Phonology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in spoken languages and signs in sign languages. It used to be only the study of the systems of phonemes in spoken languages, but it may cover any linguistic analysis either at a level beneath the word or at all levels of language where sound or signs are structured to convey linguistic meaning. Sign languages have a phonological system equivalent to the system of sounds in spoken languages; the building blocks of signs are specifications for movement and handshape. The word'phonology' can refer to the phonological system of a given language; this is one of the fundamental systems which a language is considered to comprise, like its syntax and its vocabulary. Phonology is distinguished from phonetics. While phonetics concerns the physical production, acoustic transmission and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages to encode meaning.
For many linguists, phonetics belongs to descriptive linguistics, phonology to theoretical linguistics, although establishing the phonological system of a language is an application of theoretical principles to analysis of phonetic evidence. Note that this distinction was not always made before the development of the modern concept of the phoneme in the mid 20th century; some subfields of modern phonology have a crossover with phonetics in descriptive disciplines such as psycholinguistics and speech perception, resulting in specific areas like articulatory phonology or laboratory phonology. The word phonology comes from phōnḗ, "voice, sound," and the suffix - logy. Definitions of the term vary. Nikolai Trubetzkoy in Grundzüge der Phonologie defines phonology as "the study of sound pertaining to the system of language," as opposed to phonetics, "the study of sound pertaining to the act of speech". More Lass writes that phonology refers broadly to the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language, while in more narrow terms, "phonology proper is concerned with the function and organization of sounds as linguistic items."
According to Clark et al. it means the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use. Early evidence for a systematic study of the sounds in a language appears in the 4th century BCE Ashtadhyayi, a Sanskrit grammar composed by Pāṇini. In particular the Shiva Sutras, an auxiliary text to the Ashtadhyayi, introduces what may be considered a list of the phonemes of the Sanskrit language, with a notational system for them, used throughout the main text, which deals with matters of morphology and semantics; the study of phonology as it exists today is defined by the formative studies of the 19th-century Polish scholar Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, who shaped the modern usage of the term phoneme in a series of lectures in 1876-1877. The word phoneme had been coined a few years earlier in 1873 by the French linguist A. Dufriche-Desgenettes. In a paper read at the 24th of May meeting of the Société de Linguistique de Paris, Dufriche-Desgenettes proposed that phoneme serve as a one-word equivalent for the German Sprachlaut.
Baudouin de Courtenay's subsequent work, though unacknowledged, is considered to be the starting point of modern phonology. He worked on the theory of phonetic alternations, may have had an influence on the work of Saussure according to E. F. K. Koerner. An influential school of phonology in the interwar period was the Prague school. One of its leading members was Prince Nikolai Trubetzkoy, whose Grundzüge der Phonologie, published posthumously in 1939, is among the most important works in the field from this period. Directly influenced by Baudouin de Courtenay, Trubetzkoy is considered the founder of morphophonology, although this concept had been recognized by de Courtenay. Trubetzkoy developed the concept of the archiphoneme. Another important figure in the Prague school was Roman Jakobson, one of the most prominent linguists of the 20th century. In 1968 Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle published The Sound Pattern of English, the basis for generative phonology. In this view, phonological representations are sequences of segments made up of distinctive features.
These features were an expansion of earlier work by Roman Jakobson, Gunnar Fant, Morris Halle. The features describe aspects of articulation and perception, are from a universally fixed set, have the binary values + or −. There are at least two levels of representation: underlying representation and surface phonetic representation. Ordered phonological rules govern how underlying representation is transformed into the actual pronunciation. An important consequence of the influence SPE had on phonological theory was the downplaying of the syllable and the emphasis on segments. Furthermore, the generativists folded morphophonology into phonology, which both solved and created problems. Natural phonology is a theory based on the publications of its proponent David Stampe in 1969 and in 1979. In this view, phonology is based on a set of universal phonological p
Until the discovery that Maya stelae depicted kings instead of high priests, the Maya priesthood and their preoccupations had been a main scholarly concern. In the course of the 1960s and over the following decades, dynastic research came to dominate interest in the subject. A concept of royal ʼshamanismʼ, chiefly propounded by Linda Schele and Freidel, came to occupy the forefront instead. Yet, Classic Maya civilization, being ritualistic, would have been unthinkable without a developed priesthood. Like other Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican priesthoods, the early Maya priesthood consisted of a hierarchy of professional priests serving as intermediaries between the population and the deities, their basic skill was the art of writing. The priesthood as a whole was the keeper of knowledge concerning the deities and their cult, including calendrics, astrology and prophecy. In addition, they were experts in genealogy. Priests were male and could marry. Most of our knowledge concerns Yucatán in the Late Postclassic, with additional data stemming from the contemporaneous Guatemalan Highlands.
