Talk:Palenque

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Candidate for improvement?[edit]

The Spanish language version seems largely a translation of the en:Wikipedia version, and is a featured article there. I suggest this could be a candidate to improve to good article status here. Some more reference would improve it. What else? -- Infrogmation 17:48, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Certainly, citations & references are a must. Particularly for readings/interpretations of its name and association as a polity drawn from the inscriptions- these are often tentative and/or open to other readings. Some other points for consideration:
  • attribution of founding dynasty as possibly Olmec-originated needs confirmation
  • A few other generalisations eg Palenque is perhaps the most studied and written about of Maya sites could do with re-examination
  • Needs at least a locator map, a site map or sketch would be handy as well
  • Much more could be expanded upon on particular inscriptions at the site, which are quite notable in themselves
  • same goes for many of the structures
  • mention should be made of the "Palenque Triad"
  • Would be good to have a 'by period' historical narrative, and more detailing of the current understanding of the relationships with other polities
  • Waldeck's drawings are really quite inaccurate/fanciful- perhaps some more reliable PD drawings would be better, if such can be found
--cjllw | TALK 01:49, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Good points, though if we take care of all that, we might be beyond "good" and up to "featured". Yes, Waldeck is often fanciful and more of interest in the narration of early explorers than for accuracy for modern research. (I selected that particular Waldeck drawing as that particular stucco seems to have suffered significant damage in the years between Waldeck and Caterwood, so alas for some details that may be as good a source as we have.) For a while I've thought that if someone could make good scans of much of Maudslay it would be a very useful for wikimedia. Cheers, -- Infrogmation 03:48, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough, I'd not considered that point re Waldeck being perhaps the best available- maybe we just need to annotate it with a mention that his artwork is generally not considered to be of a rigourous standard. And yes, for GA-only purposes some of the above suggestions are probably not requirements, and the article is probably not too far off being able to be worked into a passable GA-grade. First thing to concentrate on would be cites/refs- I presume (without checking the detailed article history) that much of its present contents derive from Mesoweb, so should not be too troublesome to find and specify these. Once what's there is referenced, we can consider which of the 'missing' bits of information are needed to complete the picture for GA-nom preparation. Agreed that it's a worthwhile candidate for collaboration.--cjllw | TALK 04:44, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm wondering why you believe the Spanish version was translated from the English. The Spanish version is about twice as long and contains references. Maybe translating the Spanish version would help? Lagringa 06:26, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
If you take a look at this edit here made at the es.wiki equivalent article in Feb 2006, the contributor there notes in the edit summary that that expansion was largely drawn from this (en.wiki) article, as it then was. So translation of the current spanish article back into this one would be problematic. There may however be some subsequent additions to the spanish article which are not covered in the english one at present, but would have to check.--cjllw | TALK 07:39, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Either you misunderstood the notation or I'm misunderstanding you. That contributor's first note says "I added more information, and external links" and the second says "A somewhat dramatic change. I think it turned out more complete and nicer than the en.wiki one. I added references, external links." It looks like there is a lot of additional material in the Spanish article that could improve the English one. Lagringa 21:56, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
You're right about that edit summary not explicitly saying that material in that edit was based on the en.wiki version at that time. But it is rather inferred, and if you compare that edit with the enwiki version at that time, it can readily be seen that the sections "Palenque en la historia moderna", "Estructuras principales", and "Señores de Palenque" in the es.wiki article are paraphrases of the en.wiki content, albeit organised a bit differently and with much better formatting and layout. Which is not at all to criticise the efforts of the es.wiki contributor(s), who have done a cracking job in expanding that article to AD (FA) status there, and I agree that their presentation and content is superior to this one.
There is however a lengthy section in the es.wiki that has no real equivalent here, and that is the one on the reconstructed history of Palenque ("Historia del Palenque maya"). This is an area in which the en.wiki article is presently very weak, and it should prove useful to review that section in particular for any improvements which could be added here.--cjllw | TALK 01:27, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

spelling[edit]

Is it spelled B'akaal or B'aakal? Because the es.wiki has it one way and the en.wiki has it the other, or so it seems to me.

