Osteological analyses carried out to date have produced relevant information. In the case of the main personage we know, for example, from the fact that the ankles of the skeleton were found close together that the corpse must have been bundled inside a shroud before being placed in the sarcophagus. Her height (1.54 m.) has been considered uncharacteristically tall for the female population of her region and times. The skull presents severe tabular slanting deformation in its pseudoanullar variant. This kind of cranial deformation, shared by the majority of population buried in the center of the ancient city, was attained through the use of a cephalic apparatus made of two flat boards held together with constricting bandages.

Another important observation is the presence of shovel-type upper incisors, a distinctive feature of mongoloid populations. Two lower incisors are fused, and both third upper molars are missing. Dental decoration attained through filing is present, resulting in the shape identified as type A1 (in the classification of Romero [1986]).

The presence of plaque, cavities and abscesses has been detected, indicating a mildly abrasive diet and bad oral hygiene. Further analysis has revealed that this person probably consumed a high meat-content diet and, given the slenderness of many bones, mostly observable in the cranial parietals and the extremities, suffered from advanced osteoporosis (Romano, 1999).

As to the accompanying burials located at the ends of the sarcophagus, it would seem both individuals were sacrified specifically to accompany the main tomb occupant. Given the position of the bones at the time of their discovery, it can be inferred that neither the female nor the male adolescent was bundled in a funerary shroud. The latter's cranium displays tabular erect deformation in its occipital plane variant, probably attained through the use of a deforming cradle.

Many other studies are still ongoing, as is the case of DNA testing. Adequate samples have been difficult to come by, given the antiquity of the remains, their bad state of preservation and the thick covering of cinnabar which penetrated the surface layers of the bone, making it more difficult to extract nucleic acids. Nevertheless, it is expected that the techniques will be refined and applied to an adequate osteological sample that may yield information as to the genealogy of the personage found in the tomb (Romano, 1999).

Finally, we believe there are still many questions for which no answers have been produced. Some of these deal with the lack of direct evidence as to the origin and presence of certain materials in the tomb, most notably malachite, cinnabar and jade. Comparative studies should also be carried out regarding the funerary patterns found in Palenque, including associated offerings and architecture, in order to be able to determine the site's social rank indicators and compare these with other Maya cities of the Classic period.

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References

Acosta, Jorge
1975 "Exploraciones en Palenque, 1970." In: Anales del INAH. Vol. 3, no. 55.

Blom, Franz
1991 Las ruinas de Palenque, Xupá y Finca Encanto. INAH. México.

González Cruz, Arnoldo
1994 "Trabajos recientes en Palenque." In: Arqueología Mexicana, pp.39-45, México.
1998 "El Templo de la Reina Roja, Palenque, Chiapas." In: Arqueología Mexicana, p.61, México.

Rands, Robert
1974 "The ceramic sequence at Palenque, Chiapas." In: N. Hammond (Ed.) Mesoamerican Archaeology: New approaches.

Romano Pacheco, Arturo
1999 "Las osamentas del recinto funeraria de la estructura XIII-sub de Palenque, Chiapas." Typescript report. 3 pp. DAF/INAH. México.

Romero, Javier
1986 Catálogo de la colección de dientes mutilados prehispánicos, IV parte. Colección Fuentes. INAH, México.

Ruz Lhuillier, Alberto
1956 "Exploraciones en Palenque" In: Anales del INAH. Tomo X. p. 117-184. México.

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