The scientific tourist #178 — the Red Queen’s looking green…

Seen on display in the site museum at Palenque, Mexico:

The Red Queen's looking green

This is a replica (I think, the placards at this museum didn’t do a very good job of identifying originals vs. copies) of the malachite burial mask found on the skeleton of the “Red Queen” found in Temple XIII in the ruins of Palenque. Maya royalty were quite fond of funerary masks made of green stone like jade or malachite, since to them green was the color of life (living in the jungle would make this a logical connection).

Nobody’s really sure who the Red Queen was — but her 7th century burial was only the second most-ornate on the site (second only to that of Pacal the Great), so she must have been a person of impressive rank in the city.

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