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Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  34 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Sunday, June 15, 1952. Having spent four years clearing a secret passage inside Palenque's Temple of the Inscriptions, Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz gazed into a vaulted chamber. There, beneath a gigantic carved stone block, he would make a spectacular discovery: the intact burial of King Pakal, complete with jade jewelry and an exquisite burial mask.

Pakal was one of t
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 24th 2008 by Thames Hudson (first published October 20th 2008)
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Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
The classical Mayan city of Palenque in Mexico, which flourished from 500 to 700 CE, is dominated by the Temple of Inscriptions set on top of a great pyramid. In 1948, Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier noticed something that no one had noticed before, that the stone slabs that made up the temple floor had holes drilled into them, allowing for ropes to be passed through them and the slabs hoisted up. When the slabs were removed, they found a staircase that led deep into the interior of ...more
Bryn Donovan
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The authors, archeologists George and David Stuart, are father and son, so that's pretty cool. The first 100 pages or so of this book deals with the gradual discovery of Palenque in more modern times, beginning just before 1800, and with the last two hundred years of study and scholarship. It includes detailed descriptions of the ruins. The rest of the book talks about what they've learned there about the civilization so far. It is mostly a history of kings.

Early researchers had bizarre theories
Gary C.
There is no better, more thorough history of the Mayan site of Palenque than George and David Stuart’s "Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya." The Stuart’s, both experts on the Maya in general and the site of Palenque in particular, manage to condense their expansive knowledge of the site into a relatively brief 243 pages that cover everything from architecture to royal family lineages.

Having said that, the book is not without its flaws. First, the book does not start with the Mayan history of the
Bill Thompson
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I used it for research for my novel "The Strangest Thing," which involves the US President's disappearance while deep inside Palenque's Temple of the Inscriptions. I've been to Palenque twice and I keep this book close at hand always. The place has far less tourists than many, partially because of its remote location deep in southern Mexico, but it is one of the most beautiful Mayan sites I've visited.

This book is non-fiction but has the intrigue and suspense of a novel. It's
Leonide Martin
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: maya-nonfiction
Detailed and readable account of the history of Palenque. Very nice illustrations. Some thought-provoking ideas, such as the ancient Mayas having foreknowledge of dynastic cycles coming to completion. They base this on inverse naming of Palenque rulers with Janaab Pakal (greatest ruler of Palenque, most famous Maya "king") as the central point. After Pakal, the ruler names were reverse order of the preceding ones. Curious . . the Maya had metaphysical ways of knowing.
Mary Black
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wonderful history of Palenque. There's nothing out these like this that I know of. Authorative and incredibly intereresting.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
david stuart os by far the greatest living mayanist, anyone into the classic maya need to read this title
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other
Liked a lot, although tough to read and a lot of information packed in there.
May 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, archaeology
The expertise is undeniable and the material is compelling in its own right, but the organization and overall editing of the book was disappointing.
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“The reuse of names by later (Maya) kings (of Palenque) is not random, but conforms to a reversed re-ordering. The overall king list suggests a closed system. We hesitate to think that Maya dynasties were predestined to end by themselves . .” 3 likes
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