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 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Frontispiece
 Introduction
 Ceremonial centers
 The setting
 Acknowledgement
 Bibliography


UPF OGRO



Ceremonial centers of the Maya
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100634/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ceremonial centers of the Maya
Physical Description: 152 p. : illus. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Craven, Roy C
Bullard, William R ( William Rotch ), 1926-1972
Kampen, M. E ( Michael Edwin )
Publisher: University Presses of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Gainesville
Publication Date: 1974
Copyright Date: 1974
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Mayas -- Antiquities -- Pictorial works   ( lcsh )
Mayas -- Rites and ceremonies -- Pictorial works   ( lcsh )
Mayas -- Antiquités -- Ouvrages illustrés   ( rvm )
Antiquities -- Pictorial works -- Central America   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Pictorial works -- Mexico   ( lcsh )
Ouvrages illustrés -- Amérique centrale   ( rvm )
Ouvrages illustrés -- Mexico (Mexique)   ( rvm )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 152.
General Note: "A University of Florida book."
General Note: "The collapse of Maya civilization, by William R. Bullard, Jr.": p. 1-19.
Statement of Responsibility: Photography by Roy C. Craven, Jr. Introd. by William R. Bullard, Jr. Site descriptions by Michael E. Kampen.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: This work is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/. You are free to electronically copy, distribute, and transmit this work if you attribute authorship. However, all printing rights are reserved by the University Press of Florida (http://www.upf.com). Please contact UPF for information about how to obtain copies of the work for print distribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the University Press of Florida. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 00821368
lccn - 74002016
isbn - 0813004470
sobekcm - UF00100634_00001
Classification: lcc - F1435 .C79
ddc - 917.2/03/0222
System ID: UF00100634:00001

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Half Title 1
        Half Title 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece 1
        Table of Contents 3
        Table of Contents 4
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Ceremonial centers
        Page 19a
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
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        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
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        Page 40
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        Page 49
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        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
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        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
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        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
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        Page 86
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        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
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        Page 94
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        Page 96
        Page 97
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        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
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        Page 103
        Page 104
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        Page 111
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        Page 118
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        Page 121
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        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
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        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
    The setting
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Acknowledgement
        Page 151
    Bibliography
        Page 152
Full Text








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TO my wife Lorn for sustaining me in this and all the other constant endeavors in life.


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Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Craven, Roy C.
Ceremonial centers of the Maya.

"A University of Florida book."
"The collapse of the Maya civilization, by William R.
Bullard, Jr.": p.
Bibliography: p.
1. Mayas-Antiquities-Pictorial works. 2. Mexico-
Antiquities-Pictorial works. I. Bullard, William
Rotch, 1926-1972. II. Title.
F1 435.C79 917.2'03'0222 74-2016
ISBN 0-8130-0447-0


Copyright 1974 by the State of Florida
Board of Trustees of the
Internal Improvement Trust Fund

All rights reserved

Designed by Roy C. Craven, Jr.

Typography by Ad-Print, Incorporated
Tampa, Florida

Printed by
Rose Printing Company, Incorporated
Tallahassee, Florida


















































































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Figure A. MAJOR MAYA CEREMONIAL CENTERS IN MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA.
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THE COLLAPSE OF

MAYA CIVILIZATION

by WILLIAM R. BULLARD, JR.



In order to discuss the collapse of the Maya civilization, it is necessary
to put the enigma into its proper Mesoamerican setting. To do so one
must recall the nature of the Maya's ceremonial centers with their splendid
monumental architecture, the powerful ritual art style, the hieroglyphic
writing, and the evidence of their ruling hierarchies. One specific and vivid
documentation of their accumulated cultural wealth can be readily seen in
the famous Bonampak murals (Figure B) where chiefs and their
retainers line up in an impressive array. This extraordinary series of
paintings on a temple wall in Chiapas, Mexico (see Map, Figure A),
presents an excellent picture of Maya hierarchy and a hint.to Maya social
organization. Yet these paintings are only one colorful fragment from a
magnificent but incomplete tapestry of facts which both highlights
and conceals the form and substance of America's highest pre-Columbian
civilization, a civilization which rose to florescence in one of the continent's
most inhospitable environments.

In Classic Mayan times much of the great tropical rainforest which today
covers Chiapas and the department of the Pet6n in Guatemala would
have been cleared or else would have been in a young second growth.
But since the Maya abandoned this area around A.D.900, a magnificent
high forest has grown up, full of monkeys, parrots, and all sorts of game,
almost uninhabited by human beings. Collectors of chicle (chicleros),
a substance which is used in chewing gum, and the mahogany cutters are
about the only people who now frequent this jungle.

In this environment archaeologists exploring for Mayan ruins often find
a situation where their visibility hardly exceeds fifteen yards. One can walk
directly through a large overgrown Maya ceremonial center containing
several temple structures, and not even see it. Then by varying the path
by a hundred yards, through a sea of towering trees and green foliage, one
might again find himself, unexpectedly, in a great man-made plaza.

In the search for ruins one does not go around with a shovel so much as
with a machete, and travel into the jungle is generally aboard precariously
old airplanes of World War 11. Many times, prior to landing, these planes
must buzz crude airstrips to drive away grazing horses. Once on the
ground, beyond the air strips, one travels by horseback or mule train, and
spends the nights in the camps used by the chicleros.


In the jungle the fastest mode of travel is by river. On the rivers a dugout
canoe is used, and in addition to passengers it can carry supplies and




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florescence of the arts in general. Then came the fall, and the collapse
came very quickly.

In about A.D. 918 Palenque appears to have been abandoned, the first
place to go under, and then about the same time Piedras Negras faded.
Both of these sites were located on the northwest frontier of the Maya
area, and it was in this northwest fringe where the trouble seems to
have started. There the first signs are found of the cessation of construction.

Even to the east, at Tikal, there is evidence of a building being started
but never completed. A great fill was laid and then nothing was built from it.
In the same area clearer evidence of this cessation is found in the ruins of
Uaxactun, a few miles north of Tikal, where a building platform was
definitely started at the very end of the period, and was never finished. The
construction stopped in the ceremonial centers all over the Maya area
about the eighteenth katun of the ninth cycle.

Gradually the production of polychrome pottery began to fall off, but
Classic monochrome pottery, such as water jars and other utilitarian
vessels, continued in production. Stelae were erected for some time
afterwards, but soon their numbers too began to decrease sharply, and
their styles changed. Of course, in any culture art styles continuously
change, but in this case there was a parallel decline in quality. These
distinct phenomena did not occur simultaneously everywhere, but within
a period from about A.D.800 to A.D.900 the collapse was well under
way throughout the total area.


By about A.D. 950, or A.D. 1000 at the latest, the population had also
disappeared. We have, however, substantial evidence of a last tail-end
population in sites such as Uaxact6n. Tikal, and other places presently
being excavated. "Rump Classic" would be a good name for these people
who are technically known as Tepeu 3 people. They were living and making
utilitarian pottery in the Classic tradition from around AD.900 or maybe a
little later. Some were inhabiting buildings which had already started to
collapse, camping in the multi-roomed palaces, in the big temples, and in
other structures associated with the ceremonial complexes. Here the
population grew certainly smaller, but the people continued to make
utilitarian pottery in the Classic tradition. They also were doing some other
strange things, such as moving stelae around and sometimes re-installing
them upside down. Very frequently, the faces on the stelae were chipped
away (see Plate 36) and mutilated. Often this is not apparent unless
one looks very carefully, and then one can see that the very fine sculpture
of the face is only a blur. Of course, mutilation may have been done any
time after the fall, even by the people of a later date.