The Maya class of the priests is sometimes thought to have emerged from a pre-existing network of shamans as social complexity grew. The classic Siberian shaman is characterised by his intimate relationship with one or several helper spirits,'ecstatic' voyages into non-human realms, operates individually, on behalf of his clients. In 20th-century Maya communities and curers, may show some features of true shamans vocation through illness or dreams and communication with a spirit. In reference to these features, they are loosely called'shamans' by ethnographers. On the other hand, priests are chiefly cultic functionaries operating within a well-defined hierarchy and offering food and prayers to the deities on behalf of social groups situated on different levels. In 20th-century Maya communities of the north-western Guatemalan highlands, the hierarchies of'Prayermakers' offer examples of such priests; the Pre-Hispanic religious functionaries described by men like Diego de Landa, Tomás de Torquemada and Bartolomé de las Casas were priests, not shamans.
Among the Mayas, priestly functions were fulfilled by dignitaries who were not professional priests, but this fact cannot be used to argue the nonexistence of a separate priesthood. The Popol Vuh stereotypically describes the first ancestors as "bloodletters and sacrificers" and as the carriers of their deities, a priestly function. To the Kʼicheʼ kings and highest dignitaries coming after them, the kingship was a sacred institution and the temple service a duty: during certain intervals, they abstained from intercourse, fasted and burnt offerings, "pleading for the light and the life of their vassals and servants." Although the text describes the three temples dedicated to the first ancestors' patron deities and names what appear to be the two high priests of the main deities, it does not discuss, or mention, local priests. According to some Yucatec sources, the rulers and the high nobility carried out priestly tasks; the highest Mayapan nobility, for example, is stated to have served continually in the temples.
The Yucatec king, known as the halach uinic, is defined both as a'governor' and a'bishop'. Without a grounding in esoteric and ritual knowledge, a ruler could not function. For the Classic period, the king should be considered a sacred, priestly king subsuming in his person the priesthood as a whole; the latter idea has been used as an explanation for the seeming lack of references to priests in Classic period texts. The idea of the king representing the priesthood should not be pushed to its limits, since due to our lack of knowledge of priestly titles and imperfect understanding of the script, textual references to priests may pass unnoticed; the existence of a separate Classic priesthood, at the kingdom's court as well as in its towns and villages, is hardly doubtful. The main description of a priestly hierarchy as it functioned in the first decades of the 16th century stems from Landa's account of Yucatec society, but isolated terms for priestly offices have been transmitted from other Maya groups.
In Yucatán, priests were second sons of nobles. The priesthood provided high status positions for those children of the Maya nobility who could not obtain political office, they were trained through an apprentice system, with young adults being selected according to their descent and individual abilities. The high priest of the kingdom was called ahau can mai or ah kin mai, with mai being either a family name or a functional designation; the position was hereditary passed on to sons or close relatives. The high priest lived from the gifts of the lords; the responsibilities of the ahau can mai included the writing of books. The town priest was called ah kʼin, a word with a basic meaning of'diviner'; the ah kʼinob had the responsibility of conducting public and private rituals within individual towns throughout the province. They "preached and published the festival days," determined the appropriate steps in case of need, made sacrifi
The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America, it is 181,000 km2 in area, is entirely composed of limestone. The proper derivation of the word Yucatán is debated. Hernán Cortés, in the first of his letters to Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, claimed that the name Yucatán comes from a misunderstanding. In this telling, the first Spanish explorers asked what the area was called and the response they received, "Yucatan", was a Yucatec Maya word meaning "I don't understand what you're saying." Others claim that the source of the name is the Nahuatl word Yocatlān, "place of richness". The Yucatán Peninsula is the site of the Chicxulub crater impact, created 66 million years ago by an asteroid of about 10 to 15 kilometres in diameter at the end of the Cretaceous Period.
