Fifield found rolled up

leading from

Mutant Fifield with legs wrapped over his shoulders (Cinefex #130, p49)
When Fifield in his transformed state returns to the Prometheus, he is found with his legs hideously bent over over his shoulders. My initial thought was that this was a play with the idea of what the organic box Alien scene that Dan O'Bannon mentioned had been filmed and cut out, but Walter Simonson had seen it in a rough cut and so included it in Alien: The Illustrated story. Ridley's original storyboard simply states that he is crouching and had the idea of the character possibly being in a pit and dressed in other body parts. With his lower body in a put, they draped dummy legs over his shoulders.

Ridley's Storyboard

In Ridley's earlier film project Tristan and Iseult, a post-apocalyptic retelling of tradational celtic legend, in one of his storyboards he included something that became labeled as a Froudian, loosely inspired by something he had seen in the art of Brian Froud, an illustrator much renowned for his illustrations of faeries and goblins, but this strange almost thing has its legs oddly drawn with the shoulder behind the knee,  arm coming out from below the upper bent leg with the arm and then the elbow outside of the lower leg. 

"Froudian" (detail from image below)
A nitsilic priest and a "Froudian" creature amidst the floating rocks in Tristan And Iseult

It is a little bit different from what is happening to Fifield, his whole body appears to be bent backwards below ground level in a way that isn't human, and the upper legs are bent backwards as well. So what Walter Simonson saw in the alien folded up into an organic box seat appears to have the same sort of impact to tell us that there's something not quite humanoid about the body of this vaguely humanoid (See organic box like thing)


"organic box-like thing " from Alien the Illustrated Story


Ultramorph

leading from

a)  Introducing the Ultramorph
In his Alien Engineers script, Jon Spaihts included the monster creature The Ultramorph, it erupts from the space jockey/ engineer in the derelict as a chestburster and withing a short time grows to man height before leaving the confines of the crashed derelict ship known as the Juggernaut, and then hunts the character Shaw down amongst the wreckage of the Magellan, (soon to be renamed at the Prometheus). The creature impales her thigh with its tale as if it were a spear, and as this thing is about to kill her she rams a diamond bladed saw into it's face and kills it. It bleeds green acid blood. Despite this thing bleeding such a corrosive substance, she brings the head with her as a hunting trophy to hang over the door at the Vickers module. In this version of the script, he didn't actually describe it with any particular detail.



b) Ultramorph as the spacejockey's chestburster
It appears that Carlos Huante initially worked on some designs for the creature known as the Ultramorph,  the fully grown biomechanical version of the alien that was supposed to have chestbursted itself from an Engineer, and in the earlier script, this Engineer would have been the space jockey from the original Alien movie but one that was a tall humanoid within a suit that gave the Space Jockey it's strange look. Perhaps this creature would have grown to about fifteen feet in height assuming that the humanoid in the pictures below is of regular human height.
 


c)  The return to Necronom IV
Designing these Ultramorphs meant going back Giger's painting Necronom IV and designing and Alien creature with a head even more similar to the one shown in Necronom IV than Giger's Alien would finally have. Carlos went as far as to include the bulbous black eyes in one version however in other versions he would include a greater swelling in the front of the dome around the face as if it had a bulbous forehead. Carlos kept on with designing variations of this it for a while before he had thoughts with Ridley about taking the creature concept in a different direction.




d) Ultramorph as being the evil angels
Carlos wrote in his notes about how The Ultramorph - unlike the "Alien" from the first Alien which were covered / or had an exoskeleton, the Ultramorph should still be covered with skin as genetically it is still "New"... and its host are the engineers. It would be an evil variant of the Engineers that would be in a sense Angels.  Also it was decided that the Ultramorphs should still have a regal Quality about them as that quality has been inspired by their host. So, to carry the "No Bones" motif.



e)  Ultramorphs being clean and skin covered
However instead of the Ultramorphs being clean and skin covered, after some discussion with Ridley and what needs to happen sequentially with the story of how we end up with this "Alien" in the first film. Carlos thoughts about what if the engineer technology is all that ribbing and boney architecture that's all over the ship  and the "Alien" itself. So... the "Aliens" that come out or are born out of the humans should be clean and the skin covered because they are not saturated with he Genetic material of the source (Engineers) yet. So, they are more human looking, the "Ultramorphs" should be the first we see of the boney Exoskeleton on a creature.