It's B'aakal with variants B'akal and Bacal. Eluchil404 06:26, 11 October 2006 (UTC)


I would just like to put in that other experts spell the city's name Pelenque, and not Palenque. I was just wondering if any other wikipedia users could help point me to the correct spelling. Thanks a million!! HistoryQuizMan 02:02, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I'd be highly suprised to find any source consistently spelling the name as "pelenque". That's a clear mispelling/typo, "palenque" is how it should be.--cjllw ʘ TALK 04:31, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Translation[edit]

Thanks to anon 65.78.17.194 for the work on expanding the article, I presume from translation from es. However it has a number of provisonal wordings and problems like "the modern-day Mexican provinces (or are they states?)" in the text. I have therefore moved this version to Palenque/Temp for the time being, and reverted the main article to the last version by CJLL Wright. Let's clean up the Temp version then incorporate the additions into the main article. -- Infrogmation 13:29, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

OK, done. Please check me, but I'm removing the relevant tag. --Homunq 21:04, 13 November 2006 (UTC) ps. If you want to thank me, Tzolk'in needs some love. (I'd actually favor rating it Top priority in WP:MESO/P, it's easily as central as this article.)

Candidate for improvement? 2[edit]

Reforming Wikipedia is an impossible feat, i fail to see positive improvement on articles. I find it remarkable that so many keep reverting so much. The ability for growth is stifled. I have seen 99% of Maya books and articles use Ahau instead of Spanish Ajaw yet the editors of Wikipedia like to stand out as different. Only a hispanic would promounce Ajaw as Ahau. Is Wikipedia starting the new favored way! I find that's what happens to words. In the 1970's the Egyptian god Re was spelled in British manner where Re is pronounced as Ray and it refers to the sun on days where there are rays of light to cast measured shadows. So the americans changed it to Ra and no one says Ray, they all say Rah. Do this for 4000 years and its a wonder anything is truth and how we ever put up satellites to talk on cell phones so we can all misunderstand each other even in one same language. Can hearts of men reform. Please prove my doubts they will. I think truth is stifled and smothered. War exists even without religion because religion is NOT mere organized armies, religion is also mere individual political belief, or personal concepts of what is true, and it will rally people. It does right here, and in chats, and in bulletins.69.76.46.169 13:12, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Woul not be caught by name on here, you all make me shame to be on.

Dear anon contributor 69.76.46.169 - your edits here (and elsewhere, I see) are being reverted because they consist in the main of your own original research with little or no third-party citations to back them up. You've been pointed more than once to wikipedia's No Original Research policy, so can only presume that you are aware of it, yet you seem to persist. The need for such a policy should hopefully be self-evident; no matter how convinced you may be as to the 'truthfulness' of your contributions to date, it amounts to nothing if other independent reliable sources are not likewise convinced, and editors who revert such material are only doing their job, and a service, in maintaining the (admittedly still imperfect) integrity of the information here. In addition, your earlier contribution here was frankly rather obscurely phrased- if it was your intention to communicate your points clearly then IMO at least you were not succeeding.
I don't know which Maya books you have read; if they were published in the 1970s or even 1980s then yes there's a good chance that they spelled the name of the rulership title and tzolkin named-day as Ahau, as it was originally transcribed by the conquest-era spanish sources and grammarians. However, the field of Maya studies is a dynamic and constantly expanding one, and considerable advances have been made since then in phonetic decipherment, accompanied by a very widely-acknowledged revision and standardisation of Mayan orthography, which in part is devised to avoid the ambiguities arising from colonial-era spellings and to reproduce more consistently the actual phonemes of the Mayan languages. Ajaw is most definitely not "Spanish", but instead the modern Maya orthography; if you were to pick up just about any modern publication on epigraphy, linguistics or archaeology you will find it written Ajaw. Have a look around at the papers on sites such as mesoweb or FAMSI. Wikipedia is not being "different" in also using Ajaw, but consistent with modern published research. Your presumably unpublished research, on the other hand, can and will continue to be reverted so long as it counter to wikipedia policies that are long-established, and you fail to convince other editors here of your material's bona fides.--cjllw | TALK 01:26, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Architecture[edit]

I was thinking that it may be important to note in the section entitled Architecture, that the builder of the palace was Pacal II "The Great". Do any other wikipedia users feel the same? If so, please write a reply below this message. If you do not wish the builder's name in the article, or think it is unecessary, please state your thoughts below as well. Thanks! HistoryQuizMan 16:04, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

It would be useful to expand upon the known building history of the Palace and other notable structures. However, it would be incorrect to say that Pakal built the Palace- while ambitious modifications and additions to it were made and dedicated during his reign, the foundational-level structure and some of its core rooms date back several hundred years before this, to at least the Early Classic. His sucessors also made extensions to the overall Palace complex.--cjllw ʘ TALK 23:27, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Altitude?[edit]