The Yucatán Peninsula comprises a significant proportion of the ancient Maya lowlands, was the center of the Mayan civilization. There are many Maya archaeological sites throughout the peninsula. Indigenous Maya and Mestizos of partial Maya descent make up a sizable portion of the region's population, Mayan languages are spoken there; the peninsula comprises the Mexican states of Yucatán, Quintana Roo, as well as large parts of Belize and Guatemala's Petén Department. In the late historic and early modern eras, the Yucatán Peninsula was a cattle ranching, logging and henequen production area. Since the 1970s, the Yucatán Peninsula has reoriented its economy towards tourism in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Once a small fishing village, Cancún in the northeast of the peninsula has grown into a thriving city; the Riviera Maya, which stretches along the east coast of the peninsula between Cancún and Tulum, houses over 50,000 beds. The best-known locations are the former fishing town of Playa del Carmen, the ecological parks Xcaret and Xel-Há and the Maya ruins of Tulum and Coba.
The peninsula is the exposed portion of the larger Yucatán Platform, all of, composed of carbonate and soluble rocks, being limestone although dolomite and evaporites are present at various depths. The whole of the Yucatán Peninsula is an unconfined flat lying karst landscape. Sinkholes, known locally as cenotes, are widespread in the northern lowlands. According to the Alvarez hypothesis, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs at the transition from the Cretaceous to the Paleogene Period, the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, 65 million years ago was caused by an asteroid impact somewhere in the greater Caribbean Basin; the buried Chicxulub crater is centered off the north coast of the peninsula near the town of Chicxulub. The now-famous "Ring of Cenotes" outlines one of the shock-waves from this impact event in the rock of ~66 million years of age, which lies more than 1 km below the modern ground surface near the centre, with the rock above the impact strata all being younger in age; the presence of the crater has been determined first on the surface from the Ring of Cenotes, but by geophysical methods, direct drilling with recovery of the drill cores.
The Arrowsmith Bank is a submerged bank located off the northeastern end of the peninsula. Due to the extreme karst nature of the whole peninsula, the northern half is devoid of rivers. Where lakes and swamps are present, the water is marshy and unpotable. Due to its coastal situation, the whole of the peninsula is underlain by an extensive contiguous density stratified coastal aquifer, where a fresh water lens formed from meteoric water floats on top of intruding saline water from the coastal margins; the thousands of sinkholes known as cenotes throughout the region provide access to the groundwater system. The cenotes have long been relied on by contemporary Maya people. Short and tall tropical jungles are the predominant natural vegetation types of the Yucatán Peninsula; the boundaries between northern Guatemala and western Belize are still occupied by the largest continuous tracts of tropical rainforest in Central America. However, these forests are suffering extensive deforestation. Like much of the Caribbean, the peninsula lies within the Atlantic Hurricane Belt, with its uniformly flat terrain it is vulnerable to these large storms coming from the east.
The 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season was a bad season for Mexico's tourism industry, with two forceful category 5 storms hitting, Hurricane Emily and Hurricane Wilma. The 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season was a typical year which left the Yucatán untouched, but in the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane season Yucatán was hit by Hurricane Dean Dean left little damage on the peninsula despite heavy localized flooding. Strong storms called nortes can descend on the Yucatán Peninsula any time of year. Although these storms pummel the area with heavy rains and high winds, they tend to be short-lived, clearing after about an hour; the average percentage of days with rain per month ranges from a monthly low of 7% in April to a high of 25% in October. Breezes can have a cooling effect, humidity is high, particularl
The Guatemalan Highlands is an upland region in southern Guatemala, lying between the Sierra Madre de Chiapas to the south and the Petén lowlands to the north. The highlands are made up of a series of high valleys enclosed by mountains; the local name for the region is Altos, meaning "highlands", which includes the northern declivity of the Sierra Madre. The mean elevation is least in the east. A few of the streams of the Pacific slope rise in the highlands, force a way through the Sierra Madre at the bottom of deep ravines. One large river, the Chixoy or Salinas River, escapes northwards towards the Gulf of Mexico; the relief of the mountainous country which lies north of the Highlands and drains into the Atlantic is varied by innumerable terraces and underfalls. The parallel ranges extend west with a slight southerly curve towards their centres. A range called the Sierra de Chamá, however, changes its name from place to place, strikes eastward towards Belize, is connected by low hills with the Cockscomb Mountains.
Between Honduras and Guatemala, the frontier is formed by the Sierra de Merendón. In addition to the streams which break through to the Pacific, a number of larger streams which drain to the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea have their sources in the highlands; the Motagua River, whose principal head stream is called the Rio Grande, has a course of about 250 miles, is navigable to within 90 miles of Guatemala City, situated on one of its confluents, the Rio de las Vacas. It empties in the Gulf of an arm of the Caribbean. Of similar importance is the Polochic River, about 180 miles in length, navigable about 20 miles above the river-port of Telemán. A vast number of streams, among which are the Chixoy, Lacantún, Ixcán, unite to form the Usumacinta River, which passes along the Mexican frontier, flowing on through Chiapas and Tabasco, falls into the Bay of Campeche; the Grijalva and its tributaries the Cuilco and San Miguel rivers drain west into the Chiapas Depression, from there into the Gulf of Mexico.