f) Engineer technology would form as water
Almost as if he were talking about casting the alien suit in latex rubber, he imagined that the engineer technology would form as water (Milky Liquid) that pours unnaturally upward and over them (The Engineers) to form boney plating or ribs, and architectural surfaces. As if they they control it at a molecular level. How though the biomechanics becomes infused with the alien ultramorph itself remains unclear.
Quote sources
  1. Carlos Huante (talking about the development of the Deacon by way of the Ultramorph): The genesis of that character came after a  conversation I had with Ridley about a design progression of the  creatures to the Xenomorph of the first film. I went home and thought  about it but kept on with the Gigeresque Ultramorphs. Then as I worked I thought “wouldn’t it be cool if these Aliens who are born  of humans and haven’t been mixed genetically with the Engineers yet would look  more human and less biomechanical“, of course this was for a  different version of the script but that’s where the Deacon (or Bishop, as he was originally named) came from. He later became an Ultramorph and as the script changed slightly after I left the show, it became that thing at the end.   (Carlos was talking about the development of the Deacon by way of the Ultramorph in an interview with ThisBethesdaSea for www.avpgalaxy.net)
  2.  Carlos Huante: The Ultramorph - unlike the "Alien" from the first Alien which were covered / or had a exoskeleton, the Ultramorph should still be covered with skin as genetically it is still "New"... and its host are the engineers. it would be an evil variant of the (ANGELS) Engineers. Ultramorphs should still have a regal Quality about them as that quality has been inspired by their host. So, to carry the "No Bones" motif. (Carlos Huante's Prometheus notes)
  3. Carlos Huante: Okay, so instead of the Ultramorphs being clean and skin covered, after some discussion with Ridley and what needs to happen sequentially with the story of how we end up with this "Alien" in the first film. I'm thinking that what if the engineer technology is all that ribbing and boney architecture that's  all over the ship  and the "Alien" itself. So... the "Aliens" that come out or are born out of the humans should be clean and the skin covered because they are not saturated with the Genetic material of the source (Engineers) yet. So, they are more human looking, the "Ultramorphs" should be the first we see of the boney Exoskeleton on a creature. The engineer tech should form as water (Milky Liquid) that pours unnaturally upward and over them (The Engineers) to form boney plating or ribs, and architectural surfaces. Like they control it at a molecular level.(Carlos Huante's Prometheus notes)
  4. INT. JUGGERNAUT - PILOT CHAMBER On the floor, DAVID’s eyes open. With his jaw he hitches his severed head around. Gets his eyes on the Sleeper. In the pilot chair, the Sleeper convulses. An ALIEN erupts from his chest. Big as a wolf even at its birth. Dark gray, armored, lethal. More hideous than any chestburster we've seen. An ULTRAMORPH. It wails hideously. The Sleeper dies. The Alien slithers free (Alien_ Engineers, Jon Spaihts, p110)
  5. LATER Watts is awakened by a beeping alarm. She looks at her wrist. Her suit flashes an oxygen warning: 20 MINUTES REMAINING. She looks up. The Juggernaut's doors are wide open in front of her. The ULTRAMORPH ALIEN emerges from the Juggernaut. As large as a man already. It sees her. With a sob of terror she pulls herself to her feet and runs.(Alien_ Engineers, Jon Spaihts, p112-113)
  6. EXT. MAGELLAN CRASH SITE - DUSK Watts flees through the storm, across the burning debris field. A wilderness of lightning, fire, and twisted metal. A thunderstorm with dust instead of rain. She looks back through the darkness. In a strobe-light flicker of lightning, she sees a gray demon approaching through the wreckage. She scrambles through a section of ductwork...under a hull fragment...running and clambering... The Alien hunts her, cat-and-mouse, among the fragments of the Magellan: corridors that go nowhere, shattered compartments. Jetsam. Her eyes sweep frantically through the stormy night: searching for a weapon. A hiding place. An answer. She stumbles into the remains of the Magellan's laboratory. A hypersleep freezer lies on the barren ground. Watts climbs inside. Pulls the lid shut. The Alien passes by, inches away. She watches it through the plexiglass, holding her breath. The Alien roots in the wreckage. Finds the rotting Engineer's head among the shards of its vat. It begins to feed on the head - GROWING as she watches. Her suit’s oxygen alarm goes off again. 15 MINUTES REMAINING. The beeping draws the Alien away from its dead meat. Watts is paralyzed. The Alien noses closer. Sniffs at the plexiglass case. With sudden, horrific violence, it lashes out. Sends the freezer flying. Watts tumbles out. Lurches to her feet and runs. The Alien follows. Ravening. She leads it a twisting chase through fragments of burning metal. Watts trips and falls hard. Picking herself up, she sees she’s tripped over a HULL SAW - the same diamond-bladed tool DAVID used to dismantle the terraforming engine. She seizes the saw - straining to manage its weight. Hides in the hollow of a massive girder. The Alien passes by. Scenting the air. She freezes. Her arms trembling with the weight of the saw. Waiting for it to pass. Almost it leaves. But a tiny rattle of metal from the quivering saw brings it back. Out of options, Watts powers up the saw. The blade whines up to speed. They lunge at one another in the same moment. The diamond blade shears off one of the Alien’s claws. The monster screams and recoils. Its lashing tail sends Watts sprawling. She loses the saw. The Alien comes after her, slinking low to the ground, injured arm tucked to its chest. All vengeful fury. Watts scrambles for the saw. The Alien leaps for her. She rolls aside - and like a scorpion the Alien impales her thigh with its spear-tipped tail. Nails her to the ground. Watts screams in agony. Reaches for the saw, still buzzing on the ground. Its grip tantalizing inches from her fingertips. The Alien stoops over her, slavering face inches from her faceplate. Its hideous jaws open. With all her strength, Watts pulls against the spike in her leg. Drags the point of the spear through the dirt. Excruciating pain. She snarls through her teeth. The Alien strikes - just as Watts GRABS the saw. She meets the Alien’s head with the buzzing blade. IMPALES THE ALIEN’S SKULL. A gout of green acid onto Watts’s helmet. The Alien falls aside, thrashing its death-throes, the saw still growling. Watts sees ACID COMING THROUGH HER HELMET - fast. With frantic haste she unlatches her helmet. Wrenches it off as it crumples and melts. She stands bare-headed in the toxic air. Desperate, she looks around with tearing eyes. In the distance she sees an intact module of the Magellan. She runs for it. Slaps the door switch. Incredibly, it opens. (Alien_ Engineers, Jon Spaihts, p113-114)
  7. EXT.VICKERS MODULE-DAY
    Watts arrives at the Vickers module. The ultramorph Alien’s head has been fixed like a grisly trophy above the door. (Alien_ Engineers, Jon Spaihts, p116)

