Mayan Tomb Revealed Through Archaeologists' Camera

A ceramic head found in a tomb discovered in January sits on display at the Mayan Tonina archeological site near Ocosingo village in Mexicos Chiapas state.

A Mayan tomb that has been sealed for 1,500 years was made available to the view of archaeologists Thursday when workers inserted a tiny remote-controlled camera into the room.

The tomb, which was the final resting place of a Mayan ruler, was discovered in 1999 inside a pyramid found among the ruins of the Mayan city of Palenque in the modern Mexican state of Chiapas, Reuters reports. Until now, however, archaeologists have not been able to access the vault.

The tiny camera was dropped 16 feet deep through a small hole at the top of the pyramid, the National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a Thursday statement. The first view of the tomb revealed red frescoes, pottery and pieces of a funerary shroud made from jade and mother of pearl. The walls include depictions of Mayan figures.

Archaeologists working on the site believe the tomb to hold the remains of a Mayan ruler who lived between AD 431 and 550, the institute said.

“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,” said archaeologist Martha Cuevas.

According to Reuters, the Mayans lived between AD 250 and 900. Of the Mayan cities, Palenque is considered to be one of the most important.

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