<p><strong>Seen for the first time in centuries, a 1,500-year-old tomb comes to light via a tiny camera lowered into a Maya pyramid at <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/mexico-guide/">Mexico</a>'s <a href="http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/map-machine#s=h&amp;c=17.52292772520882, -91.98972702026367&amp;z=12">Palenque (map)</a> archaeological site in April. The intact, blood-red funeral chamber offers insight into the ancient city's early history, experts say.</strong></p><p>The tomb was discovered in 1999, though researchers have been unable to get inside due to the precarious structural state of the pyramid above. Any effort to penetrate the tomb could damage the contents within, according to the team, which is affiliated with Mexico's <a href="http://www.inah.gob.mx/index.php/english">National Institute of Anthropology and History</a>.</p><p>Instead, the archaeologists lowered the 1.6-by-2.4-inch (4-by-6-centimeter) camera through a 6-inch-wide (15-centimeter-wide) hole in an upper floor of the pyramid.</p><p>(Get the full story of<a href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/08/maya-rise-fall/gugliotta-text"> the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine</a>.)</p><p><em>—John Roach</em></p>

First Light

Seen for the first time in centuries, a 1,500-year-old tomb comes to light via a tiny camera lowered into a Maya pyramid at Mexico's Palenque (map) archaeological site in April. The intact, blood-red funeral chamber offers insight into the ancient city's early history, experts say.

The tomb was discovered in 1999, though researchers have been unable to get inside due to the precarious structural state of the pyramid above. Any effort to penetrate the tomb could damage the contents within, according to the team, which is affiliated with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

Instead, the archaeologists lowered the 1.6-by-2.4-inch (4-by-6-centimeter) camera through a 6-inch-wide (15-centimeter-wide) hole in an upper floor of the pyramid.

(Get the full story of the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.)

—John Roach

Photograph courtesy INAH

Pictures: Blood-Red Pyramid Tomb Revealed by Tiny Camera

Fed through a hole, a tiny camera exposed a Maya tomb to its first light in centuries, revealing a blood-red chamber, jade, and more.

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