Camera used to probe hidden tomb

June 24, 2011 at 5:39 PM
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PALENQUE, Mexico, June 24 (UPI) -- Archaeologists in Mexico using a tiny camera fed into a narrow opening say they've discovered secrets of a Mayan tomb hidden from the world for 1,500 years.

The underground tomb located in stone ruins in Palenque in the Mexican state of Chiapas was discovered in 1999 under a temple building, but the stonework and location prevented any exploration utilizing excavation, reported Friday.

So archaeologists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History fed a remote camera through a small 6-inch-by 6-inch hole in the tomb's ceiling to capture images of its interior.

The tomb, painted red and black, contains a sarcophagus and pottery dishes that may have held funeral offerings, the researchers said.

The chamber, decorated with paintings of nine figures, also contains jade pieces and shell.

Researchers said excavations of similar, nearby tombs point to the area being a royal necropolis.

The tomb's contents suggest it is the resting place of a dignitary who ruled in Palenque sometime between A.D. 431 and 550, they said.

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