aliens in suits that look like aliens

 Leads from: 

"Engineer" sized
space jockey suit

See more photos
a.) Once we have seen the film, we understand that Ridley Scott has been telling us that the Space Jockey we had seen in the original Alien film was a suit. There might still be a way to turn the idea around because of the dissimilarities between the space jockey in Alien and the space Jockey suits in Prometheus.

b) However Ridley asked the question and out of that came the answer that it must have been a suit and for Ridley this happened around 1995, or near enough twenty six years after Alien going by Ridley's memory.

c) What ideas were these floating around in Hollywood at the time?  My own explorations about the matter brought me to think about the alien space suits seen in the movie Fire In The Sky back in 1993, but this movie was preceded by the film Communion which featured the idea
engineer sets the controls from his seat
of aliens that were suits containing a different sort of an alien within and then a few years after Fire In The Sky came Independence Day which developed the idea even further of an alien in a space suit that might have been mistaken for an alien life form itself.
  1. (37:35) Simon Mayo: Now as we have people spalling back in their minds to this character that you're talking about, this is the, there's a mysterious being this giant creature, I know it became known as the space jockey, but erm, could you, could you just
    engineer as his helmet is being put on
    describe him so that people can picture him.
    (37.53) Ridley Scott: "He was perceived, the giant was perceived as skeletal and erm, I kept staring at the skeleton which was kind of a wonderful drawing by H R Giger, and erm, then I thought, twenty, thirty, twenty, actually twenty six years on (1995?), I thought what if this is not a skeleton, but, because we only see it as a skeleton, because of our own, the way we see things in our own indoctrination, and er now I thought, what happens if its another form of protection or a suit? If its a suit then what's inside the suit" ( Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film reviews, BBCRadio 5 live, 01 June 2012.)
    engineer with head encased in helmet
                                      
  2. Often Scott will have a trigger image in mind when he begins prepping a film. With Prometheus  it was the Space Jockey. "The big guy sitting in the seat, " he recalls.
    'Somebody said it's a skeleton and I said it doesn't have to be, it could be a degraded suit. It's only you saying that because you think you're looking at bone structure and a rib cage. Why isn't that a suit? It's been lying there disintegrating for two or three thousands of years in deep cold, that could be a suit. The suit works great as a kind of organic, very sophisticated spacesuit." (Prometheus: the art of the film, p20))                                               
b) Communion (1989)
The subject of extra-terrestrial abduction called Communion which was about the experiences of the writer Whitley Strieber and it displayed the idea that the ETs that he was seeing were somehow unspecifically just outside skins for something else within. In the movie the Grey's face opens up to reveal something reptilian inside.
  1. Philippe Mora: There's a fourth alien figure that we reveal in the film. It's a figure that Whitley saw once - a version of the Communion figure that actually showed the face was a kind of mask and there was something underneath, ("Report on Communion" by Ed Conroy, p186)

Scene from "Communion" exploring
 the idea of the alien creature's heads as masks
Image of a Grey's face with a reptile
face within, from Communion

c) Fire In The Sky (1993)
videotape cover for  
Fire In The Sky, (1993)
In 1993 the movie Fire In the Sky was released, the script written by Tracy Tormé who tried to depict as near as possible the events surrounding the Travis Walton alien abduction UFO case and this movie brought up the same idea about what we perceive to be extra terrestrials, that they're suits with something inside them. The space suits in Fire In The Sky might well be considered a nod to Communion and also a development of the idea.

