Palenque: A Mayan Trend Setter


The power of the Mayan civilization stretched for almost the entire length of South America. The Mayan ruins that have been left behind are the only lasting memory we have of what the Mayans did for a living, how they worshiped, and how they went about making their civilization. Some of the Mayan ruins have dated back as early as 5000 BC, while others are as new as 1500’s.

Most of the Mayan ruins fall in between those two times though, such as Palenque located in Chiapas, Mexico. Palenque has become one of the most influential ruins in the modern understanding of the Mayan people. The reason behind this is the vast amount of detailed work that archeologists have done there. Some speculate that Palenque is one of the most excavated and studied Mayan sites anywhere in Mesoamerica.

Palenque Mayan Site


On the way into the site, which is about 2 hours and 15 minutes from the nearest airport, you’ll notice that the jungle seems to engulf you in its majestic power. As you get further away from the airport and closer to Palenque you’ll begin to notice the life of the forest.

How The Forest Eats Mayan Ruins

When you arrive at Palenque you’ll almost certainly be shocked by the power the forest has had over the former Mayan city. It almost seems as if the Mayan ruins aren’t ruins at all. The jungle seems to have accepted the ruins as part of the natural environment adding to all the beauty and brilliance of the ancient location.


Palenque is also known to be the birthplace of what many would call idolatry. The Mayans here were among the first to start erecting sculpture and statues of their current and former rulers. Palenque also set a precedent as the first unbelievers of the popular belief in the Mayan doomsday prophecy calendar. The prophecies coming out of the later Palenque Mayans stated something very different. They predicted that the Mayan people will celebrate King Pacals ascension into throne in the distant year of 4772 A.D. Making the Mayans people the first disbelievers of their own ancestors 7 prophecies.

It seems that the Mayan doomsday is not set in stone after all. Especially, if you consider the idea that most civilizations become smarter and more advanced the longer they exist. Knowing that the calendar was created sometime in the Mayans early history, while Palenque existed during 600 A.D. to 700 A.D., the prophecies may have been found to have flaws. This idea makes it feasible that the later Mayans saw a flaw in their former works and corrected it. If the popular prophecies and Mayan calendar does have flaws, the Palenque kept the details to themselves and took them to the grave.