These strange aberrations seem to indicate that the social organization
had fallen apart and that the people were leaderless. At least it seems










0 oca so An
Af 1. -w-ere
AC th 14 Vol
'810h the""coast n
4 din':Yucatdn, "In" fact sorne-,of these-I.Mays" -a
Chi&h ong:...:...
Lake'- na PeArOd t e (W. i Yucathn, a d
ANA,*.,
t t C
-leas st 00 In t. assic: erib&:
-he a -Of, the P os
in the cent ther" i ad only about 1 0-perCerit.,of tb 46ri'
Popplation.,


Theculture of tlme Iater eople was q te differ-ent,,.:for,..I-t"again,!N
-a rked' %:QC
-very ma Vex* an influence. In fact.one has.,troublezeei
on later, peop
ev between: th 16 a ndthose who were in th e Petdh
n.., A D..' From th W rchaeologic one has'difficufty,,.
ei a, al. remains,
bellev4VA11M. one is dealing with the. same -culture., that ftomll
MiEven so these late le
to I es, peop were f
0 assic Im
ayp butwfth'addl
_,"tions
To sum marize.- -the, M -cultural
-florescence,, in the Classi6:
followed by an abrup This.cult raid* u
t coR ha
apse. u isr option ppenw
period of 501o.: 15O.Alears. ralieled by,,:a &as0e.,dpt3opu4 Ort
area,. USIYLnot unique in v4bdd:hWoiY, and-a
Such dech 'ate obvio
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fie fist asexist" -isolation.
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Figure B "ARRAIGNMENT OF THE PRISONERS"
Mural, north wall of Room 2, Structure 1, Bonampak. Photograph reproduced courtesy
of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington,
DC


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Figure C DETAIL OF BOUND PRISONERS ON STELE #12, PIEDRAS NEGRAS.
Note the identifying glyphs carved on each figure and the ropes binding them together.
This monument is now located in the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Guatemala City.


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optimum there also. In other words the forest should grow anew,
undisturbed, for about twenty years in order to allow its soil to regain
its nutrition before it is cut again. Such a twenty-year cycle requires a
great area of land since only 5 percent of the land is actually in cultivation,
while 95 percent of it is lying fallow.


Other pertinent data to be considered concern domestic settlement. These
data suggest that the population levels must have been higher than that
which could have been supported by the traditional type of slash-and-
burn agriculture. Too many house ruins have been located which appear
to have been occupied simultaneously. These make it difficult to see how
this system of agriculture could have supported the numbers of people
suggested by the concentration of ruins and the growth patterns in the
Late Classic.

Although there is a general uniformity to all this lowland area, there are
some areas that are more fertile and productive than others, and as the
population rose there may have been attempts to move into particularly
fertile areas. Perhaps the contrast here between the fertile and unfertile
areas is not as great as it is in the highlands, but some areas, nevertheless,
are more favorable than others. It appears that there were rapid population
build-ups in these relatively fertile areas and a tendency to shorten the
slash-and-burn cycle. If the optimum cycle was twenty years, the people
would cut that length down, maybe to ten years or perhaps even to five
years. They were eventually forced to keep cutting down on the time
interval so that the fields could not ultimately accommodate a real
regrowth of forest. This drastic reduction of the time interval meant they
could only get a growth of grass, and grasslands bring their own unique
problems.

Even so, in some areas, the Maya probably had cut the milpa cycle
down into such short periods that they were cycling their fields, not with
the natural bush, but with grass. This would have meant an obvious and
dramatic loss of soil fertility. Another related problem would have been that
the cultivating and clearing of grass was much more expensive in terms of
labor. In other words, there would have been a greater labor input but
with the effect of a lessening of production. This created a bad situation all
around, but especially economically.

The next forced step would be a greater use of marginal lands and marginal
crops, such as root crops. The logical root crop in this area would be the
great staple of South America, the manioc plant. Manioc makes a tasteless
starchy flour and is perhaps best known to modern man for its product.
tapioca.


The major food staples of the Maya, throughout Mesoamerica, were corn
and beans supplemented with chili peppers and various other vegetables.


10






These were further supplemented with a certain amount of fish and game
and collected wild products. With corn and beans there is a great nutritional
balance, but manioc needs much more in the way of protein supplements,
and manioc therefore leads to dietary problems.

Prominent among the wild crops the Maya used is a forest tree known as
the breadnut tree or, in Spanish, the rambn. This tree produces a nut
and today it is also used where the crops are poor. There is an interesting
correlation of the rambn tree, a great tree like mahogany, with Maya
ruins. In fact, when archaeologists are exploring for ruins, they search in
the jungle for groves of rambn since they can almost be sure to find ruins
there. It is believed that the Maya preserved the rambn trees around
their settlements and thus created concentrations of rambn which are
still clustered in the forest after a thousand years of growth. It is very likely
that the present distribution of the rambn tree reflects, to a degree, the
ancient Maya settlement pattern. Rambn nuts preserve well and
they were undoubtedly stored underground by the Maya in stone structures
known as chultunes.

As the milpa production declined, there must have been an increasing
dependence on wild plant food, such as the rambn, and an increase
in the importation of foodstuffs. Fish and agricultural products from areas
of relatively high productivity must have been actively traded. With the
intensive growth of trade, production methods, a need for more labor,
and the use of marginal lands, the Maya were extending themselves
into a more complicated administrative structure. It all happened gradually,
but piece by piece they built a delicate and complicated distribution
network. With more and more land clearance they reduced their forest
resources. The Maya had always hunted and depended upon a certain
amount of deer for food. As the land was cleared and more grasslands
were created, the Maya eliminated some of their wild game animals. This
clearing activity also cut down on some of their wild plant foods.

Another effect of cutting large areas of tropical forest is that one is liable to
cause a transfer of some insect-borne diseases from animal to human
hosts. Clearing the forest may have caused a change in the parasitic
relationships of the hosts and carriers of these diseases, and thus increased
the susceptibility of human beings to disease. When the hierarchy finally
disappeared, disease may have been a contributing factor.

As the system got more and more delicate, it developed more and more
strains. The effects of a drought or a hurricane which might occur would
be more marked and would particularly overload the existing problems.
This would be especially true in a limited area where, for example, there
might be a serious food shortage. An act of nature, added to such a
condition, would compound the problem beyond the Maya's ability to cope
with it.


The one sure thing that would be increasing in all this would be the
management problem, since someone had to run the system or systems.


11




V,

4
IniSt(at wmg
re a fve::jxO.Ietn *n,6110 t,
S a 91%0n..
'rim i1v
h: i f _dL
'M sure
s6ine s got n andl
Nt the fi: C081SIT
the trade, routes werlo Mina., If rminioc, was grown ify. ne a lot
-to be, iOheOto, a ts aW th ..local corn, alsa tist be di
Wh
0, illi, .901 to:,d of this. n u was:,, r
U do bt6dlyit
le we see carved on. e'faces of the Ma
very. peop th 'Ya Ste,
-4
chiefs'earrying ceremonial bars and afl.covered with jade.:Thwr'_cw
_'baris weretwavy but::their.administrative responsibilities wereaven
SO.' When,: one looks at thos-e 'eople. one can.see the: po ibilities 0'
a Jonanage u re was
-Mlgbt be CaHed nal breakdown -Agnic 'Itu bed&nW
an 4eft relo' ble and the managerial mistakes huitle in hawW
etti: nous. Now,,the stress becoffies,:cle
wereg Ap more se ar,
the--cornplexof stresses.

Another 0j,,110pqm0non which-WimId have happened: with.8 a
was. an increase aye uppprdass.The
'Poptilbtion in the M SP"
that-by LaM Classol ti thd, Maya. upper:.Ci
evid W, mes
n the -rest of the po ulati'on The
h Yysica g tm p ir, bone.
bigger, andthey.were_ taller. Me Polyn an nobili tt*Vvvo
for WrV -vm:,:Iame _Pomparibd to, the common people., They,,werw
-perlhaps eating.more, an ptobaoly pr
the goo ife cing I a
As ereffwnia cmters Vvem
'this elite -aass, grew larger, new
th of qre:at, ruinsin Late Classic cereowhoUt", t6
p probably reflects thi'S.-
to-thi -thatwas -the
An,,--radditi"iil. t1fit elso: related s situatim, and
ition betwa6n The: I ders of th -ceremonu
ornpe -icenters ea 0 varwu&
n reas. wo t. thei
'centers, Partit rty, as stresses. ii c ed, uld _w n
Most p gious They wantW their te ples and, shfin6s-to..be,
laces -pi grorn"em, They wouldwant to attrwatloxthenm:.
of, the nd they: wou Id indeed N inuir"-ted in
artisans. are o1a 'S
most skilled workOrso',Nlaya society was becoming nx)re rig; and.-,
compe was growing
tition M society was, ptobably
rew zel. that th6sli
miabuC Ii,
as that of Me now
SOPO

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This vying for wealth and prestige would also involve attracting followers,
adding another element to the various stresses which were beginning to
interonriectwith one another. The diversion of labor that w.nt into the
construction of a place like Tikal is unbelievable. It is hard tovisualize
today the masses of workers needed to produce so many temples, shrines,
buildings, rooms, corridors, stelae, attars. and other structures now
scattered through the jungle. The quantity of construction is simply
amazing,but the same is of course true of many other ceremonial centers.
S Such a ontinual building program required a great expenditure of labor.
both skilled and unskilled, and the agricultural system, as mentioned, also
demanded a good deal of labor. n such a society where man and land
Relationships are fragile, mis-managed labor could have very serious
effects. Someone had to schedule all of this and keep the master plan under
control, and it was with such individuals that the Maya culture climaxed and
reached its peak as a civilization.

Most archaeologists in the past have held a view of Maya leadership
paralel tO that illustrated in the Bonampak murals. There Maya chiefs, like
great royalty everywhere, stand grandly attired upon their platforms and
take a bow. It is thought that the Maya chieftainship and Maya society were
types which emerged from those originated earlier by the Olmecs of
Mesoamerica. Leaders received status and prestige through ranking due to
kinship, and relationships were those of obligation which waS directed
toward leaders' followers and their kinsmen. Lineages were important,
and the great leaders of the ceremonial-centers must have all emerged, by
and large. from the most important lineages. These rankings and
relationships, along with mutual obligations, were probably the ties that
bound Maya society together. The original sanctions which this elite:
leadership had were probably not those of force but of persuasion. Initially,
in the Early Classic Period, there was certainly a sharing by the general
population in the good features of Maya life, and to a large extent this was
probably true throughout the Late Classic. A good quality polychrome pot
and an occasional jade, for example, are found in burials of cormmonpgeople.
Some of the better things obviously got around, but as the Classic Period
progressed, this circulation lessened and the lines of status became more
rigid.

It is even possible that a special social cleavage was intensified by an elitist
view of Maya cosmology. In fact, during the Classic Periodthere may have
been a growing split between the religion of the hierarchies and the religion
of the commoners. Eric Thompson always felt this was so. There is a
definite element of Maya religion that deals with agriculturejand agricultural
gods which is probably very ancient, and it has continued in a steady flow


13







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spines and sponge spicules, have been found in caches in places 14ie 1 TKal.
Such items were necessary for ritual, but in addition to these practicesthere
was, it is felt, almost a cult of the sea. Just how much trade in edible fish
penetrated into the interior is pretty hard to say. but such commodities by
necessity must have been salted and dried. Other than foodstuffs, luxury
goods such as jade and ceramics were widely traded. A considerable
amount of jade was worked along the Usumacinta River and then re-
exported into its regions of origin.

Quetzal feathers were another exceedingly important item. Every Maya
chief, even the lesser ones. had great plumes of quetzal feathers. The
natural range of the quetzal bird, on the mountain slopes of Chiapas and
Guatemala, is very limited in area and altitude, and this fact proves that
these great, long, green-blue feathers had to be traded throughout the
whole Maya area, and on. beyond to the rest of Mesoamerica.


The Maya exported polychrome pottery and cacao. The cacao bean was
important to the Maya, since it was used as a form of currency, at least by
the time of the conquest. They also probably exported textiles and tropical
feathers other than quetzal to the highlands. Of course, there's very little
archaeological evidence, but we know of the existence of lowland trade in
textiles and cacao because Post-Classic records of the early Spanish
report it.

Cotton was also probably grown in the lowlands and along the Pacific Coas
of Guatemala. For example, the Itzh peoples of the Pet6n, whom we
know very little about, exported textiles. One would think that textiles
would just as well be made in the highlands as in the lowlands, but again it
is known through Spanish records that textiles were exported from the
lowlands in Post Classic times. This, naturally, could have been true of
Classic times as well; however, no Classic textiles remain intact to
document the fact.

Maya trade, we are now pretty sure, was not in the hands of a professional
merchant class like that which developed in central Mexico; but remained
in the hands of the elite. We tend to believe this because, in Post Classic
times, we know that it was the lords of Chichen Itz6, the high lords of the
Maya in Yucat=n. who were conducting the trading operations. In central
Mexico the traders tended to be a professional class in Aztec society called
the pochtecas. They formed a true merchant class, specialists in
long-range trade, and they may date from the time of Teotihuacin. There
may have been a tendency for the development of a group of this sort
among the middle-class Maya, but it seems never to have become more
than a tendency.


16




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I n sha -.appe i thi pottefyos:_,ch!Ono!
_diftron,- styles nd dffore t or n s
'd .some I -&,the-jaina ard fas M ul
InO 6otally, gurtne 'hioned fib -it, Ne
act*vat' n tests. have, n r e, 0 f(
I to been ru on sampies,6f m rangepottery
over the Yucatfin Peninsula, -and, they all point to the. same daV IMQ
sources in Tabasco.

It firstappears in the westem side Of the. Maya lovAands at Piedrasl.
about the timd:. of 'the collapseof that gr6at center. Pakmq 4%
fell -before it-bad a chance to have... much Fine Oran'" Wat*,,.
-it is we[[ representedinalt theg at. sites of the- final C1 P Aod
an. axa -On.
including'. Tikal,,' d U c
Recently c tc of
a haeologi al-datawere-asserribled for, -a num unpL
i ft
sequences in. d rent Maya areas. These different regional sequen
began to reveal t n appearance of Fine Orange pottery,..vy
beg* ningof, or simultaneous- with co apse,.I.but came abot
or eighty ye rs later... We can date: this by:Maya katuns. ln othoit WO
..construction had-stopped and the collapse had started before Ftri6l
pottery made its first -appea rance.

.0 60 1
an unique 'h
There is, excep-6m, w erefine: risnge pottery's
and durin the earl' pha of d. I' th t n.t
se ec jne, an
a, is,a:te he
go S 'ibal o
Usumacin"ta RiVer. It seems at this site, and at this time, a minor fib
wh' h s buildi gs and stelae continuing to-be erected
-occurred, -1c.-
ti' fact Ut
writers ng abo: thesubiects carved n the -stela -at Seib-OW
figures-are chieft in Maya trap ings but theirla not M ya,11
hl"dor
d'splay.the Classic Ma ph
ot I ys#ognomy of a
ya the fl Atened
Am
idealized Maya nose,."T.heir hair is- longo down to theifshoukimi.'
look like T g,:, mers. We tend'to belie rsonages: cai
-b Ufrorn'the north, w"bly from the Western'ft
Sei, a uc.area insoqW
.,YuOa:t6n' orperhaps somewhere fr nd C
om arou --a -he: --aft.
Coast.At this same e i e was a: t
r od at S ibal there reffwndoos influx
ttery with desi ns i d on
Orange..,po I g mpresse it which' -he'
op e .,shown:; on the There is ncy quettionthat t mfts
flnaOranae usina nam1p. and th iv 11tinn -Zoibial frwr':
-o wora r rCM*,L:1jM















































































































II. KAMINALJUYU: UNRESTORED PYRAMIDS.
Located on the western outskirts of modern Guatemala City this site saw one
of the longest continuous habitations in Mesoamerica lasting from ca. 2000
B.C. down to the Spanish Conquest.







