The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 22, 2019

In new study, Mexican researchers extract intact DNA from Palenque's Red Queen
The exams estimate that the Red Queen must have died at approximately 60 years age, the physical anthropologist at INAH, Arturo Romano, has said, in a particular manner, that it is difficult for her to have reached that age given her severe osteoporosis. Photo: Michel Zabe INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- The osseous remains of the Red Queen, the enigmatic character from Lakamha, “Place of the big waters”, today known as Palenque, in Chiapas, are being scientifically analyzed in order to date the burial in a more precise manner. It is still unknown as to whether the Red Queen was the wife of the celebrated dignitary Pakal II or if she was a ruler of that ancient Mayan metropolis.

Although it’s not the first time that the Red Queen’s remains have been subject to various studies, the recent investigation initiative, which has the endorsement of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, awaits for the exams (among them DNA mitochondrional exams) to provide new information about the funerary context of this figure in Mayan history. She has been estimated to have died more than 1,300 years ago.

In an interview, Lourdes Muñoz PhD informed that before the remains of the Red Queen returned to Palenque, in June 2012, they extracted a collagen sample from one of her vertebrae for new studies. In that respect, Javiera Cervini, expect in geochemistry at UAM, commented that the preservation state of the collagen fibers present in the vertebrae was impressive and that a clear DNA sample could be gathered.

“The first thing to emphasize in the studies is precisely the state of preservation found in untreated bones. This is when we have to remember that the Red Queen’s body was covered in cinnabar, from which her skeleton acquired the red tone and which is the reason she was named the Red Queen.”

The tombs of the Red Queen and Pakal II are the biggest and most elaborate from the one discovered in the ancient Mayan city of Palenque. Both have been archaeologically dated –by the ceramic offerings found in both– to be between 600 and 700 AD.

Archaeologist Eduardo Ramos recalls the Red Queen to have been linked to lady Tz’ak-b’u Ajaw, wife of Pakal; lady Kinuuw Mat, wife of another dignitary: Batz Chan Mat; and Men Nik, wife of K’inich Ahkal Mo’Nahb’ III. However, the former two have been discarded because of their presence in the VIII century Palencan dynasty.

From former physical anthropology studies, coordinated by Arturo Romano, Vera Tiesler and Andrea Cucina; and other DNA, carbon 14 and facial reconstruction studies made on the mortal remains of this character –which is how they discarded another possible candidate Muwaan Mat, mother of Pakal–, the hypothesis have lead to the Red Queen being Tz’ak-b’u Ajaw, wife of Pakal, mother of two Palenque dignitaries and grandmother of the last Mayan ruler.

In spite of the exams estimate that the Red Queen must have died at approximately 60 years, the physical anthropologist at INAH, Arturo Romano, has said, in a particular manner, that it is difficult for her to have reached that age given her severe osteoporosis.

However, regardless of what the new analysis may provide, all investigators (archaeologists bioarchaeologists, chemists or physical anthropologists) coincide that the Red Queen’s biography is incomplete, and as her discoverer (Arnoldo Gonzalez) points out in his book, The Red Queen, A Real Tomb: “It is possible that in a near future new archaeological data that remains hidden in the subsoil and allows us to relate the queen with another member of her family. For example, in another central part of the city they could find the tomb of Kan B’alam (one of the sons of Tz’ak-b’u Ajaw), which has eluded archaeological excavation and has possibly escaped grave robbers.”

Today's News

January 15, 2013

In new study, Mexican researchers extract intact DNA from Palenque's Red Queen

The Morgan presents new exhibition series showcasing highlights from its collections

20th century emblem of love to highlight Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

Antiques Roadshow appraiser Colleene Fesko's million-dollar Diego Rivera discovery

Masterworks Sale at Sotheby's New York on 1 February 2013 as part of Old Masters Week

Dr. Janne Sirén will become next Director of Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo

Shard, Olympic cauldron, and a non-stick ketchup bottle: Design Museum 2013 Designs of the Year

New cemetery endangers Egypt's more than 4,500-year-old pharaonic necropolis

Kraftwerk's Robots: Photographs by Peter Boettcher at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf

Fernand Léger work brings peace to Russian tiger girl at Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art sale

New York City's Grand Central Terminal, the country's most famous train station, marking 100 years

Celebrating man's best friend at Bonhams New York's annual auction Dogs in Show & Field

Labor mural removed by Maine Governor Paul LePage back on display at Maine State Museum

Master Paintings Week and Master Drawings London come together to create London Art Week

Fresh and beautiful, the dolls came out to play at Morphy's $480,000 auction

Dallas tears down ex-home of JFK assassin Oswald

Ground formally broken for new David H. Koch Plaza at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Israel investing in disputed West Bank sites

Ed Atkins and Naheed Raza present "Tomorrow Never Knows" at Jerwood Visual Arts

New York heart art made with boardwalks damaged by Sandy

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful