The mysterious theory about the tomb of a Mayan ruler: is it king Pakal or an astronaut?
On June 15, 1952, Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruíz de Lhuillier and his team made a great discovery in the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, Chiapas: they found the tomb of the Mayan ruler, K'inich Jannab' Pakal, better known as Pakal "The Great".
The discovery of the tomb was made under a staircase of 45 steps, it had a tombstone used as a lid for the sarcophagus with the remains of Pakal and the offering that was given to him for a ruling. So far it is considered the most important funerary monument of Mesoamerica and of the Mayan culture.
Pakal's face was covered by a jade mask, although at the moment of its discovery it was broken, at the moment it is exhibited in the Museum of Anthropology of Mexico. Regarding the offering that accompanied the body, it was made up of more than three thousand pieces of jade, vessels of different materials, and two heads modeled in stucco.
What has called the attention of this discovery and has opened the doors to diverse theories is what is carved on the tombstone; in the first instance and in an official way, the archaeologists affirm that the figure of a man with Mayan attire was reproduced. However, several people, around the world, affirm that it is not a Mayan figure, but a man seated in a spaceship.
This last idea is mainly in charge of the Russian science-fiction novelist and scientist, Alexander Kazantsev, who assures that on the tombstone what is present is the figure of a man astronaut in vertical position controlling a spaceship, so it would be a time traveler.
He affirms that it is a humanoid figure and that the hands are placed on a control panel, that in the nose is located an instrument for the circulation of oxygen, and in the rear part of the ship the flames of the rocket can be distinguished due to the propulsion that it generates, as well as buttons and controls.
These affirmations, according to the novelist, are verified because the found cadaver had a height of 1.70, which does not correspond with the general characteristics that have been studied of the old Mayan, because these do not exceed, in their majority, the 1.50 of height. While the Swiss novelist, Eric von Däniken, continuing with Alexander Kazantsev's statements, affirms in his book Simples extraterrestres (Simple Extraterrestrials), that he is indeed an astronaut man since:
"...he wears a too modern clothing: immediately under his chin and well visible in the part of the neckline is distinguishable a garment similar to a "gooseneck" sweater, which fits completely to the torso and ends in ribbed cuffs... he also wears a wide belt with a safety buckle, a thick leggings pants and a very tight inner one, which reaches his ankles.... We already have the astronaut perfectly dressed and equipped!".
Both authors maintain that to be able to correctly interpret the tombstone, it is necessary to analyze it vertically and with the personage looking to the left since it would be the correct way to reveal the true meaning hidden in Pakal's tomb.
While theories have circulated since its discovery in 2010, archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), headed by Rogelio Rivero Chong (who was present in the team that discovered the tomb) have continued studying not only the crypt but the entire sarcophagus and the offering that was found.
They completely reject the theories about astronauts or men from other planets, what they assure is that they found "a modest offering in terms of ceramics, which speaks to us of the belief that the Maya had that the plates and vessels would contain food that would accompany the ruler on his journey to the underworld".
Currently, the general public does not have access to the tomb and the only knowledge of the tombstone is through official photographs, but Rivero Chong affirms that "there have been no problems with the tombstone on the sarcophagus, nor have bats penetrated [...] nor have there been any fungal contamination".
The theories about what is represented on the tombstone will continue to grow, some will be strengthened and others will be discarded, but what is fascinating is how the Maya culture continues to unveil secrets and show the wonders with which it was constituted.