Revealed conservation works modeled head in stucco at El Palacio de Palenque

Revealed conservation works modeled head in stucco at El Palacio de Palenque

Mexico City.- As part of the conservation and research work in the architectural complex known as El Palacio, in the archaeological zone of Palenque, in Chiapas, there was a substructure in the building called Casa C, as well as a huge supply , in House E, whose most notorious element is a head, modeled in stucco that the Mayan ruler K & # 39; inich Janaab & # 39; Pakal would suggest, in addition to other associated objects and remains of a pond in this building to the Classical period would have worked late of this culture (684 – 720 AD).

The above is the result of the first phase of an integral conservation project that the Ministry of Culture, through the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH), and with the support of the Embassy of the United States in Mexico, performs in This important pre -Spanish building.

This was announced by the general director of INAH, Diego Prieto Hernández, at a press conference, accompanied by Jorge Gutiérrez, deputy minister of cultural diversity and promotion of reading of the Ministry of Culture, representative of María Cristina García Cepeda; by Carlos Suárez Argüello, Vice Secretary of Tourism Development of the Government of Chiapas; and Carlos Morelos Rodríguez, branch president of Palenque.

Head modeled in stucco

Head modeled in stucco
(Photo: Special)

With the start of the fieldwork last May, after the announcement of the election of this archaeological site as beneficiary of the ambassador fund of the Ministry of State for Cultural Conservation (AFCP), in December 2017, the project of Conservation for the Elements of El Palacio , directed by the archaeologist Arnoldo González Cruz and the restaurateur Haydeé Orea Magaña, represents a sum of wills in favor of this ancient Mayan heritage.

The researchers described that the discovery was recorded during the conservation work aimed at collecting water in the eastern courtyard of the so-called house E, whose level of the floor was almost equal to that of the bay of the building, which at the time of rain caused the trasminado of the liquid and in turn problems with moisture in the mural, the historic signatures and the ornaments that are characteristic.

"The first exploration was done to find the building ruins and the plates used by the ancient Maya to drain the water from the building, but we discovered that the original channels did not release the water, but instead of that it concentrated in the patio ", explains Arnoldo González.

The subsequent works situate the above-mentioned sacrifice, north of the eastern courtyard of House E, almost on the corner it forms with House B. Archaeologists Benito Venegas Durán and Wenceslao Urbina Cruz have indicated that it was integrated by a first level of alabaster fragments – material that was not found in Palenque's offer and by the plastered head, of naturalistic dimensions and style, known to be part of an architectural decoration, although its origins are unknown.

"Among them we found four half-complete vessels from the Murciélagos phase, which dates from the Late Classical period, and coincide with the last years of the Pakal government," Venegas remarked.

Knowing that Pakal "the Great" reigned until his death, at the age of 80, and that the painted face resembles an old man, it is very likely that the sculpture symbolizes it. "It is remarkable, unlike other Mayan sites where representations are generic, in Palenque many of the features that we see in mural or stone carvings are faithful reflections of specific characters," he said.

The third level of the offer revealed a cluster of materials – so far, more than 100 plots have been counted, sheltered, classified and maintained in the archaeological zone laboratory – ceramic figurines and shards, carved bones, two pearls, fragments of jadeite flint stone, cockatiel, obsidian and cinnabar, a piece of pyrite polished mirror, as well as numerous bones of turtles, bass, mojarras, lizards, scissors of crabs, small birds and snails.

All components of the offer refer to an aquatic and fertility context. The archaeologists of the INAH agree that they also indicate the high status of the inhabitants of El Palacio, because they are goods that are foreign to Palenque and that were of great value in antiquity.

Among the pieces is a figurine that looks like a river prawn and an esgrafiado glass whose motifs (lilies and fish) confirm the aquatic vocation of space, archaeologist William Mex Albornoz observed, who studied this ritually fragmented vessel, that is to say say in a certain way deliberate.

According to experts, the pond would have been at the northern end of the patio and be 6.55 meters long and 3.50 wide, as well as between 20 and 30 centimeters deep, as evidenced by the traces of moisture on the sidewalks that border it, and a few bench seats (1.30 m long and 62 cm wide) that were found with different preservation conditions and that are expected to be restored within the project. It is striking that it has restored its original function in the pond, to be a mirror of water; it is also the intention to explore a series of channels on the northeast side in order to be able to release the rainwater as before.

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