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Tiny camera reveals 'never-before-seen' inside of 1,500-yr-old Mayan tomb

June 24, 2011 - London

An apparently intact funeral chamber with offerings and red-painted wall murals has been discovered inside a 1,500-year-old Mayan tomb in southern Mexico - thanks to a small, remote-controlled camera, which was lowered into the tomb.

The footage of the tomb at the Palenque archaeological site showed a series of nine figures depicted in black on a vivid, blood-red background, reports The Telegraph.

Archaeologists say the never-before-seen images from one of the earliest ruler's tombs found at Palenque will shed new light on the early years of the once-great city state.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History said archaeologists have known about the tomb since 1999, but have been unable to enter it because the pyramid standing above it is unstable and breaking into the chamber could damage the murals.

It said the floor appears to be covered with detritus and it is not immediately evident in the footage if the tomb contains recognizable remains.

But archaeologist Martha Cuevas said the jade and shell fragments seen on the video are "part of a funerary costume."

The chamber was found in a heavily deteriorated pyramid complex known as the Southern Acropolis, in a jungle-covered area of Palenque not far from the Temple of Inscriptions, where the tomb of a later ruler, Pakal, was found in the 1950s.


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