Mexican researchers extract intact DNA from the Red Queen of Palenque

Mexican researchers extract intact DNA from the Red Queen of Palenque

The skeletal remains of the Red Queen, the enigmatic character of Lakamha (“Place of the great waters”), Known today as Palenque, in Chiapas, are being scientifically analyzed to determine the date of burial in a more precise way. It is not yet known if the Red Queen was the wife of the famous dignitary Pakal II or if she was the ruler of that ancient Mayan metropolis.

Although it is not the first time remains of the Red Queen have been the subject of various studies, the recent research, which has the support of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, awaits DNA tests to provide new information on the funerary context of this character in Mayan history. It is estimated that he died more than 1,300 years ago.

In an interview, Lourdes Muñoz reported that before the remains of the Red Queen returned to Palenque in June 2012, a collagen sample was extracted from one of his vertebrae for further studies. Javiera Cervini, an expert in geochemistry at the UAM, commented that the state of conservation of the collagen fibers present in the vertebrae was impressive and they were well enough preserved to acquire a DNA sample.

The first thing to highlight in the studies is the state of conservation of the bones that we have not yet discussed. It must be remembered that the body of the Red Queen was covered in cinnabar: hence her skeleton had that red hue and was called that way.”.

The Tombs of the Red Queen and Pakal II They are the largest and most elaborate of those that have been discovered in the ancient Mayan city of Palenque. Both have been archaeologically dated thanks to the ceramic offerings that were in them, which date between 600 and 700 AD.

Despite the fact that the tests estimate that the Red Queen died at 60 years of age, the anthropologist Arturo Romano, has declared that it is difficult for him to have reached that age because he suffered from severe osteoporosis.

However, regardless of the information that the new analyzes may provide, all researchers agree that the biography of the Red Queen is incomplete, and as its discoverer, Arnoldo González, points out in his book The Red Queen, a Royal Tomb: “It is possible that in the near future we will find archaeological data that remain hidden in the subsoil and allow us to relate the queen with another member of her family”.

Almost graduated in Advertising and Public Relations. I started to like history in 2nd year of high school thanks to a very good teacher who made us see that we have to know our past to know where the future takes us. Since then, I have not had the opportunity to investigate more in everything that our history offers us, but now I can take up that concern and share it with you.


Video: MYSTERIOUS Red Queen in the Maya Tomb