This idea came about because the film was based on the ET abduction experiences of Travis Walton and what he wrote about as his extra terrestrial abduction experience had already been seen on the screen before so they decided to replace it with something else and Tracy Tormé came up with a visceral interpretation of Walton's abduction that in a clever way became an idea about a perception regarding these alien beings, that what we saw as typical greys were space suits and maybe there was something else inside them and here there were some strange almost humanoid aliens.  Perhaps is was a very interesting idea.
Head of an extra-terrestrials space suit that resembles a stereotypical 'Grey' from 
Fire In The Sky. Click here to see more shots
  1.   Tracy Tormé: I've heard many abductees say if they could just find the zipper on these little grey guys and pull it down, they could see what's really underneath because there is a sense amongst a lot of them there is something very artificial about them... (Coast To Coast Am, April 9th, 2008)
  2. See: Just like "Fire in the Sky" for more photos from the film

d)  Independence Day (1996)
Independence Day poster
In 1996 which is the year that Ridley did claim to have the idea, the movie Independence Day was released which had the idea of extra terrestrials that were slightly Alien inspired which turned out to be organic suits (designed and created by Patrick Tatopoulos who later went onto design the pyramid and its interior and the Predator-Alien chestburster in Alien Vs Predator) with smaller extra-terrestrials slightly resembling the idea of a Grey hidden inside. 

See images of and read more about the development of the "Independence Day" biomechanical suit


alien biomechanical suit


The standing Engineer Spacesuits


"Engineer" sized space jockey suit

(Source: Prometheus :The Art of the Film)
"Engineer" sized space jockey suit

(Source: Prometheus :The Art of the Film)

"Engineer" sized space jockey suit

 (source: Prometheus :The Art of the Film / http://www.kerry-brown.com/)
Suit images that appeared in Entertainment Weekly as a detail in a photo
"Engineer" sized space jockey sui
Noomi Rapace sitting on a step ladder in front of the Space Jockey suits 
(Source: Prometheus The Art Of The Movie book)
stuntman Florian Robin posing
by suits in the corridor. 
(source Flostunts website)

just like "Fire in the Sky"

leading from

Empty Space Jockey like suits of the engineers found standing either side of a tunnel leading towards the space jockey chamber in the Juggernaut.



Below, Images from the movie Fire In The Sky (1993), directed by Robert Lieberman which is based on the Travis Walton alien abduction case, here the character Travis Walton wakes up in a space craft and curiously encounters space suits of extra terrestrials floating around inside a zero gravity environment, presumably the inside of a space craft. It suggests that all the witness reports of what are known to be "Greys" may not be all that they seem, maybe they are suits and something else is inside them.

 

 

 


Ancient Mayan Space Jockey 'Star Map' Tablet

leading from:

Tablet of Mayan Rocket Man in Prometheus 
NOTE WELL, this is not the real Pakal Votan tomb lid!

a) The Invitation via The Tomb of Pakal Votan
One of the tablets that displays the star pattern shown in Prometheus is based on the Sarcophagus Lid of the Tomb of Pakal Votan which is thought by many ancient astronaut theorists to depict an astronaut in a rocket ship cockpit. 

As a viewer initially taking an interest in the trailer as it is found on line, this tablet is suddenly recognisable, one can see the details and what they have changed to make it fit into their story. One could say that it is unfair to take too much notice of it because it's only seen briefly at the side of the shot in the trailer, but for a fan of the Alien series who knows something about the Ancient Astronauts concept being introduced to the trailer with the ability to halt it wherever he wants, there are further questions to ask about it. In the film itself as it is seen on the big cinema screen it might be something really hardly noticeable and whatever is to be found in the mockup of a tablet isn't to be taken too seriously.

Tablet of Mayan Rocket Man in Prometheus 
NOTE WELL, this is not the real Pakal Votan tomb lid!

The replica shows a slightly altered replica of the sarcophagus lid , the man in the image now has a breathing pipe instead of the part of the image that is less easily imaginable as breathing apparatus and the Mayan depiction of the sky has been taken away and replaced with a very non-Mayan sky depicting the group of stars that in some of the images from archeological digs from around the world which show pictograms roughly match up with the star map seen and drawn by Betty Hill and indeed this starmap configuration becomes an issue at the beginning of Prometheus. However to point out the star pattern on this image would require some guess work.
  1. Propstore.com description:
    Ancient Mayan Space Jockey 'Star Map' Tablet
    Stock # 27008
    Upper section of Tablet of Mayan Rocket Man in Prometheus showing stars, 
    NOTE WELL, this is not the real Pakal Votan tomb lid!