Lake Atitlan is a land-locked basin. About 9 miles south of Guatemala City lies Lake Amatitlan with the town Amatitlán; the highlands have a long occupational history, with many Maya archaeological sites that include Zaculeu, Iximché, Mixco Viejo, Q'umarkaj, San Mateo Ixtatán, Chitinamit and many more. Tropical savanna climates have monthly mean temperature above 18 °C in every month of the year and a pronounced dry season, with the driest month having precipitation less than 60mm of precipitation; the Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Aw".. Altiplano Guiana Highlands Mexican Plateau Map of Guatemala, including principal rivers This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Guatemala". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 661–664
Japanese writing system
The modern Japanese writing system uses a combination of logographic kanji, which are adopted Chinese characters, syllabic kana. Kana itself consists of a pair of syllabaries: hiragana, used for native or naturalised Japanese words and grammatical elements, katakana, used for foreign words and names, onomatopoeia, scientific names, sometimes for emphasis. All written Japanese sentences contain a mixture of kanji and kana; because of this mixture of scripts, in addition to a large inventory of kanji characters, the Japanese writing system is considered to be one of the most complicated in use anywhere in the world. Several thousand kanji characters are in regular use; each has an intrinsic meaning, most have more than one pronunciation, the choice of which depends on context. Japanese primary and secondary school students are required to learn 2,136 jōyō kanji as of 2010; the total number of kanji is well over 50,000, though few if any native speakers know anywhere near this number. In modern Japanese, the hiragana and katakana syllabaries each contain 46 basic characters, or 71 including diacritics.
With one or two minor exceptions, each different sound in the Japanese language corresponds to one character in each syllabary. Unlike kanji, these characters intrinsically represent sounds only. Hiragana and katakana characters originally derive from Chinese characters, but they have been simplified and modified to such an extent that their origins are no longer visually obvious. Texts without kanji are rare. To a lesser extent, modern written Japanese uses acronyms from the Latin alphabet, for example in terms such as "BC/AD", "a.m./p.m.", "FBI", "CD". Romanized Japanese is most used by foreign students of Japanese who have not yet mastered kana, by native speakers for computer input. Kanji are used to write most content words of native Japanese or Chinese origin, which include the following: most nouns, such as 川 and 学校 the stems of most verbs and adjectives, such as 見 in 見る and 白 in 白い the stems of many adverbs, such as 速 in 速く and 上手 as in 上手に most Japanese personal names and place names, such as 田中 and 東京.
Some Japanese words are written with different kanji depending on the specific usage of the word—for instance, the word naosu is written 治す when it refers to curing a person, 直す when it refers to fixing an object. Most kanji have more than one possible pronunciation, some common kanji have many. Unusual or nonstandard readings may be glossed using furigana. Kanji compounds are sometimes given arbitrary readings for stylistic purposes. For example, in Natsume Sōseki's short story The Fifth Night, the author uses 接続って for tsunagatte, the gerundive -te form of the verb tsunagaru, which would be written as 繋がって or つながって; the word 接続, meaning "connection", is pronounced setsuzoku. There are kanji terms that have pronunciations that correspond with neither the on'yomi or the kun'yomi of the individual kanji within the term, such as 明日 and 大人. Hiragana are used to write the following: okurigana —inflectional endings for adjectives and verbs—such as る in 見る and い in 白い, た and かった in their past tense inflections 見た and 白かった.
Various function words, including most grammatical particles, or postpositions —small common words that, for example, mark sentence topics and objects or have a purpose similar to English prepositions such as "in", "to", "from", "by" and "for". Miscellaneous other words of various grammatical types that lack a kanji rendition, or whose kanji is obscure, difficult to typeset, or considered too difficult to understand. Furigana —phonetic renderings of kanji placed above or beside the kanji character. Furigana may aid children or non-native speakers or clarify nonstandard, rare, or ambiguous readings for words that use kanji not part of the jōyō kanji list. There is some flexibility for words with more common "kanji" renditions to be instead written in hiragana, depending on the individual author's preference; some words are colloquially written in hiragana and writing them in kanji might give them a more formal tone, while hiragana may impart a softer or more emotional feeling. For example, the Japanese word "kawaii", the Japanese equivalent of "cute", can be written in hiragana as in かわいい, or as the kanji term 可愛い.