21



























KAMINALJUYU The quiet rolling grass-covered mounds of Kaminaljuyu in the expanding
suburbs of metropolitan Guatemala City hold the graves of the ancient
Guatemala Guatemala kings. The ruins are now largely covered with modern houses.
The few remaining mounds have become islands of antiquity within the
growing maze of the modern city.

Kaminaljuyu's first period of capitaline importance came in the Miraflores
period (300 B.C.-A.D. 150) when the concourse reached its greatest
dimensions. The lack of good building stone plagued Kaminaljuyu
throughout all its history and prohibited the development of monumental
stone architecture. Most of the approximately 200 reported Miraflores
mounds are clay and rubble bodies topped by simple thatched huts.

The Miraflores kings erected finely cut stelae, representing priest-rulers
with hieroglyphic inscriptions, prefiguring many style and iconographic
features of Classic Maya sculpture. The Kaminaljuyu script, which can not
be read, is ancestral to the largely undeciphered Classic Maya writing. As
Classic Maya culture emerged (not long before A.D. 300) in the Pet6n
district of Guatemala, north of Guatemala City, the ancient cradle of Mayoid
culture at Kaminaljuyu declined and for several centuries it probably
lay in ruins.

Around A.D. 400 traders from TeotihuacBn entered Kaminaljuyu and
revived the center in a Mexican mold. By this time Teotihuacan was
trading widely throughout Mesoamerica and Kaminaljuyu was probably
established as a trading post. Under the immense weight of Teotihuacan
suzerainty, Maya culture ceased to evolve at Kaminaljuyu. Mayoid stelae
with hieroglyphs disappeared and painting was largely limited to the
embellishment of TeotihuacBn Flores wares. With the decline of
TeotihuacBn, Kaminaljuyu was again left without a culture and the busy
22 concourse became a grassy graveyard for the ancient Guatemala kings.



























































1 KAMINALJUYU: UNRESTORED PYRAMIDS.
This site which lasted from ca. 2,000 B.C to the Spanish Conquest is one of
the longest continuous habitations in Mesoamerica Western outskirts of
Guatemala City.


2 KAMINALJUYU SCULPTURAL FRAGMENT.
Remains of a figure seated on a throne


23






DZIBILCHALTUN
Yucatan, Mexico


As the Tulane University archaeologists unfolded the stratified occupational
debris over the vast Dzibilchaltun ruins, it was discovered that the site was
not only one of the largest Maya concourses (about 20 square miles), it was
also occupied longer than any other known Maya center.

Dzibilchaltun is famous primarily for its architecture, and for one particular
building, the Temple of the Seven Dolls. This late fifth-century building
was erected in the northern Yucat6n at a time when Maya art as a whole
was in a short period of mild recession. Most persons are attracted to the
building because it has windows, a very rare architectural feature among
the Maya and their cultured Mesoamerican neighbors. The temple is also
important because the mosaic or tenoned stone decorations around its
vault zone are ancestral to the Puuc style. Puuc architectural decorations
are best known at Uxmal and surrounding sites in the low hills south of
Dzibilchaltun, where the style emerges a few generations after the
construction of the Temple of the Dolls.

The simple geometric Chac faces and the faintly visible meandering
serpents covering the upper vault region of the temple look like primitive
prototypes for the long serpents and multifold Chac heads on the walls of
the Uxmal Nunnery. The Puuc schemes of architectural decoration and the
Chac-dominated iconography arise from the Dzibilchaltun pattern for several
centuries and fade under the incursion of Mexicanized culture in the tenth
century. Dzibilchaltin, the ancient center of northern Yucatan art, survived
the changes in culture and was still occupied as Spanish troops arrived
in the sixteenth century.


B


irl
LEUJ


A


A. The Terrace of the Seven Dolls
B. The Temple of the Seven Dolls


Map after Andrews, 1965


III. DZIBILCHALTUN: THE CENOTEXLACH.
Looking northwest.


24




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A A1


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3. DZIBILCHALTUN: "THE TEMPLE OF THE SEVEN DOLLS."
Stucco and stone fragments of a Chac mask over the door in the temple's
southern wall.
ca. A.D. 485.


26






















4. DZIBILCHALTUN:


"THE TEMPLE OF THE SEVEN DOLLS."
DZIBILCHALTUN ("where there is writing on flat rocks") is located about
ten miles north of Merida. It was founded between 2000 and 1000 B.C. and
was still inhabited when the Spanish arrived in Yucatan. This temple is one
of the few Mayan buildings to have windows.
Its name is derived from the fact that seven ceremonial terracotta
figurines were discovered buried in its floor.
ca. A.D. 485.






COPAN

Honduras



To many scholars of Mesoamerican art, the wildly baroque creations of
Copan sculptors represent the finest artistic and technical achievements in
prehispanic American Indian history. It is possible CopBn could have
developed artistically and technically because of Asian contacts. It is
difficult to believe Copsn and Maya civilization in general could have been
isolated from the rest of world history, yet the vast reaches of the oceanic
waters would have been hard to cross in the first millennium after Christ.

While most Maya sculptors worked with limestone, the Copan sculptors
used a greenish, fine-grained trachyte, a relatively soft stone when first
quarried which hardened upon contact with the air. The combination of
this fine stone and the stimulating cultural milieu (or even Asiatic contacts?)
brought forth a Late Classic art style with no precedent in American Indian
history.

The Cop6n astronomical observations and mathematical calculations are
the greatest scientific achievements of Maya civilization. In the year A.D.
682 the CopBn astronomers introduced a new and more accurate system
of measuring the moon cycle. Less than one hundred years later a new
generation of CopBn savants appear to have refined the solar year count.

Of the many Maya ball courts the Copbn court is certainly the most
dramatically situated. The broad sloping benches and vaulted
superstructures are surrounded by large sweeping plazas bathed in the
hot tropical sunlight and studded with the regal stelae. Most Maya stelae
are flat sunken reliefs. The faces of the Copan priest rulers emerge in three
dimensional arabesques of low relief and fully three dimensional forms
from a fantasy of decorations and hieroglyphs. Copan statuary is as fitting
an image of a great ruler as the most expansive European baroque portrait.

The longest Maya inscription is to be found at Copan, the Hieroglyphic
Stairway, carved with at least 2,000 hieroglyphic characters. The length
of this badly damaged literary epic may have been equal to a modern short
story or a one-act play. It would have loomed over the plaza below with the
clarity of a highway billboard. Its advertisement was undoubtedly an
explanation of the ritual and religious life at CopBn.

This Maya concourse of Alexandrian importance inscribed its last
hieroglyphic date in A.D. 800, the very year Charlemagne was crowned
Holy Roman Emperor in the city of Rome. Like Carolingian Europe, which


eclipsed the southern or Mediterranean cultures on the European stage, the
northern Yucatan was destined to be the focus of later Maya history as
5. COPAN: DETAIL OF STELE C.
Copdn retired off-stage during the final acts of the Post Classic years. The Great Court" ca. A.D. 784.






