    A large carved tablet used in Ridley Scott’s 2012 sci-fi adventure Prometheus. This tablet can be seen in the key briefing scene which is held by Dr Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Dr Holloway (Logan-Marshall Green) where they explain the origin of the star map. The star map image is shown to be similar to those on several other tablets that were also discovered, leading them to mount the expedition to find the planet LV-223. This tablet is shown in the sequence to be Mayan in origin dating from 620 CE and excavated from ‘site B central
    TEOTICHUAĆAN.
    Middle section of tablet of Mayan Rocket Man in Prometheus 
    NOTE WELL, this is not the real Pakal Votan tomb lid!
    The lower section of the tablet features a large reclined person with an iconic ‘space jockey’ head, very similar to that seen of the engineer in the later stages of the film. The entire tablet is bordered with symbol etchings and patterning. The characteristic ‘star map’ which is analysed during the film, can be seen on the top section of the tablet. This large prop is made from a biscuit foam cast which has had a hard resin skin applied on the outside. The mould has been carved, painted and detailed in a grey wash stone effect, then chipped to give an aged appearance. It has been moulded to mount on top of a green screen pole although this is no longer attached. The green screen pole would have been edited out to give the tablet a suspended appearance when used in the production. This iconic tablet is in fantastic production used condition and measures 75cm x 42cm x 11cm (29.5” x 16.5” x 4.5").

drawing of Sarcophagus Lid of Pakal Votan

Crosses of Palenque

cross designs from the Tablets from the Temple of the Foliated cross,
the Cross and also the Sun, in Palenque

The Sanctuary tablet from Temple of the Cross.

Plaster cast of inscribed wall panel, the Sanctuary tablet from Temple of the Cross, 
Palenque, first slab is a plastercast, the second is of an original slab in the National 
Museum In The City of Mexico, the third is a original slabe in the Natrional 
Museum, , Washington, USA. (source:wikimedia )
drawing of the wall panel above from Temple of the Cross

  1. "The central icon at the portal of each of the three temples in the Group of the Cross specified the nature of the cosmic power and community responsibility 
    that defined kingship for that temple. At the portal of the Temple of the Cross, 
    we see a variant of the World Tree. This cross-shaped Tree, with the Serpent 
    Bar of kingship entwined in its branches and the Celestial Bird standing on 
    its crown, was the central axis of the cosmos [the Milky Way galaxy]. Along

      this axis rose and descended the souls of the dead and the gods called from the 
    Otherworld by the vision rite to talk to human beings. It was the path the Cosmic
     Monster took as the sun and Venus moved through its body on their daily journeys.

    The king himself was the worldly manifestation of this axis, and this emphasized 
    his role as the source of magical power. He was not only the primary practitioner 
    of the rituals that contacted the Otherworld: he was the pathway itself. In this
      portal the dead Pacal gives his son a scepter in the form of the monster that rests 
    at the base of the World Tree--the same sun-marked monster that bore Pacal 
    to Xibalba. Chan-Bahlum wields a disembodied head as an instrument of power, 
    as had the Early Classic kings of Tikal and other kings before him."

    Linda Schele and David Freidel, A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the 
    ANcient  Maya, p. 242-3" (source:mayaruins.com)
The Central Tablet from the Temple of the Foliated Cross



























Tablet from the temple of the Foliated cross (source: http://learningobjects.wesleyan.edu/)
drawing of the Central Tablet from the Temple of the Foliated Cross.
(source:learningobjects.wesleyan.edu/)


  1. Graham Hancock: "In a mural in the temple of the Foliated Cross at the Mayan site of Palenque in Mexico's Chiapas province,  we see the Milky Way represented by a maize tree rising from 'the place of creation near Orion'.
    The Milky Way is blanked by two figures - the spirit of the Lord Pacal,  the deceased former ruler of Palenque and his son and successor Chan-bahlum, who are shown in shamanic communion with one another. As the father scends to the heavens,  the son is transformed from 'the status of heir apparent into King'
    At the same time it is understood that the deeds and rituals performed by the son are essential if the father's hoped for rebirth amongst the stars is to be achieved.
    Indeed  the whole point of message of the mural - a message that has been described by David Friedel Linda Shele and Joyce Parker as 'central mystery of Maya religion' (Supernatural by Graham Hancock, p645-646. Quotes taken from (Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman's Path by David Freidel, Linda Schele & Joy Parker. New York: William Morrow, 1994,)

    The tablet of the sun at the Temple of the Sun
The tablet of the sun at the Temple of the Sun,.(source www.flickr.com/photos/jim-sf/)

Primopredaja vlasti, Palenque, Chiapas, Meksiko 
Drawing of The tablet of the sun at the Temple of the Sun, Palenque,
by Linda Schele

