Professor Paine would surely have had thousands of things to say about Palenque. I feel full of excitement to see the place, wishing I had more time to read and inform myself more about Palenque, a place taken out of a fantasy book. As we walked through it, I could almost picture the fires around the temples, the color, the smells and chaotic noise of a city at its peak.

They have only uncovered about 6% of Palenque thus far and there still are major temples and buildings covered by trees and soil. It makes me wonder what beautiful architecture Nature has hidden over the centuries. Nature, sometimes you are inconvenient. I asked for archeological information, finding out they don’t have any digs going on currently. They informed me that a new project will possibly start next year. I will check into this a bit more, the only downfall would be the intoxicating heat and mosquitos.


As we exited the Archeological site, Thad was going to open the umbrella for me. It seems that the trick of opening it must not have worked because he was walking away with a completely overturned umbrella, a worthy project for a shady spot. Feeling overheated and hungry, we started towards a tree laughing at the funny scene.

A few of the things we learned about Palenque:

  1. The site is only 6% excavated.
  2. At the peak of the civilization, they had cleared the forests for many kilometers around.
  3. They made mortar from dirt and trees.
  4. The buildings were covered with colorful paintings.
  5. There is a building (still un-excavated) called the watchtower, this building has a small tunnel that goes from the highest point of the city to the lowest, presumably for messengers to carry information quickly from one part of the city to another.
  6. They had an extensive network of running water.
  7. Separation between male and female bathrooms. (different stone shape)
  8. The water network would run from the sauna, then on to the bathrooms, then exit. The water was perfumed by plants in the sauna, they assume the bathrooms were deodorized that way. These bathrooms were for royalty and other lucky individuals living in the main temples.
  9. Some of the reconstruction done by the archeologists is incorrect, but they did their best and it would be pointless to modify it.
  10. If the deforestation is true, then during the summer Palenque would have been unbearable.


At the end of the hot day, we got to shower in a waterfall outside of Palenque, not a bad way to end the day.

Angela Arvizu

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2 Responses to Palenque

  1. Rico says:

    Palenque: Interesting! When I was there 25 years ago in January, it was actually quite cold. I wouldn’t have expected it to be 95F in February! That area isn’t below the equator! … and its at a higher elevation … oh well!
    Maybe there is something to this ‘global warming’ after all !;-)). Surprised that they haven’t excavated much more than what they have since then!? Its so cool to vicariously relive my experiences thru your trip posts!!
    Keep it going and many Blessings!

  2. Chris says:

    ^_^ just because you said “professor paine” I heard his voice narrating your post as I read it. And may or may not have a had a little nerdgasm to think that only 6% has been excavated.