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COPAN

A. The Great Court
B. The Ball Court
C. The Hieroglyphic Stairway
D. The Great Stairway
E. The Eastern Court
F. Temple No. 22, The Temple of Meditation




30



































































8 COPAN:


DOUBLE- HEADED "MAKARA" ALTAR (G- 1).
"The Great Plaza," ca A D 802.


9 COPAN: STELE A
The cruciform vault opening at the base of the stele originally contained ceramic and
sea-shell offerings which were placed there at the time of the stele's dedication,
ca A.D. 700.


6 COPAN: STELEC.
This sculpture which still displays red pigmentation has two altars, a "turtle" altar
seen at its rear (west), and a plain one before it (east).
"The Great Court," ca. AD. 784.


7 COPAN DETAIL OF GLYPHS ON A STELE.
"The Great Court Late Classic































































1


IV. COPAN: THE BALL COURT
Looking north across the Court of the Hieroglyphic Staircase
AD 776.


32


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10 COPAN: DETAILOFSTELE A.
ca A.D. 733


11 COPAN ONE OF THE SIX PARROT-HEAD MARKERS IN THE BALL COURT
A.D. 776.


12. COPAN: LOOKING SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE BALL COURT.
Beyond the Ball Court (A.D. 776) the hieroglyphic staircase (ca. A.D. 756) can be
seen. Stele 2 (A.D. 649 or 654) dominates the left foreground.


33


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14 COPAN: THE HIEROGLYPHIC STAIRCASE.
Takes its name from the text of nearly 2,500 hieroglyphs carved upon its 63 steps.
These carvings constitute the longest known Mayan inscription. Stele M (ca. AD.
757) and its altar stand at the foot of the hieroglyphic stairway and apparently were
installed to commemorate the stairway's completion date.
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 756.




34
























































13. COPAN: STELE M AND ITS ALTAR WITH THE BALL COURT IN BACKGROUND.
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 757.













16. COPAN: THE HIEROGLYPHIC STAIRCASE.
ca. A.D. 756.


15. COPAN: "MAKARA-HEADED" ALTAR FOR STELE M.
Court of the Hieroglyphic Staircase, ca. A.D. 757.


35























































17 COPAN: MOUND NO. 11
These stairs on the mound's north side descend into the Court of the Hieroglyphic
Staircase.
Late Classic.








18. COPAN THE VENUS MASK SCULPTURE.
This massive relief stands at the head of the "Jaguar Stairway" in the "Eastern
Court."
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 750.


36

























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19. COPAN: DETAIL OF HUMAN SKULL.
East side of inner doorway to Temple 22 on the north side of the "Eastern Court.
ca. A.D 772.


37


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TIKAL

El Pet6n, Guatemala















Tikal, deep in the jungled forests of northern Guatemala, is the largest and
most systematically excavated Maya site known at the present time. Tikal
occupies an area roughly the size of a modern American town of about
40,000 people. More than a decade of field research and reconstruction by
the University of Pennsylvania has restored most of the major buildings. The
visitor to Tikal, arriving by airplane, can lodge in the nearby Jungle Inn and
stroll through a concourse of compact spaces and buildings resembling a
modern American downtown district.

The central acropolis is surrounded by temples soaring like skyscrapers over
rows of sculptured stelae and acres of lower buildings compounded in
labyrinthian profusion. The six great temples of Tikal are like pointed and
florid mountains rising over the dense jungle. Temple IV reaches 229 feet
at the top of the roof comb and is taller than most Gothic cathedrals.
Considering the years of labor the Tikal artisans spent building the tall
mounds and carving the elaborate roof combs, it is surprising to find that
the temple interiors are no more than dreary closet-sized spaces with bad
ventilation and almost no lighting. These dingy quarters were not
permanent residences nor could they have been large enough for ritual
gatherings. Ceremonies must have been held outside these rooms on the
platform and upon the staircase. The prolonged ascent of garlanded
dignitaries stepping cautiously in zig-zag patterns up the treacherous steep
stairway to the priests and rulers waiting on the summit would have
added a dramatic tension to the temple rituals. The temples were probably
no more than storehouses behind a stage setting with a truly dramatic
stepped entrance.

One of the most spectacular art works from Tikal is stelae #31 which
illustrates a priest or ruler on the front and a man in Teotihuacan dress on
STIKAL from T rtTerrace ookinsoutheast each of the two sides of the stelae. These men were probably traders
Late Classic, ca AD 700 coming from Teotihuacn to bargain for the prized Quetzal bird feathers of


the Peten. The thriving economy supporting Tikal seems to decline by the
end of the Classic Period and after centuries of laborious building Tikal is
39 abandoned.






A. Temple No. 1, The Temple of the Giant Jaguar
B. Temple No. 2, The Temple of the Masks
C. Temple No. 3, The Temple of the Jaguar Priest
D. Temple No. 4, The Temple of the Double Headed Serpent
E. Temple No. 5 C
F. Temple of the Inscriptions
G. The Great Plaza
H. The Plaza of the Seven Temples
I. The North Acropolis
J. The Central Acropolis
K. Twin Pyramid Complex "N"
L. Twin Pyramid Complex "Q"
M. Twin Pyramid Complex "R"
N. Teotihuacan-Style Temple
O. Mendez Causeway













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20 TIKAL: TEMPLE III "THE TEMPLE OF THE JAGUAR PRIEST.
The roof comb of Temple III rises above the jungle.
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 810.


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21. TIKAL: "THE TEMPLE OF THE GIANT JAGUAR."
View of Temple I from the entrance of the East Plaza of the M6ndez Causeway.
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 700.


22 TIKAL VIEW OF THE "TEOTIHUACAN-STYLE" TEMPLE 5D-43.
East of the Great Plaza with Temple I in background.
Late Classic, ca. 7th century.


23 TIKAL "THE TEMPLE OF THE GIANT JAGUAR"
This monument, also known as "Temple I," is seen from the 'Central Complex" looking
northeast.
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 700.


42


























































24. TIKAL: "THE TEMPLE OF THE MASKS."
View looking west of Temple II from the top chamber of Temple I. Note Temples III
and IV beyond.
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 699


25. TIKAL: "THE TEMPLE OF THE MASKS."
Temple II
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 699.


26 TIKAL: THE NORTH ACROPOLIS.
Viewed from the top of Temple I, looking northwest.


43






















































27 TIKAL: FLOOR OF THE GREAT PLAZA WITH ITS STELAE AND ALTARS
The Northern Terrace rises toward several higher temples on the North Acropolis. 29 TIKAL THE CENTRAL ACROPOLIS AS SEEN FROM TOP OF TEMPLE II
Late Classic





28 TIKAL: VIEW OF THE GREATPLAZA.
Looking east-northeast to Temple I to the right and the Northern Terrace to the left
Note the various stelae and altars.
Late Classic, ca A D 700 '.V M,-


,^


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30 TIKAL TEMPLE IV. THE TEMPLE OF THE DOUBLE-HEADED SERPENT"
This pyramid stands 229 feet high and is the tallest pre-Columbian building in
America

Late Classic, ca A D 741

























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31 TIKAL THE TOP OF "THE TEMPLE OF THE DOUBLE-HEADED SERPENT" TEMPLE IV
This view looks north along the base of the temple's giant roof comb which, at 229
feet high, is the highest standing pre-Columbian edifice in Mesoamerica.
ca. A.D 741.


33 TIKAL UNRESTORED PYRAMID IN "TWIN PYRAMID COMPLEX R.
Late Classic


32. TIKAL: LOOKING EAST TOWARD THE GREAT PLAZA FROM THE TOP OF TEMPLE IV.
The crowns of Temples I, II, and III rise above the jungle cover.


