This Ancient Temple Has Revealed Secrets of Mayan Burial Rituals


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The Mayan temples are one of the coolest places to visit as they have been around for a very long time and have a ton of history surrounding them and likely enclosed in them as well. And not only do these ancient temples hold secrets of history and culture, but as it turns out, they also housed secrets about the burial rituals of the Mayan people. For years this was a mystery until archeologists made a big discovery. After digging under the ancient Temple of Inscriptions, they found a two-foot water tunnel. So what exactly does this mean?


Well, experts believe that this water tunnel was made to carry and transport the souls of the dead into the underworld. The Temple of Inscriptions was built to be an amazing and luxurious monument and was the cornerstone of the city of Palenque. It was believed to have been built between 683 and 702.

By Jan Harenburg – own photography, CC BY 3.0

In addition to this, the temple also serves as the burial ground of one of the greatest rulers of all time: ancient Mayan ruler K’inich Janaab’ Pakal. Pakal reigned from 615 (when he was only 12) right up until his death in 683. His reign of 68 years is one of the longest of all time and is actually the longest of any reign in the Western Hemisphere and his reign could be seen as the “golden age” for the Mayans.

The temple was unearthed a few centuries ago, but many of its secrets still remained. One of those was this water tunnel before it was recently discovered. For over a century, archaeologists could not locate the tomb that they believed was inside the pyramid. Finally, the tomb was discovered in the 1950’s. Inside, they found numerous different artifacts and the skeleton of Pakal, still fully intact. The discovery of the water and the tunnel was found some time later. While water was always believed to have had an important role in Mayan belief systems, this discovery takes that idea to a whole other level and it is likely that numerous other tombs also house water tunnels to transport the souls of monarchs to the underworld safely.