This photograph was taken in 1891, and shows the West Courtyard and the Tower
of the Palace at Palenque, in Mexico. Palenque sits at the bottom of a row of
hills covered with tall rain forest. Beneath this large and elaborate palace,
which is about 300 feet long and 240 feet wide, runs an aqueduct carrying water
from a nearby stream.
In this contemporary photograph of the palace, you can see the central tower
after excavation. Inside the tower is a stairway leading up its four stories.
It has been speculated that the tower may have been used as an observatory or
watch tower. It was built around 600 AD, under the rule of Lady K'an Ik', a
female ruler who reigned for about 22 years.