46


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34 TIKAL: DETAIL OF DOUBLE GLYPHS ON WEST SIDE OF STELE 10.
Great Plaza (Rear Row Center).
Early Classic, ca AD. 550


35 TIKAL: DETAIL OF STELE 10.
Great Plaza (Rear Row Center).
The lower area of this stele displays a bound prisoner at the feet of a Priest/King.
Although badly mutilated by forest chicleros this stele was the only one found
standing upright by Teobert Maler in 1895.
Early Classic, ca A.D. 550.


47








38. TIKAL: STELE 1 WITH ELABORATELY DRESSED FIGURE.
The carved design continues around to each side of the stele.
Tikal Museum.
Early Classic, ca. A.D. 400.








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37. TIKAL: WARRIOR FIGURE ON LEFT SIDE OF STELE 31.
The warrior is depicted carrying a shield and an atlatl or spear-thrower. The image
on the shield appears to be the Mexican raingod (T/aloc) and suggests the warrior
may be from Teotihuacdn. Stele 31, originally installed before Temple 5D-33-2nd
of North Acropolis, is now located in Tikal Museum.
Early Classic, d. A.D. 445






































36. TIKAL: DETAIL OF STELE 31.
Originally installed before Temple 5D-33-2nd in the North Acropolis, it is now located
in the Tikal Museum. Even though the head is slightly defaced, this is the best preserved
carving at Tikal. An elaborately dressed Priest/King holds a jade chain or "Baton"
before him and a demonic-headed club in his left arm.
Early Classic, d. A.D. 445.








































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39 TIKAL DETAILOF STELE 21
This detail shows the remarkable beauty of the carving preserved on this shattered but
reassembled monument. It is presently located at the western base of the "Temple of
the Inscriptions."
A.D. 736.


40. TIKAL: STELE 22.
This stele is located inside the North Temple of the "Twin Pyramid Complex Q." An
elaborately headdressed Priest/King is depicted holding a bar of authority and
sprinkling either corn or water from his right hand.
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 771.











































41. TIKAL GRAFFITI ON STUCCO WALL IN THE TEMPLE OF THE INSCRIPTIONS.
Incised drawing of a Priest holding a feathered mask(?).
Post Classic.




































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43. TIKAL: ALTAR 5.
"Twin Pyramid Complex N."
51/2 feet in diameter.
Two elaborately dressed priests (?) confer over an altar piled with human femurs and
a skull.
Late Classic, ca. A.D. 711


42 TIKAL: DETAILOFSTELE 9.
Great Plaza (Rear Row Center).
The lower area of this stele displays legs of Priest/King.
Early Classic, ca. A.D. 475.






















44. TIKAL: ALTAR 12 (A CROWNED FIGURE SEATED WITHIN THE JAWS OFA SERPENT).
Originally from east end of the North Terrace.
Early Classic, ca. A.D. 500.


52






























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VI. PALENQUE: VIEW OF "PALACE" LOOKING NORTHEAST.
Maya, Classic Period.













54






PALENQUE

Chiapas, Mexico


















The ruins of Palenque are dramatically set into the northernmost range of
mountains overlooking the rolling tropical forest plains of Chiapas and
the Usumacinta River to the north. Palenque was a creative art center
where major developments in Maya art history took place throughout much
of the Late Classic Period.

The best known Palenque building is the Temple of the Inscriptions, also
called the Ruz tomb. In 1952 Alberto Ruz, working for the Instituto
Nacional in Mexico City, discovered a filled passage under some loose
stones in the temple's interior. After the tedious work of cleaning the
rubble from the staircase passage which led to about the ground level, the
archaeologists discovered a magnificent vaulted tomb with a relief carved
sarcophagus cover and rich offerings. The wealth within did not rival that of
King Tutankhamen's grave, but the significance of this discovery is surely
equal to its spectacular Egyptian parallel. It proved that the Maya pyramids
were not simply bases for temples; they were used as burial vaults like
the great stone pyramids of Egypt.

The Mediterranean did not have a prehellenistic art style to rival the works
of the Palenque sculptors. Perhaps the finest pictures of Maya life and
ritual are the stucco carvings in the so-called houses and on the Temple of
Inscriptions. In this flexible medium the Palenque artist produced images
of Maya people with an elegance and aristocratic demeanor not paralleled
elsewhere in America.

The priests on the summit of the Ruz tomb could look out at a cluster of
buildings with a multistoried tower and apartments that may have been
residences of priests and important travelers stopping at Palenque. It is very


possible the concourse with its numerous and long hieroglyphic texts and
finely decorated buildings was a Maya crossroad where the north Mayaland
met the south on matters of mutual importance.


55








45. PALENQUE: STUCCO FRAGMENT OF STANDING FIGURE ON A PILLAR OF PALACE'S
EASTERN PORTICO.
Classic Period.


56






























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46. PALENQUE: DETAIL OF A SEATED FIGURE ADORNED WITH AN ELABORATE JADE
SHOULDER CAPE.
Stucco relief on a pillar of the Palace's eastern portico
Classic Period.


47. PALENQUE: THE CORBELLED GALLERY FLANKING THE EAST SIDE OF THE PALACE'S
NORTHEASTERN COURT.
Classic Period.



48. PALENQUE A PALACE DECORATION WITH A STUCCO DESIGN AND A "T" SHAPED
WINDOW.
The window design is the Maya symbol of "IK" which is symbolic of the wind.
Classic Period.


58
























































49 PALENQUE: VIEW LOOKING NORTHWEST TO THE "TEMPLE OF THE SUN" (LEFT) AND
"THE PALACE" (RIGHT).
Classic Period.




50. PALENQUE: HILLSIDE. "TEMPLE OF THE CROSS" (LEFT) AND "TEMPLE OF THE SUN"
(RIGHT).
Classic Period


59








51. PALENQUE: A DETAIL OF THE STUCCO WORK ON A PILLAR OF THE PALACE'S
WESTERN PORTICO.
Classic Period.


52. PALENQUE: A DETAIL OF A DEMON'S HEAD IN THE STUCCO WORK ON A PILLAR OF
THE PALACE'S WESTERN PORTICO.
Classic Period.


53. PALENQUE: DETAIL OF A PANEL FOUND ON A WALL IN THE PALACE'S NORTHERN
BUILDING.
This famous relief depicts a priest offering a crown to the central figure. Here
also a unique initial series uses human figures, animals, and mythical beings in
the place of conventional symbols and bar/dot numerals.
Classic Period, dedication date of A.D. 720.


60












































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54. PALENQUE: LOOKING DOWN FROM THE TOWER INTO THE NORTHEASTERN COURT
AND BEYOND ACROSS THE BALL COURT TO THE NORTHERN TEMPLES.
Classic Period.


61































































55 PALENQUE: GLYPHS ON STAIR-RISERS IN THE PALACE.
These decorated stairs are located on the front of the west temple within the
"Northeastern Court."
Classic Period.


56. PALENQUE: DETAIL OF STONE RELIEF TO THE LEFT OF THE STAIRCASE IN THE
PALACE'S NORTHEASTERN COURT.
Classic Period.


57. PALENQUE: DETAIL OF STONE RELIEF TO THE RIGHT OF THE STAIRCASE IN THE
PALACE'S NORTHEASTERN COURT.
Classic Period.


62












































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58. PALENQUE: DETAIL OF RELIEF WITHIN "THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN."
Two worshipful figures flank an image composed of crossed lances and a shield
decorated with a mask. This imagery originally was interpreted as a sun motif and
resulted in the mis-naming of the building.
Classic Period.


63









59. PALENQUE: THE PALACE'S TOWER (RESTORED) RISES ABOVE THE PATIO IN THE
NORTHWESTERN WING.
The Palace was built during the Classic Period, but various parts were constructed
at different times.