Some lexical items that are written using kanji have become grammaticalized in certain contexts, where they are instead written in hiragana. For example, the root of the verb 見る is written with the kanji 見. However, when used as a suffix meaning "try out", the whole verb is written in hiragana as みる, as in 食べてみる. Katakana are used to write the following: transliteration of foreign words and names, such as コンピュータ and ロンドン (Rondon, "Lon
Cuneiform or Sumerian cuneiform, one of the earliest systems of writing, was invented by the Sumerians. It is distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, made by means of a blunt reed for a stylus; the name cuneiform itself means "wedge shaped". Emerging in Sumer in the late fourth millennium BC to convey the Sumerian language, a language isolate, cuneiform writing began as a system of pictograms, stemming from an earlier system of shaped tokens used for accounting. In the third millennium, the pictorial representations became simplified and more abstract as the number of characters in use grew smaller; the system consists of a combination of consonantal alphabetic and syllabic signs. The original Sumerian script was adapted for the writing of the Semitic Akkadian and Amorite languages, the language isolates Elamite, Hattic and Urartian, as well as Indo-European languages Hittite and Luwian. Cuneiform writing was replaced by the Phoenician alphabet during the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
By the second century AD, the script had become extinct, its last traces being found in Assyria and Babylonia, all knowledge of how to read it was lost until it began to be deciphered in the 19th century. Geoffrey Sampson stated that Egyptian hieroglyphs "came into existence a little after Sumerian script, invented under the influence of the latter", that it is "probable that the general idea of expressing words of a language in writing was brought to Egypt from Sumerian Mesopotamia". There are many instances of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations at the time of the invention of writing, standard reconstructions of the development of writing place the development of the Summerian proto-cuneiform script before the development of Egyptian hierogplyphs, with the suggestion the former influenced the latter. Between half a million and two million cuneiform tablets are estimated to have been excavated in modern times, of which only 30,000–100,000 have been read or published; the British Museum holds the largest collection, followed by the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin, the Louvre, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, the National Museum of Iraq, the Yale Babylonian Collection and Penn Museum.
Most of these have "lain in these collections for a century without being translated, studied or published", as there are only a few hundred qualified cuneiformists in the world. An ancient Mesopotamian poem gives the first known story of the invention of writing: Because the messager's mouth was heavy and he couldn't repeat, the Lord of Kulaba pattes some clay and put words on it, like a tablet; until there had been no putting words on clay. The cuneiform writing system was in use for more than three millennia, through several stages of development, from the 31st century BC down to the second century AD, it was replaced by alphabetic writing in the course of the Roman era, there are no cuneiform systems in current use. It had to be deciphered as a unknown writing system in 19th-century Assyriology. Successful completion of its deciphering is dated to 1857; the cuneiform script was developed from pictographic proto-writing in the late 4th millennium BC, stemming from the near eastern token system used for accounting.
These tokens were in use from the 9th millennium BC and remained in occasional use late in the 2nd millennium BC. It has been suggested that the token shapes were the original basis for some of the Sumerian pictographs. Mesopotamia's "proto-literate" period spans the 35th to 32nd centuries; the first documents unequivocally written in Sumerian date to the 31st century BC at Jemdet Nasr. Pictographs were either drawn on clay tablets in vertical columns with a sharpened reed stylus or incised in stone; this early style lacked the characteristic wedge shape of the strokes. Certain signs to indicate names of gods, cities, birds, etc. are known as determinatives and were the Sumerian signs of the terms in question, added as a guide for the reader. Proper names continued to be written in purely "logographic" fashion; the earliest known Sumerian king whose name appears on contemporary cuneiform tablets is Enmebaragesi of Kish. Surviving records only gradually become less fragmentary and more complete for the following reigns, but by the end of the pre-Sargonic period, it had become standard practice for each major city-state to date documents by year-names commemorating the exploits of its lugal.
