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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-11 11:59 PM
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Micro-camera explores Maya tomb
Edited on Fri Jun-24-11 12:04 AM by Judi Lynn
Micro-camera explores Maya tomb

Alan Boyle writes
A tiny remote-controlled camera is providing remarkable views of an apparently intact 1,500-year-old Maya tomb that's thought to hold a ruler's remains.

The 2-inch-long camera was lowered into a vault inside a pyramid at the Palenque archaeological site, in the hills of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Archaeologists have known about the vault since 1999, but the only access to the room was through a small shaft in the pyramid just big enough to fit the micro-camera through.

The images reveal a series of nine figures painted on the walls in black on a vivid, blood-red background. Dishes, apparently meant to hold funerary offerings, are set on the floor. The camera also spotted pieces of a funerary shroud made of jade and mother of pearl. "The characteristics of the funeral site show that the bones could belong to a sacred ruler from Palenque, probably one of the founders of a dynasty," Reuters quoted archaeologist Martha Cuevas as saying.

For more about today's revelations, check out this report from Mexico. And don't miss the National Institute of Anthropology and History's Spanish-language news release, which includes a slideshow and an infographic.
(Great photos)
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 12:13 AM
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1. Archaeologists spy on an intact 1,500-year-old Maya tomb
Archaeologists spy on an intact 1,500-year-old Maya tomb
Pictures from tiny camera shed light on chamber of an early ruler in Palenque
updated 9 minutes ago 2011-06-24T02:56:17

MEXICO CITY Archaeologists say new images of an 1,500-year-old Maya tomb will shed new light on the early years of the once-great city-state of Palenque in southern Mexico.

Pictures captured by a remote-controlled camera lowered into the tomb revealed an apparently intact funeral chamber, with offerings sitting on the floor. Wall murals depicted a series of nine figures, painted in black on a blood-red background.

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said archaeologists have known about the tomb since 1999, but have been unable to enter it because the pyramid standing above it is unstable, and breaking into the chamber could damage the murals.

The institute said on Thursday that the floor appears to be covered with detritus, and it is not immediately evident in the footage if the tomb contains recognizable remains. But archaeologist Martha Cuevas said the jade and shell fragments seen on the video are "part of a funerary costume."

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