61. PALENQUE: "THE TEMPLE OF THE INSCRIPTIONS" SEEN FROM THE PALACE'S TOWER
(LOOKING SOUTHWEST).
This magnificent structure contains a spectacular funerary crypt some 80 feet
below the floor of the surmounting temple. Within the crypt a massive
sarcophagus held the remains of an exalted personage who died at 40 or 50
years of age. Over his face he wore a jade mask and he was "clothed" with an
exceedingly rich complement of jade jewelry such as a diadem, earplugs,
necklaces, breastpiece, bracelet, rings, etc. This tomb is one of the major
archaeological marvels of Mesoamerica.
Classic Period, built A.D. 692.


60. PALENQUE: FUNERARY CRYPT OF HIGH PRIEST SOME 80 FEET BELOW THE "TEMPLE
OF THE INSCRIPTIONS."
Classic Period, A.D. 692.
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62. PALENQUE: DETAIL OF A STUCCO SKULL, POSSIBLY ONE OF THE GODS OF DEATH
(NORTH SIDE OF TEMPLE NO. XII).
Classic Period.


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COMALCALCO
Tabasco, Mexico


















Just a few miles inland on the Gulf of Mexico and about one hundred miles
northwest from Palenque, a huge acropolis rises above the flat lush tropical
plain of Tabasco. Topping a massive ruin of an earlier man-made (Olmec?)
citadel, Comalcalco stands at the western extremity of the Maya area.

Many of the ruined structures still standing at Comalcalco share common
characteristics with those at Palenque and suggest that this center fell
within the sphere of the larger site's influence. Although this complex
awaits further investigation and restoration, the abundance of Palenque-
esque stucco decoration, even in ruin, projects a sense of rich opulence.
The remains of multilayered temple platforms, tombs, and fallen corbelled
arches further suggest an elaborate establishment of importance.

The giant corbelled arches at Comalcalco, exceeded in size only by those at
Palenque, are the westernmost occurrence of the distinctive Maya roof
vault. Due to the fact that limestone, traditionally used by the Maya as their
basic building fabric, is not found here, these arches are constructed of a
kiln-fired brick. In this respect these Maya edifices are unique. These flat
terracotta bricks, exposed by the thousands among the crumbling and
fallen walls of Comalcalco, vaguely remind one of a Roman ruin.


66


































































































VII. COMALCALCO: GROTESQUE STUCCO MASK.
This elaborate anthropomorphic mask is located in the center of the stairs to
Temple #4 on the western slope of "The Citadel."
Classic Period.








67























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63. COMALCALCO: HALF OF A GIANT VAULT STILL STANDS IN THE PALACE (TEMPLE #1)
AREA OF THE CITADEL.
These unique vaults built of flat terracotta bricks are among the highest
(approximately 18 feet high) known in Maya architecture.
Classic Period.


68


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64 COMALCALCO: THE CITADEL STANDS ATOP A HUGE MAN-MADE ACROPOLIS.
This general view looks southeast across ruined temple mounds (foreground)
to a huge ancient man-made "hill" which is surmounted by the remains of
later Maya structures.
Classic Period.





65. COMALCALCO: DETAIL OF A BRICK WALL IN THE PALACE (TEMPLE #1) ON THE
CITADEL.
Comalcalco is unique in that the Maya used flat kiln-fired brick for
construction instead of their traditional limestone which is not available
in the area
Classic Period.


69








































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66. COMALCALCO: THE RUINED PALACE (TEMPLE #1) CROWNS THE SUMMIT OF THE
CITADEL.
Crumbling walls of flat brick are all that now remain of the major palace
structure which commanded distant views of Tabasco's humid coastal plain.
Classic Period.


70


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67 COMALCALCO: DETAIL OF STUCCO DECORATION ON TEMPLE #4.
Weathered stucco, on the sloping base of a temple, still displays decorative
motifs and a seated figure making an offering.
Classic Period.


68. COMALCALCO:


DETAIL OF FRAGMENTED STUCCO FIGURES.
These figures are located on the south wall of a tomb found on the citadel's
western slope in 1925. When first revealed, these figures were complete and
touched with red paint but today they are vandalized and covered with moss.
Classic Period.


69 COMALCALCO: LARGE STUCCO RELIEFS STILL DECORATE THE PALACE'S FALLEN
WALLS.
Massive units of masonry, which originally formed the giant vaults of the
Palace (Temple #1), today fall into debris under a tropical sun.
Classic Period.


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Palace," the' "Great Pyramid .and.the=Dose, Cote'
AD. 90 .,..9. .astdate
J%0 \ ., ". "+S - .





44

















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QUADRILATERAL.
In the background and on the horizon (left to right) can be seen the "Governor's
Palace," the "Great Pyramid," and the "Dove-Cote.'"
AD, 909 (last date).





UXMAL


Yucatan, Mexico













The great Maya book, the Chilam Balam of Mani, records that Uxmal was
ruled by the Xiu family around A.D. 1000 and formed a triple alliance with
Chichen Itz6 and MayapBn, controlling the Yucatan until the end of the
twelfth century. It is possible Uxmal survived some time beyond the close of
the Classic Period, until the advance of Mexicanized civilization in the tenth
century changed the course of Yucatecan culture. The Mexicanized Xiu
dynasty, arriving as Uxmal was declining, was apparently impressed with
the ancient Uxmal ruins. Later when they wrote their histories, the Xiu
glamorized their past by including Uxmal within their ancient heritage.

Uxmal marks the apex of Puuc architecture and sculpture with a dazzling
array of palaces and pyramids. The Peten stucco surfacings are replaced by
a thin veneer of finely cut stones assembled in patterns like giant mosaic
tessarae. The expansive sculptured surfaces of the Nunnery are often
proclaimed by Mayanists as the finest architectural sculptures in
Mesoamerica. As more and more of the sculptural energies are
concentrated on such architectural surfaces, the traditional stelae cult of
the south subsides and few hieroglyphic inscriptions are erected.

Concentrating on the mathematical architectural rhythms behind their
sculptured facades, the Uxmal sculptors ignored the traditional Maya
pictorial stelae compositions. They studied instead the specific problems of
adapting their images of Chac, the important rain god, and his symbolism,
to the faces of the many Uxmal buildings. The complicated patterns of
formal composition repeat with a predictable logic, expressing an
intellectual or mathematical reasoning. The cyclic patterns are calculated
and composed by the same modes the Maya used to construct their
buildings and structure their units of time into repeating and predictable
ritual cycles.

Small free standing figures incorporated into the architectural sculptures
often show signs of the Mexican influences which we associate with the
Post Classic Period. It is possible that such buildings as the Nunnery were
finished in part by Mexicanized peoples such as the Xiu, and that like


Chichen, Uxmal is a concourse used by both the Maya and the Post Classic
Yucatecan intruders after A.D. 900.


73










A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.


The House of the Magician Pyramid
The Great Pyramid
The Nunnery Quadrilateral
The Dove Cote Quadrilateral
The Governor's Palace
The House of the Turtles
The Ball Court


Gt
G


70. UXMAL: DETAIL OF UPPER FACADE ON THE WESTERN BUILDING IN "THE NUNNERY"
QUADRILATERAL.
Later Toltec elements such as feathered serpents are superimposed over earlier Maya
geometric mosaic designs
Maya/Toltec
A.D. 909 (last date).


74


























































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71. UXMAL: RANDOM SCULPTURE FRAGMENTS.
Various sculpture motifs, including a human head wearing a bird headdress, are
massed on the upper level of the north building in "The Nunnery."
Maya/Toltec
Late Classic Period.