I just reverted an altitude change which I'm almost certain is wrong. It wasn't presented wright any way. can anyone confirm the 150 meter altitude? Not that I think it is very important. Good day Zacherystaylor (talk) 16:46, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

San Francisco capstone: removal suggestion[edit]

The capstone shows the maize deity seated inside a well - not an underworld maw! Therefore, the picture is out of place here. I have copied it into the Maya maize deity article.77.162.130.139 (talk) 13:46, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Lead suffers from severe recentism[edit]

Considering that Palenque was a thriving city for at least 400 years (longer than New York City) it seems somewhat absurd to describe it as nothing more than an "archeological site" in the lead. Kaldari (talk) 22:23, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I kinda see what you're driving at, but I don't think that 'recentism' is entirely valid or what's going on here. It think it can be quite appropriate to start with describing this, and others like it, as an archaeological site. For precolumbian mesoamerican sites like Palenque, practically anything and everything that can be known or inferred about its past history is reconstructed from investigations in archaeology and its related subfields (for Maya sites, I include Maya epigraphy under this umbrella).
Thus the knowledge of what and how a site functioned, at various times in its history (residential, urban/agricultural, ceremonial, commercial, temporary or permanent occupation, etc) is fully contingent on what may be inferred from the known archaeological record (alone):
  • As often as not, there may be tentative or competing views about what primary functions took place in some site's built environment.
  • Alternatively, a site's archaeological record may indicate that its occupational use and function changes over time, often more than once throughout its history.
  • Articles like Palenque set out also to describe what's known about the polity (via the inscriptional record), which is not necessarily synonymous or coterminate with the physical site.
So while a statement that "X was a precolumbian city" might have some truth to it (depending on what one means by 'city') for some of its history at least, it doesn't necessarily tell the full or primary story. I think it is quite reasonable therefore, to generally lead in with a simple statement describing the starting-point of our knowledge ("X is an archaeological site"). The remainder of the lead & article can then go into descriptions of the particular function(s) and occupation(s) at the site, and the basis for supposing such functions and occupations took place.--cjllw ʘ TALK 08:46, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't call this "severe recentism"; we're not talking about the lead focusing on events specific to recent weeks or years. It has indeed been an archaeological site for well over a century (the date depends on where one draws the line between antiquitarianism and archaeology), and known as being in a ruined state since de la Nada in 1567. There is no reason to think it likely that it is going to become a functioning inhabited Pre-Columbian style Maya city again in the forseeable future. If you have suggested better wording than "archaeological site" (some variation on "ruined city" perhaps?) suggest away. Improvements are always welcome, but I don't think recentism is a problem here. Infrogmation (talk) 15:05, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

File:PalenqueAc.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:PalenqueAc.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on June 3, 2011. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2011-06-03. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 17:22, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Drawing of a Palenque relief

An ink-and-wash illustration of a stucco relief on a building in Palenque, a Maya city in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century, but was abandoned around 800. It was first discovered by European explorers in the 16th century, but remained mostly unexplored until 1773. This particular piece was likely constructed during the long reign of K'inich Janaab' Pakal (mid-7th century), and is thought to depict Mayan ancestral rulers or the parents thereof. The standing figure holds a sceptre in the left hand, and in the right, a length of material. The seated figures adopt a posture of submission or deference, with hands placed on opposite shoulders.

Artist: Ricardo Almendáriz; Restoration: Lise Broer
ArchiveMore featured pictures...


Ruler names[edit]

In the ruler list, there's a very strange use of titles and roman numerals. from my perspective, a roman numeral should only be used for subsequent rulers with the exact same name, including the title K'inich. Proposed changes:
Kan B'alam I --> Kan B'alam
K'inich Kan B'alam II --> K'inich Kan B'alam I, or simply K'inich Kan B'alam
K'inich Kan B'alam ? --> K'inich Kan Balam II
K'an Joy Chitam I --> K'an Joy Chitam
K'inich K'an Joy Chitam II --> K'inich K'an Joy Chitam
K'inich Akhal Mo' Nahb III --> K'inich Akhal Mo' Nahb
"Ch'a Ruler I" --> "Ch'a" or "Casper" I
"Casper" --> "Ch'a" or "Casper" II
— Preceding unsigned comment added by True (talkcontribs) 00:59, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Missing sources for underexplored claim[edit]

In the article it says:

"By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km² (1 sq mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle."

"In the last 15 or 20 years, a great deal more of the site has been excavated, but currently, archaeologists estimate that only 5% of the total city has been uncovered".

I've seen many such statements without references, and even the numbers are not consistent (5% or ~10%?).