The mysterious Mayan Red Queen is in the Templo Mayor museum

The “Red Queen” has been studied for years and hundreds of hours were dedicated to her restoration; it's been discovered that she was Palenque's queen

The mysterious Mayan Red Queen is in the Templo Mayor museum
The Red Queen - Photo: Taken from the INAH's Twitter account
English 06/08/2018 12:04 Mexico City Actualizada 12:15

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The Anthropology and History National Institute (INAH), in collaboration with the Templo Mayor Museum, has inaugurated the temporary exhibition The Red Queen, the journey to Xibalbá (La Reina Roja, el viaje a Xibalbá).

Tz’akbu Ajaw, her Mayan name, was King Pakal the Great's (el Grande) wife, and she's considered as a very powerful woman thanks to her witchcraft knowledge.

The exhibition looks to highlight the accessories and jewelry that the priestess wore, as well as the research developments about her life.

Patricia Ledesma Bouchan, the Templo Mayor's director, said that she was grateful to receive these valuable pieces that come from New York, for a short stay.

She emphasized that the “Red Queen” has been studied for years and hundreds of hours were dedicated to her restoration, with the purpose of being able to use these pieces as the main source of information; now that it's known that she was Palenque's queen.

On April 1994, the Mexican archeologist, Arnoldo González, was excavating inside the Temple XIII in Palenque, where he had discovered Pakal the Great's burial chamber, and now history repeated itself with the Red Queen's sarcophagus.

The research to learn the identity of the character in the grave, which was totally covered in red cinnabar, started immediately.

The body had been dressed luxuriously with a malachite mask, a headdress, a diadem in the skull, which was used to crown the nobility in Mayan traditions, and a couple of green stone beads.

Incense was found inside the sarcophagus and a bone spindle on top of the tombstone, which didn't have an inscription, which made it more mysterious.

On the western side, they found the remains of a decapitated boy between 8 and 11 years, and on the East, a woman without her heart, between 25 and 35 years. Both were part of the entourage that had to accompany the priestess in her journey to the underworld, in Xibalbá.

The museum is proud to receive the objects that were part of the discovery inside this archeological site 24 years ago.

In the exhibition, they honor the dress “that is not complete yet, it's an approximation of how it looked”, said Arnoldo González Cruz, director of the Palenque Archeological Project.

The temporary exhibition La Reina Roja, el viaje a Xibalbá, will be in the Templo Mayor Museum from July 27 to September 9.

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