Mythology behind tomb lid of Pakal Votan


The  accepted interpretation by archeologists is that the original scene depicted on the sarcophagus' lapidary stone represents the instant of Pakal's death and his fall to the Underworld.
    drawing of Sarcophagus Lid of Pakal Votan
  1. The large carved stone sarcophagus lid in the Temple of Inscriptions is a unique piece of Classic Maya art. Around the edges of the lid is a band with cosmological signs, including those for sun, moon, and star, as well as the heads of six ancestors. The central image is that of a world tree. Beneath Pakal is one of the heads of a celestial two-headed serpent viewed frontally. Both the king and the serpent head on which he seems to rest are framed by the open jaws of a funerary serpent, a common iconographic device for signalling entrance into, or residence in, the realm(s) of the dead. The king himself wears the attributes of the Tonsured maize god and is shown in a peculiar posture that may denote rebirth. (source: wikipedia)
  2. Ronald Story:The Palenque astronaut, carved on a sarcophagus lid from the temple of Inscriptions, Palenque, Mexico. Although, Von Däniken  sees a man piloting a rocket in this illustration the personage is actually a deceased ruler, Pacal, in a state of suspension between two worlds, the world of living and that of the dead. He is shown here in the composite design of a cross, a two-headed serpent and corn plant , rich in Mayan (Space Gods revealed)
  3. Edgar Foley: One of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century was the tomb of K'inich Janaab' Pakal, ruler of the Mayan city of Palenque from 615 to 683 AD. After having assumed the throne at age twelve, he ruled Palenque for an astonishing 68 years. During his reign, Palenque became a Mayan Florence, a medium-sized city crammed with unsurpassed architecture and art.
    Pakal's tomb was found in the so-called Pyramid of Inscriptions. Until this find, it was not known that the Mayan's buried their rulers in a very similar fashion to the ancient Egyptians.
    The concept and execution of Pakal's tomb are really remarkably similar to the Egyptian pyramids, which served as a sort of launching platform for deceased pharaohs, including worldly goods the Pharaoh would need and elaborate inscriptions as to how the Pharaohs' soul was to navigate through the underworld and reach the afterlife. Pakal's tomb was not only filled with relics and treasures, it also contained six servants.
    The lid on the tomb describes how Pakal's soul is to manoeuvre through the underworld. It shows the ruler seated upon the Monster of the Sun, in its state of transition between life and death: a skeleton from the mouth down, yet with the eyes of a living being. The sun enters into this state of transition at dawn and at dusk. Here, the emblem of the Monster of the Sun contains the ‘cimi’, the sign of death, representing the ‘death of the sun’ or sunset, with the sun located on the horizon, sinking into Xibalba – the underworld.
    The movement of the sun from east to west represents Pakal's journey from life into death. Inside the underworld at the centre of the universe, stands the sacred World Tree with a Celestial Bird—symbol of the kingdom of heaven.
    Each night, the Mayans saw the Milky Way rise after the sun had set. For them, this starry river was the Underworld, and the dark space at its centre was the ‘Dragon's Mouth’ - its entrance. The ‘World Tree’ was basically the cross formed by the Milky Way rising perpendicular to the horizon. (source:rijksmuseumamsterdam.blogspot.co.uk/)
  4. Zecharia Sitchin:Inscriptions on the wall of the funerary edifice and in adjoining structures convince them that the person buried here is the ruler Pacal ("Shield") who reigned in Palenque in A.D. 615-683. Some see a depiction of the deceased Pacal being taken by the Dragon of the Underworld to the realm of the dead; they consider the fact that at the winter solstice the Sun sets exactly behind the temple of inscriptions with added symbolism of the King's departure the setting Sung God. Others prompted to revise interpretations by the fact that the depiction restrained by a Sky Band,  a chain of glyphs that represent celestial bodies and the zodiac constellations regard the scene as showing the king being carried by the Celestial serpent to the celestial realm of the gods. The cross like object that the deceased is facing is now recognized at the stylised tree of life suggesting that the king is being transported to an eternal afterlife (The Lost Realms, by Zechariah Sitchin, p71-72)

ii). In The Background
  1. "A strip of heaven (skyband) frames the entire scene with kin (day or the sun) in the upper right or northeast corner and akbaal (night or darkness) on the far left or northwest corner. The movement of the sun from east to west represents Pakal's journey from life into death. Symbols fill the background of this scene (shells, jade beads, signs of plenty, and others) carried on spirals of blood.   (Taken from :http://www.delange.org/PalenqueTomb/PalenqueTomb.htm) 
iii) The World Tree
      We find the cross shape structure above Pacal in the relief is based on  the form of the Palenque cross, complete with a bird known as the cosmic bird also known as Itxam-Yeh, the seven Macaw associated with the Big Dipper star constellation, perched on the very top.



      image of the cross from the Sanctuary tablet from 
      Temple of the Cross. Palenque
      (source: A Forest of Kings:
      The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)

