Archaeologist Marta Cuevas, co-leader of the Palenque project, stands in front of Temple 20, the crumbling pyramid whose subterranean tomb was recently probed with a mini-camera.
The remains of a Maya ruler are thought to be buried in the funeral chamber, though no bones have been seen so far. Located in Palenque's so-called Southern Acropolis region, the pyramid itself is similar to a nearby one that was found to contain the remains of a ruler in 1959. (Related: "Superdirt Made Lost Amazon Cities Possible?")
"All of this leads us to believe that the Southern Acropolis was used as a royal necropolis during this epoch," Cuevas said in a press release translated from Spanish.
As a whole, Palenque was not among the biggest Maya cities, but scholars and travelers today prize it for its rich inscriptions, carvings, and architecture, which have helped unravel archaeological mysteries and yielded the first time line of rulers of a Maya city.
(Pictures: See what the Maya Empire looked like.)