72 UXMAL. DETAIL OF THE FACADE ON THE WESTERN BUILDING IN "THE NUNNERY"
QUADRILATERAL.
Later Toltec elements, such as the sculptured figure and feathered serpent motif,
have been superimposed over the earlier Maya geometric patterns.
Maya/Toltec
A.D 909 (last date).


73. UXMAL: BROAD STAIRWAY TO THE NORTH BUILDING IN THE NUNNERY"
QUADRILATERAL.
Looking west.
A.D. 909 (last date).


76








76. UXMAL: "THE HOUSE OF THE MAGICIAN" RISES ABOVE THE EASTERN BUILDINGS
OF "THE NUNNERY" QUADRILATERAL.
Looking southeast.
A.D. 909


74 UXMAL: "THE NUNNERY."
View of the north side of the quadrilateral seen from the top of the pyramid ("The
House of the Magician").
A.D. 909 (last date).


75 UXMAL: "THE NUNNERY" QUADRILATERAL.
The facade of the western building as well as the so-called "Cemetery" area (left
background) are seen from the top of "The House of the Magician."
Looking west
AD. 909 (last date).


77





































































































77. UXMAL: CORBEL VAULTED GATE IN THE SOUTHERN BUILDING OF "THE NUNNERY"
QUADRILATERAL
The "Governor's Palace" and the "House of the Turtles" can be seen on terraces in
the distance.
AD 909 (last date).











78


























































78 UXMAL EASTERN FACADE OF THE "HOUSE OF THE TURTLES.
Northwest terrace of the "Governor's Palace."
ca AD. 800.


79 UXMAL THE "HOUSE OF THE MAGICIAN" SEEN FROM THE EASTERN TERRACE OF THE
"GOVERNOR'S PALACE."
Massive man-made terraces elevate the various structures at Uxmal to multiple
levels and dramatize the total complex into a giant three-dimensional earthworks
sculpture.
ca A.D 800


80 UXMAL "THE HOUSE OF THE MAGICIAN."
Stairway up the eastern facade of pyramid.
ca AD. 700.


79













81 UXMAL: THE "GOVERNOR'S PALACE" SEEN FROM THE "HOUSE OF THE OLD WOMAN"
COMPLEX.
This view looks west and features the remains of a small structure (left foreground)
which stands at the base of the ruined pyramid in the complex.
Late Classic Period.


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82. UXMAL: EASTERN FACADE OF THE "GOVERNOR'S PALACE."
This outstanding example of Puuc architecture is undoubtedly one of Mesoamerica's
most excellent monuments.
Puuc Style, ca. A.D. 800.
Situated on a major terrace some 600'x500'x40', the building rises to an even higher
dominance on its own unique terrace of some 400'x90'x23'. The building is divided
into three basic sections. Its central and largest unit is flanked by smaller units on
each side and originally the two large vaults pierced its length and interrupted it
from being a unified totality. The larger central unit contains six vaulted rooms and the
flanking units hold four rooms each.


83. UXMAL: THE "GOVERNOR'S PALACE."
Detail of the corbelled construction in the large vault at the southern end of western
facade.
Puuc Style, ca. A.D. 800.


84. UXMAL: THE "GOVERNOR'S PALACE."
Back or western side of structure (looking northeast) as seen from the summit of the
"Great Pyramid."
Puuc Style, ca. A.D. 800.


81


























































85. UXMAL GENERAL VIEW OF THE SITE
Looking southwest from the summit of the "House of the Magician" (left to right)
one can see the "Governor's Palace," the "Great Pyramid" (unrestored), the "House
of the Turtles," the "Dove-Cote," and fin lower right foreground) the "Ball Court"
(unrestored)
Puuc Style, last date A.D. 909.


86 UXMAL THE DOUBLE-HEADED JAGUAR THRONE
Eastern facade of "Governor's Palace" in background.
ca A.D. 800











87 UXMAL MOSAIC RELIEF CONTAINING CHAC MASKS AND PARROTS
Top northwest corner of the "Great Pyramid."
Late Classic.


. .. . .. (`,; ,
































































































88. UXMAL: QUADRILATERAL OFTHE "DOVE-COTE"
Looking northwest.
Late Classic.


83


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SAYIL


Yucatan, Mexico












Sayil is located at the southern edge of the Puuc area and demonstrates
an architectural style quite unlike that of Uxmal. Fragments of a ball court
and a tall temple remain, but it is the so-called Palace that marks Sayil's
importance.

The ground story of the palace is almost entirely covered with fallen stones.
Originally this level was not solid, but a series of open doorways leading
into shallow rooms with similar inner rooms further into the pyramid body.
The same pattern continues on the second floor where the wide doorways
are supported by pairs of inset columns. The small doorways between the
engaged columns and facade decorations of bundles lead to thin dead-end
halls. The harmony and complexity of the Uxmal decorations are not
imitated on these vaults. The engaged half cylinders allow for an occasional
Chac head, but sky god symbolism is not overwhelming. Some diffusionists
believe the Chac heads are actually Maya interpretations of the south
Asian Makaras. Is it possible sailors crossed the Pacific with the idea and
image of a monster that eventually finds its ways into Maya art?

On the summit reached by the wide stairway bisecting the palace front
there is a long thin building one room deep with sparse Puuc vault
decorations. It is possible that the many rooms and double room
combinations were used for priestly residences during prolonged rituals.
The upper levels may have even been permanent "offices" of Sayil leaders,
but it is highly unlikely that this elongated pyramid was truly a palatial
residence.


84







































































































IX SAYIL: "THE GREAT PALACE."
Southern facade, southwest corner
Puuc Style, 8th/9th century.







85























































































89. SAYIL: "THE GREAT PALACE."
Detail of "Makara" relief on the southwest facade's second level
Puuc Style, ca 8th/9th century


















86


















90. SAYIL "THE GREAT PALACE."
South facade, looking northwest
Puuc Style, ca 8th/9th century


91 SAYIL "THE GREAT PALACE
Detail of the Chac mask on the southern facade (west side)
Puuc Style, 8th/9th century


92 SAYIL VIEW FROM "THE GREAT PALACE"
View of a jungle hut from a chamber on southwest corner of "The Great Palace
Puuc Style. ca 8th/9th century












KABAH


Yucatan, Mexico














Kabah is a Late Classic Puuc site less than a day's walk from Uxmal. The
chronological development of Puuc style is a matter of speculation; Kabah
architecture could be earlier than Uxmal or it could have grown up under
the tall shadow of Uxmal's artistic authority.

The beauty and variety of Uxmal's sculpture was undoubtedly the work of
the best Puuc artists, when the style was fully developed. If Kabah is
earlier than Uxmal, we might view the strange repetition of Chac masks on
the Codz-Pop as a sort of primitivism. But if it is contemporary with Uxmal
or later, we may be dealing with the mannerism that follows a great artistic
period. Perhaps, like the Italian mannerists in the oppressive shadow of
such artists as Raphael and Da Vinci, the Kabah artists were looking for
some new artistic expressions. Every Maya concourse was searching for a
distinctive local art within the Maya style, and it is unlikely that the Kabah
artists were interested in imitating even such masterpieces as the city of
Uxmal.

The Codz-Pop is entirely covered with repetitious Chac heads and ignores
the restful harmony and variations of Uxmal designs. The artists latch on to
one iconographic image and reproduce it upon each exposed architectural
surface. Perhaps this is the repetitious attitude of a second-rate provincial
school, yet it is possible that Kabah was in search of its own distinctive
local development distinguishable from the other nearby Puuc centers.


88






























































































X. KABAH: THE WESTERN FACADE OF THE "CODZ-POP" OR "PALACE OF THE MASKS.
Puuc Style, A.D. 879.









89