Science: The Jeweled Corpse

The secret room in the bowels of the pyramidal "Temple of Inscriptions" at Palenque is probably "the most sumptuous mortuary chamber in the western hemisphere." The six skeletons which Mexican Archaeologist Alberto Ruz Luhillier found there last summer (TIME, July 7) had almost surely been offered up to an ancient Indian deity. But Dr. Ruz had a hunch that the sacrificial stone, encrusted with Mayan hieroglyphics, might be more than a great altar. Before he could investigate further, money ran out and the rains came.

Last month, the rainy season over, Dr. Ruz got...

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