In a dense rainforest, Palenque covers 15 square miles. The buildings are against a hill. The city was visible from a great distance so that the Maya could find their way back after a journey in the dense forest.

Palenque features many decorative designs not found anywhere else. Some of them seem almost Chinese, which makes one wonder if there was contact with East Asia. This is very unlikely, but the similarity is strange.

So far, only 34 out of 500 ruins have been excavated. But the studies have revealed a lot about ancient Mayan culture.

The Temple of Inscriptions is perhaps the most interesting pyramid.  It is the tallest, and has the crypt (coffin) of Pa Kal, a Mayan priest

Archeologists took out many fine objects which have been taken to other museums for display and study. The most famous piece, Pa Kal's jade mosaic death mask, has been stolen from the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
The Temple of the Sun dates from 642. It has one of the best-preserved roof combs of any Mayan sites. Roof combs were richly decorated false fronts. At one time, the roof combs were colorfully painted, and still serve as an inspiration for much contemporary Mexican art and architecture.

The Temple of the Jaguar is similar to Asian art.  There is a  Foliated Cross motif almost identical to one found in Cambodia, and some other designs are very similar to those used in Hindu art.   
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