From about 2900 BC, many pictographs began to lose their original function, a given sign could have various meanings depending on context. The sign inventory was reduced from some 1,500 signs to some 600 signs, writing became phonological. Determinative signs were re-introduced to avoid ambiguity. Cuneiform writing proper thus arises from the more primitive system of pictographs at about that time. In the mid-3rd millennium BC, the direction of writing was changed to left-to-right in horizontal rows and a new wedge-tipped stylus was introduced, pushed into the clay, producing wedge-shaped signs. By adjusting the relative position of the tablet to the stylus, the writer could use a single tool to make a variety of impressions. Cuneiform tablets could be fired in kilns to bake them hard, so provide a permanent record, or they could be left moist and recycled, if permanence was not needed. Man
Palenque anciently known as Lakamha, was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date from ca. 226 BC to ca. AD 799. After its decline, it was absorbed into the jungle of cedar and sapodilla trees, but has since been excavated and restored, it is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen, 150 m above sea level. It averages a humid 26 °C with 2160 mm of rain a year. Palenque is a medium-sized site, smaller than Tikal, Chichen Itza, or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments; the most famous ruler of Palenque was K'inich Janaab Pakal, or Pacal the Great, whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions. By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km², 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.
Palenque received 920,470 visitors in 2017. Mythological beings using a variety of emblem glyphs in their titles suggests a complex early history. For instance, K'uk' B'ahlam, the supposed founder of the Palenque dynasty, is called a Toktan Ajaw in the text of the Temple of the Foliated Cross; the famous structures that we know today represent a rebuilding effort in response to the attacks by the city of Calakmul and its client states in 599 and 611. One of the main figures responsible for rebuilding Palenque and for a renaissance in the city's art and architecture is one of the best-known Maya Ajaw, K'inich Janaab' Pakal, who ruled from 615 to 683, he is known through his funerary monument, dubbed the Temple of Inscriptions, after the lengthy text preserved in the temple's superstructure. At the time Alberto Ruz Lhuillier excavated Pakal's tomb, it was the richest and best preserved of any scientifically excavated burial known from the ancient Americas, it held this position until the discovery of the rich Moche burials at Sipan and the recent discoveries at Copan and Calakmul.
Beside the attention that K'inich Janaab' Pakal's tomb brought to Palenque, the city is significant for its extensive hieroglyphic corpus composed during the reigns of Janaab' Pakal, his son K'inich Kan B'ahlam, his grandson K'inich Akal Mo' Naab', for being the location where Heinrich Berlin and Linda Schele and Peter Mathews outlined the first dynastic list for any Maya city. The work of Tatiana Proskouriakoff as well as that of Berlin, Schele and others, initiated the intense historical investigations that characterized much of the scholarship on the ancient Maya from the 1960s to the present; the extensive iconography and textual corpus has allowed for study of Classic period Maya mythology and ritual practice. A list of possible and known Maya rulers of the city, with dates of their reigns: The first ajaw, or king, of B'aakal that we know of was K'uk Balam, who governed for four years starting in the year 431. After him, a king came to nicknamed Casper by archaeologists; the next two kings were Casper's sons.
Little was known about the first of these, B'utz Aj Sak Chiik, until 1994, when a tablet was found describing a ritual for the king. The first tablet mentioned his successor Ahkal Mo' Naab I as a teenage prince, therefore it is believed that there was a family relation between them. For unknown reasons, Akhal Mo' Naab I had great prestige, so the kings who succeeded him were proud to be his descendants; when Ahkal Mo' Naab I died in 524, there was an interregnum of four years, before the following king was crowned en Toktán in 529. K'an Joy Chitam I governed for 36 years, his sons Ahkal Mo' Naab II and K'an B'alam I were the first kings who used the title Kinich, which means "the great sun". This word was used by kings. B'alam was succeeded in 583 by Yohl Ik'nal, his daughter; the inscriptions found in Palenque document a battle that occurred under her government in which troops from Calakmul invaded and sacked Palenque, a military feat without known precedents. These events took place in 599. A second victory by Calakmul occurred some twelve years in 611, under the government of Aj Ne' Yohl Mat, son of Yohl Iknal.
In this occasion, the king of Calakmul entered Palenque in person, consolidating a significant military disaster, followed by an epoch of political disorder. Aj Ne' Yohl Mat was to die in 612. B'aakal began the Late Classic period in the throes of the disorder created by the defeats before Calakmul; the glyphic panels at the Temple of Inscriptions, which records the events at this time, relates that some fundamental annual religious ceremonies were not performed in 613, at this point states: "Lost is the divine lady, lost is the king." Mentions of the government at the time have not been found. It is believed that after the death of Aj Ne' Yohl Mat, Janaab Pakal called Pakal I, took power thanks to a political agreement. Janaab Pakal never was crowned, he was succeeded in 612 by his daughter, the queen Sak K'uk', who governed for only three years until her son was old enough to rule. It is considered that the dynasty was reestablished from on, so B'aakal retook the path of glory and splendor. T