Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History says the U.S. Embassy will donate $500,000 to help conserve the tomb of king Pakal and other structures at the Mayan ruin site of Palenque.
Once a ceremonial center, the archaeological site and the surrounding jungle comprise the Parque Nacional Palenque. It is home to wildlife, including howler monkeys and jaguars. The site’s main structure is the Temple of Inscriptions, a pyramid named for its hieroglyphic writing.
The tomb is known for Pakal’s magnificent carved sarcophagus. It was built in Palenque’s Temple of Inscriptions sometime after 683 B.C. and was discovered around 1952.
Since then, the tomb’s stucco decorations have been damaged by humidity, and there are structural issues with that temple and others at Palenque.
The institute said Monday the embassy will provide the money over three years to conduct studies about how to keep the structures sound and free of humidity.
The tomb has been closed to the public for years for conservation. It is unclear if it will ever be opened again.