Temple of the Inscriptions - B&W by Zane Paxton

Currently unavailable for purchase

Available to buy on…

Temple of the Inscriptions - B&W by 

Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico

On the southern edge of the central plaza of Palenque, set against a steep limestone hill, the Temple of the Inscriptions held a remarkable secret for centuries.

In 1948, Alberto Ruz investigated four curious stone plugs in the floor of the temple and discovered a secret passage filled with rubble. It took four long seasons to remove the rubble from the steep and slippery stairway that came to a landing then changed directions and continued on for 80 feet below the temple floor and 5 feet beneath the level of the central plaza.

Behind a triangular slab door, Ruz made a discovery that would change the world’s view of Maya pyramids; an amazing stone chamber that housed an elaborately carved sarcophagus. Within this sarcophagus was the richest offering of jade ever seen in a Maya tomb. Placed over his face, a mask fitted with jade mosaic and a suit of priceless jade adorned his body. Each piece of hand- carved jade was threaded together with gold wire.

It was Pacal himself who had this magnificent pyramid built and his heir, Chan Bahlum who completed it. The temple rises 75 feet high and the roofcomb would have added an additional 40 feet. This must have been an impressive sight from the northern plains, visible from miles away.

This is a panorama of 3 vertical images stitched together horizontally in PTGUI Pro

Nikon D2x ,Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S
f/8 1/60th ISO 100, Warming Polarizer

The Color version:

All Products

chiapas, mayan, mexico, palenque

I started photographing when I was 14, taking slides with an early Pentax 35mm. I took a photography class at 16 and began using a 4×5 view camera with my own darkroom. In 2002 digital emerged which envigorated my passion in the visual arts. In the last 5-6 years I’ve started documenting and developing a visual framework to cultivate “seeing” that can be shared with others on their path of becoming visual artists.

View Full Profile


  • Polly x
    Polly xabout 4 years ago

  • Bryan Freeman
    Bryan Freemanalmost 3 years ago

    Great capture. Oh, and I’m very jealous. One of the many places I’ve wanted to visit for a few decades now. I’ll get there one day tho’. ;-)

  • Thanks Bryan!

    – Zane Paxton

  • berndt2
    berndt2almost 3 years ago

    supercool! love the perspective and the slight scale-warping of the trees branching over it while the small tourists in the distance are dwarfed by it – very eyecatching!

  • Thanks Berndt2! It was an impressive place to visit.

    – Zane Paxton

  • Neutro
    Neutroalmost 3 years ago

    Fantatstic !! Great shot!

  • Thanks Neutro!

    – Zane Paxton

  • jwmphotos
    jwmphotosalmost 3 years ago

    A super image Zane!

  • Thanks John!

    – Zane Paxton

  • Roger Mann
    Roger Mannabout 2 years ago

    We think we know everything don’t we and these people were so advanced. A fine shot of a truly amazing structure.

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait