Closed to visit since 2004 to guarantee its good conservation state, Pakal’s Tomb, in Palenque Archaeological Zone, Chiapas, can be visited virtually through Internet since August 2009. Access to the funerary chamber of Maya ruler K’inich Janaab Pakal was habilitated by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) at http://culturainah.org/panorama360/palenque/ and through INAH official web page www.inah.gob.mx.
Considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries of 20th century in America, the chamber was found inside the Temple of Inscriptions in June 15th 1952 by the French archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhullier (1906-1979). There is an exact replica of the tomb and its context at Palenque Site Museum.
The decision of restricting public access was taken after signs of deterioration were presented by Prehispanic vestiges after 5 decades of being open. To present, the funerary chamber has an optimal conservation state.
The rest of Palenque vestiges as well as Yaxchilan Archaeological Zone can be virtually visited as well using these multimedia tools. The web page includes 360° panoramic views that allow admiring each detail of each Maya building at both cities; general information as location and history, photographs and maps are available as well.
Palenque Prehispanic city was inhabited from 100 BC to 900 AD. Archaeological explorations directed by Alberto Ruz Lhullier in 1952 led to the discovery of the tomb; archaeologist Arnoldo Gonzalez found the tomb of Reina Roja (Red Queen) maybe the mother or wife of Pakal, in 1994. Palenque virtual visit allows knowing the interior and exterior of the temples De La Calavera, De La Reina Roja, De Las Inscripciones, El Palacio, Grupo de las Cruces, buildings XIX and XII and the ballgame court.
Yaxchilan Archaeological Zone virtual visit describes the geographic advantages this city had by settling near Usumacinta River. The Great Square, buildings XX and XXI and structures 19, 39, 40 41 and 45 can be admired. Yaxchilan Prehispanic city was inhabited from 350 to 810 AD, and the good conservation state of the stelae outstands. Stele 1 represents Bird Jaguar IV, one of the most important rulers in a religious ceremony in 761 AD.
Other virtual visits available at INAH web page are Teotihuacan Archaeological Site, in Estado de Mexico, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, and Tehuacalco, Guerrero.