K'inich Janaab' Pakal


K'inich Janaab' Pakal (23 March 603 CE - 31 March 683 CE) was the Maya king of Palenque in the modern-day State of Chiapas, Mexico. Also known as Pacal (which means 'shield') and Pacal the Great, he is most famous for raising the city of Palenque (known as B'aakal) from relative obscurity to a great power, his building projects in the city (especially the Temple of the Inscriptions), and his elaborately carved sarcophagus lid which has been interpreted by some to depict an ancient astronaut riding on a rocket ship. Pacal assumed the throne of Palenque at the age of 12, in 615 CE, and ruled successfully until his death at the age of 80. He was married to the Lady Tzakbu Ajaw and had three sons who succeeded him in rule. The ruins of Palenque visible in the modern day are only a small fraction of the ancient city developed and expanded by Pacal during his reign; the rest of the vast metropolis remains unexcavated in the surrounding jungle. Palenque was a city of modest size when Pacal took the throne, and it was through his efforts that it became one of the great urban centers of Mesoamerica, rivaling even the might and splendor of Tikal.

More about: K'inich Janaab' Pakal