reply to post by mazeofSiriusC
Silliness has to be challenged. Below I throw down my gauntlet.
Wikipedia: Pacal's sarcophagus lid
The large carved stone sarcophagus lid in the Temple of Inscriptions is a famous piece of Classic Maya art. The widely accepted interpretation of the
sarcophagus lid is that Pakal is descending into Xibalba, the Maya underworld. Around the edges of the lid are glyphs representing the Sun, the Moon,
Venus, and various constellations, locating this event in the nighttime sky. Below him is the Maya water god, who guards the underworld . Beneath
Pakal are the "unfolded" jaws of a dragon or serpent, which Pakal is escaping from, ascending towards the world tree. This is a common iconographic
representation of the entrance to the underworld. Other examples of this imagery are found in sculpture on Monument 1 "El Rey" and Monument 9 at the
Olmec site of Chalcatzingo, Morelos, on Altar 4 at the Olmec site of La Venta, Tabasco, and in recently discovered murals at the Late Preclassic Maya
site of San Bartolo, Guatemala.
Von Däniken's claim is not considered a credible interpretation by any professional Mayanist. For example Ian Graham responded, "Well I certainly
don't see any need to regard him as a space man. I don't see any oxygen tubes. I see a very characteristically drawn Maya face"
The scene depicted on the sarcophagus' lapidary stone represents the instant of Pakal's death and his fall to the Underworld. A strip of heaven
(skyband) frames the entire scene with kin (day or the sun) in the upper right or northeast corner and akbaal (night or darkness) on the far left or
northwest corner. The movement of the sun from east to west represents Pakal's journey from life into death. Symbols fill the background of this
scene—shells, jade beads, signs of plenty, and others—carried on spirals of blood. The open mouth of the Xibalba, the Underworld, is carved on the
bottom of the stone. Two dragon skeletons, united at the lower jaw, make up a U-shaped container that represents the entrance. The dragons' lips are
curved inward, as though closing over Pakal's falling body. There, inside the Underworld at the center of the Universe, stands the Tree of the World
with a Celestial Bird—symbol of the kingdom of heaven—poised on its highest branch.
The Tree of the World is specially marked as a sacred object: the symbols for te or "tree" confirm it is a cottonwood. The symbols for nen or
"mirror" indicate that the tree is a shining and powerful being. The enormous figure of God C—symbol of blood and that which is holy—is inserted
in the base of the trunk and is linked with Pakal's body. The tips of the tree's branches are shaped like the bowls used to catch sacrificial blood.
Jade beads and tubes surround the square-nostriled dragons that are born from these vessels, indicating that they are especially sacred. These
jewel-covered monsters are depicted in deliberate contrast to the skeletal dragons below them. Te first represent the heavens, the most sacred of the
three levels of the Maya cosmos; the second illustrate the world of death into which Pakal falls.
A two-headed serpent bar—the Maya symbol of royalty—is wrapped around branches of the Tree of the World. The body is made of jade segments, again
conferring special value on the serpent. The heads on each end of the bar correspond, piece by piece, to the skeletal dragons at the opening to the
Underworld. Whereas the Underworld is like a skeleton, Earth, represented by the serpent, has flesh.
During his fall from the Tree of the World, Pakal is seated upon the Monster of the Sun. The monster is aptly represented in its state of transition
between life and death: a skeleton from the mouth down, with eyes that have the dilated pupils of living beings. The sun enters into this state of
transition at dawn and at dusk. Here, however, the emblem of the Monster of the Sun contains the cimi or sign of death, emphasizing imagery
representing the "death of the sun" or sunset, with the sun located on the horizon, ready to sink into the Underworld . . . and take the dead king
Pakal appears to be tumbling at an angle on the head of the Monster of the Sun, also a symbol of his transition from life into death. His loincloth
and his heavy jade collar (both the front and back are depicted on the stone) seem to be floating away from his body. His knees are flexed, his hands
relaxed. His face is calm because he expects to defeat death. A bone piercing Pakal's nose symbolizes that even death carries in it the seed of
rebirth. In the Maya dialects, "bone" and "large seed" are synonymous. Thus, the bone is the seed of Pakal's resurrection.
In the end, Pakal falls as a deity with the smoking knife of God K embedded in his forehead. He was a god in life, and a god when falling into death.
[edit on 27-6-2010 by The Shrike]