It was difficult to reach, and because it was a Mexican holiday, there were no workmen there. My traveling companion and I climbed to the top of the pyramid, cranked up the generator, plugged in a string of lights and did some exploring. When we found the burial vault, nothing but the huge stone sarcophagus was left. All the valuables had been recently moved to the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. It was very exciting doing this in the empty ruins.

Did you know that Pakal became King at the age of 12, then ruled for a very long time? In fact, he may be the longest reining king in human history. It should be no surprise that his death mask is so spectacular. It is all jade and in perfect condition… one of the highlights of the museum. A+


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