      1.  The World Tree is the central axis of the world. Called the Wacah-Chan ('six sky" or "raised up sky") in the glyphs, it appears in the form of a cross marked with God C to denote it is a divine or holy thing. The bejeweked, square-snouted serpents which usually terminate its branches represent  flows of liquid offering - human blood and its analogs, rubber, copal, and the red sap of the ceiba tree. Draped in the banches of the tree is the Celestial Bird Deity, who is the bird of the center in the direction model of the world. The World Tree often emerges from behind the read of the Cosmic Monster. The front head of the same creature can be depicted as its roots. The Tree is the path of communication between the natural and supernatural words as it is defined at the center of the cosmo. The Cosmic Monster is the same path of communication configured for the periphery of the cosmos. The king personifies this World Tree in his flesh. (source: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)
      2. The Tree of the World is specially marked as a sacred object: the symbols for te or "tree" 
        confirm it is a cottonwood. The symbols for nen or "mirror" indicate that the tree is a shining and powerful being. The enormous figure of God C (symbol of blood and that which is holy) is inserted in the base of the trunk and is linked with Pakal's body. The tips of the tree's branches are shaped like the bowls used to catch sacrificial blood. Jade beads and tubes surround the square-nostriled dragons that are born from these vessels, indicating that they are especially sacred. These jewel-covered monsters are depicted in deliberate contrast to the skeletal dragons below them. Te first represent the heavens, the most sacred of the three levels of the Maya cosmos; the second illustrate the world of death into which Pakal falls. (Source: http://www.delange.org/PalenqueTomb/PalenqueTomb.htm)

        The Olmec "Tree of Life" (Mesoamerican Cosmology).
        The lineage founder, 2 Grass, is being born from a 

         twisting World Tree. Detail from Selden Codex page 2. 
        Source: FAMSI


      iv) The Celestial Bird

      (source: A Forest of Kings:
      The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)

      Possibly a celestial bird,  from photo K8342,
      1. The Celestial Bird, also known as the Serpent Bird and the Principal Bird Deity, has a long tail, personified wings, and the head of a zoomorphic monster. Often it appears with a round object and a woven ribbon held in its mouth, with a trefoil pectoral around its neck, and a cut-shell ornament attached to a jade headband. In its most common representation it sits atop the World Tree or astride the body of the Cosmic Monster. In its earlier manifestations, it appeared prominently in  the Late Preclassic art of the southern highlands. There it represented the idea of nature out of control but brought into order by the Hero Twins and their avata on earth, the king. This concept of the king as the guardian of ordered nature first came into the iconography of lowland Maya wit the image of this bird, especially in the context of the world tree. (source: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)

      v) The Serpent Bar

      (source: A Forest of Kings:
      The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)
      1. The Serpent Bar, also known as the Bicephalic Bar, the Double-headed Serpent Bar, and the Ceremonial Bar, is a sceptre carried in the arms of the rulers, usually held against their chests. To hold the Bar, Maya rulers put their hands in a formal gesture with their wrists back to back and their thumbs turned outward.(source: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)
      2. A two-headed serpent bar (the Maya symbol of royalty) is wrapped around branches of the Tree of the World. The body is made of jade segments, again conferring special value on the serpent. The heads on each end of the bar correspond, piece by piece, to the skeletal dragons at the opening to the Underworld. Whereas the Underworld is like a skeleton, Earth, represented by the serpent, has flesh.(Source www.delange.org/PalenqueTomb/PalenqueTomb.htm)
      vi) King Pakal falling backwards

      There is the King Pakal is falling backwards into the mouth of Xebalba. More humans depicted like the one in the Pakal Votan tomb lid can be found in other artwork not depicting anything like a spacecraft, the figure from Kerr photo number 3422 seen reclining on a platform in a similar strange position. Then in Kerr photo number K7146, a dwarf reclining on a water lily pads spread out across the head of the water lily monster, which certainly isn't an engine for a space craft.
      1. Pakal appears to be tumbling at an angle on the head of the Monster of the Sun, also a symbol of his transition from life into death. His loincloth and his heavy jade collar (both the front and back are depicted on the stone) seem to be floating away from his body. His knees are flexed, his hands relaxed. His face is calm because he expects to defeat death. A bone piercing Pakal's nose symbolizes that even death carries in it the seed of rebirth. In the Maya dialects, "bone" and "large seed" are synonymous. Thus, the bone is the seed of Pakal's resurrection. In the end, Pakal falls as a deity with the smoking knife of God K embedded in his forehead. He was a god in life, and a god when falling into death."(Taken from :http://www.delange.org/PalenqueTomb/PalenqueTomb.htm)



      Detail from vase from photo : Kerr number 3422
      Detail from photo Kerr Number Kerr Number: 1184.  Resurrection of infant in the otherworld. 
      The calendar round could denote the years AD756 or AD808  (source research.mayavase.com/)
      (Actually the person lying back appears to be undergoing a transformation into an animal.)

      Detail from photo Kerr Number 7146, a dwarf blowing conch shell while lying on bed of water lily
      pads which is sitting on head of water lily monster (Long nosed skeletal with lily pads emanating 
       from top of head) (source: http://research.mayavase.com/)



       vii) The Maw of Xibalba

      As King Pacal is swallowed up by the maw of Xebalba, it is this way that he enters the underworld.


      1. The Maw of Xibalba is depicted as the great gaping head of a skeletal zoomorph. It is always represented with skeletal features and split-representation of two profiles merged at the lowed jaw. The Maw symbolizes death or the point of transition between the natural world and the Otherworld of Xibalba. (source: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)
      2. The open mouth of the Xibalba, the Underworld, is carved on the bottom of the stone. Two dragon skeletons, united at the lower jaw, make up a U-shaped container that represents the entrance. The dragons' lips are curved inward, as though closing over Pakal's falling body. There, inside the Underworld at the center of the Universe, stands the Tree of the World with a Celestial Bird (symbol of the kingdom of heaven) poised on its highest branch. (Source www.delange.org/PalenqueTomb/PalenqueTomb.htm)
      The shapes of the pincer like jaws of the serpent about to swallow Pacal are a familiar sight for those who wish to examine the various Mayan artifacts.
      1. For some reason, this representation of a human emerging from the open jaws of a serpent has come to be known as "La Reina de Uxmal" (the "Queen of Uxmal"). In actuality, it probably has something to do with contacting deified ancestors through vision rites, in which the so-called Vision Serpent was conceived of as a conduit to the Otherworld, where the ancestors resided.  (source: http://www.mesoweb.com)

      Queen du'Uxmal, Late Classic (600-900 AD. AD). Limestone © Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico
      http://alaintruong2014.wordpress.com/?s=jaina&search=Go
      A human figure emerges from the open jaws
      of a snake (Uxmal between 800 AD -950 AD)
      Architectural finial, Maya, Terminal Classic (900-1000 A.D.)
      Uxmal, State of Yucatán, Sandstone, 80 x 99 cm.
      National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico.
       
      Photo © Jorge Pérez de Lara 




      viii) The head of the Sun Monster/God, Kinich Ahau



      1. "The Quadripartite Monster appears in the three major versions: as the rear of the Cosmic Monster, as an independant image at the base of the World Tree, and as a scepter of headdress. It never has a body and its head is usually fleshed above the muzzle and skeletal beneath it. A flat bloodletting bowl marked with the sign for the sun, kin, forms its forehead and a stingray spine, a shell, and crossbands rest in the bowl. The Stingray represents the blood of the Middleworld, the shell symbolizes the water of the Underworld; and the crossbands are the path of the sun crossing the Milky Way, a sign of the heavens which can be represented by a bird's wing in Early Classic examples. GI of the Palenque Triad often wears this image as its headdress. The Quadripartite Monster represents the sun as it travels on its journey through the cosmos. (A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)
      2. During his fall from the Tree of the World, Pakal is seated upon the Monster of the Sun. The monster is aptly represented in its state of transition between life and death: a skeleton from the mouth down, with eyes that have the dilated pupils of living beings. The sun enters into this state of transition at dawn and at dusk. Here, however, the emblem of the Monster of the Sun contains the cimi or sign of death, emphasizing imagery representing the "death of the sun" or sunset, with the sun located on the horizon, ready to sink into the Underworld . . . and take the dead king with it. (Taken from :http://www.delange.org/PalenqueTomb/PalenqueTomb.htm)
      (source: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya)
      "quadripartite badge from the Temple of the Cross"

      Another depiction,
      Kinich Ahau - the Maya Sun God Jade Head
      (source: www.belize.com)

      Mayan mask showing a depiction of the same monster, but considered here a God
       . "An idealized portrait of God GIII of the Planeque Triad from
       the Mayan lowlands, this mosaic mask is made of eighty-two individually cut
       deep green mottled jade, spondylus and conch shell plaques. The mask’s large 
      squared eyes have distinctive spirally incised conch shell pupils, each carefully 
      highlighted by red pigment. The lower eyelids curl over the nose to form the 
      characteristic cruller loop between the eyes. The robust nose with slightly flared 
      nostrils is carved from a single piece of jade. Distinguished by fish fin shaped 
      ornaments at the corners, the wide mouth reveals a filed front tooth and flint-like 
      tongue. The figure wears the headdress of the Quadripartite Monster, symbolized 
      by the stepped plaque with a central flint. The overall effect is an imposing 
      representation of the Mayan deity. (source:http://collectrium.com/)