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torn, i., pp. 86-7. 'En el pdtio occidental estd, la torre de tres cuerpos y me-
dio: en el primero tiene cuatro puertas cerradas, y una que se abrio cuando
el desmonte del capitan Rio, y se hallo ser un retrete de poco mas de tres
cuartas y lumbreras que se abrieron entonces.' Registro Yucateco, torn, i.,
pp. 319-20. 'Dominee par une tour quadrangulaire, dont il subsistait trois
etages, separees I'un de I'autre par autant de corniches.' Morclct, Voy., tom.
i., p. 266. *It would seem to have been used as a modern oriental minaret,
from which the priests summoned the people to prayer.' Jones, p. 83.

27 Waldeck, p. iii. One of the figures in pi. xi. purports to be a cornice
of this room, but may probably belong to the outer walls, since no other
author speaks of interior cornices. Stephens, vol. ii., p. 315.



observable. In the western apartment of the build-
ing C, the walls have several, in one place as many as
six, distinct coatings of plaster, each hardened and
painted before the next was applied. There was also
noticed a line of what appeared to be written char-
acters in black, covered by a thin translucent coating.^*
The buildinof E has the interior walls of its two
northern apartments decorated with painted and
stucco figures in a very mutilated condition. In the
Avail of one of them, at the point j), is fixed an el-
liptical stone tablet, three feet wide and four feet
high, the surface of which is covered by the sculp-
tured device shown in the cut. With the exception

Sculptured Tablet in the Palace.— Fig. 1.

z« Stephens, vol. ii., p. 316; Waldcck, pi. xv., fig. 2, a cross-section of
this building, showing a T shaped niche in the end wall.



of the figures in the court 1, already mentioned, this
is the only instance of stone-carving in the Palace.
It is cut in low relief, and is surrounded by an orna-
mental border of stucco. A table consisting of a
plain rectangular stone slab resting on four blocks
which served as legs, stood formerly on the pavement
immediately under the sculptured tablet. Tables of
varying dimensions, but of like construction, were
found in several apartments of the Palace and its
subterranean galleries, as shown in the plan at v, v, v.
They are called tables, beds, or altars, by different
writers. Waldeck says that this one was of green
jasper; and Del Rio, that its edges and legs were

Sculptured Tablet in the Palace.— Fig. 2.


sculptured, one of the Latter having been carried
away by him and sent to Spain. The first cut which
I have given is taken from Waldeck's drawing. The
second cut, representing a portion of the same
tablet, taken from Gather wood's plate for Morelefs
Travels, differs slightly in some respects — notably
in the ornament suspended from the neck, repre-
sented by one artist as a face, and by the other as a
cross. Of the subject Mr Stephens says: *'The
principal figure sits cross-legged on a couch orna-
mented with two leopards' heads; the attitude is
easy, the physiognomy the same as that of the other
personages, and the expression calm and benevolent.
The figure Avears around its neck a necklace of pearls,
to which is suspended a small medallion containing a
face ; perhaps intended as an image of the sun. Like
every other subject of sculpture we had seen in the
country, the personage had earrings, bracelets on the
wrists, and a girdle round the loins. The head-
dress differs from most of the others at Palenque
in that it wants the jDlumes of feathers .... The other
figure, which seems that of a woman, is sitting cross-
legged on the ground, richly dressed, and apparently
in the act of making an offering. In this sup-
posed offering is seen a plume of feathers, in which
the headdress of the principal person is deficient."
Waldeck deems the left-hand figure to be black, and
recognizes in the profile an Ethiopian type. Del Rio
sees in the subject homage paid to a river god; and
Galindo believes the object offered to be a human
head. Somebody imagines that the two animal heads
are those of the seal.^^

29 View of the building from the south-west, representing it as a de-
tached structure, in Dupaix, pi. xiv., fig. 21. This author speaks of a
peculiar method of construction in this ])uilding: 'Su construccion varia
algo del primero, pues el miembro que llamaremos arquitrahe cs de una
hechura muy particular, se forma dc unas lajas grandisimas de un grueso
proporcionado e inclinadas, formando con la muralla un angulo agudo. ' The
plate indicates a high steep roof, or rather second story. It also shows a
X shaped window and two steps on this side. For plates and descriptions
of the tablet see Stephens, vol. ii., p. 318; IFaldcck, pp. iv., vi., pi. xvii.;
Dupaix, pp. 16, 23, pi. xviii., fig. 26, pi. xxvi., fig. 33; Del Bio, p. 13, pi.


The stucco ornaments on the walls of the bulldinor
F seem to have been richer and more numerous than
elsewhere, but were found in a very dilapidated con-
dition. In the room q, Stephens found traces of a
stone tablet in the wall, and he also gives a sketch of
a stucco bas-relief from the side of a doorway, repre-
senting a standing human figure in a very damaged
state. A peculiar stucco ornament sketched by Cas-
taneda is probably from the same room, and is per-
haps identical with what Waldeck describes as a sanc-
tuary with two birds perched on an elephant's head,
the latter, however, not appearing in the drawing,^

Within the pyramid itself, and above the surface of
the ground, although frequently spoken of as subter-
ranean, are found apartments, or galleries, with walls
of stone plastered but without ornament, of the same
form and construction as the corridors above. Such
as have been explored are at the south end of the
pyramid and for the most part without the line of the
Palace walls, Avith lateral galleries, however, extend-
ing under the corridors and affording communication
with the uj)per apartments by means of stairways.
The arrangement of the galleries and their entrances
is made sufficiently clear by the fine lines at the bot-
tom of the plan, yet perhaps very little is known of
their original extent. The southernmost gallery re-
ceives a dim light by three holes or windows leading
out to the surface of the pyramid ; the other galleries
are dark and damp, with water running over their
pavements in the rainy season. The walls are much
fallen and the galleries blocked up at several points.
At the south-western corner an opening affords a
means of egress near the surface of the ground; but
this, as well as the windows mentioned, may be acci-

xv.-xvii.; Galindo, in Antiq. Mcx., torn, i., div. ii., p. 70. Waldeck's pi.
xvi., fig. 3, is a ground plan showing more detail than tlie general plan;
and pi. xi., fig. 3, is a study of the cornices (?) in the interior. The sculp-
tured tablet probably represents Cuculkan, or Quetzalcoatl. MorclcCs
Travels, p. 97. No doubt the medallion represented a sun, and the table
beneath was an altar to the sun. Jones' Hist. Anc. Amer., p. 83.

^"Stephens, vol. ii., p. 319; Dnpaix. j^l. x.xvii., fig. 34; Del Bio, pi. iv.



dental or of modern origin and have formed no part
of the original plan. These rooms are variously re-
garded as sleeping-rooms, dungeons, or sepulchres,
according to the temperament of the observer. What-
ever their use, they contain several of the low tables
mentioned before, one of which is said to have been
richly decorated with sculpture. M. Morelet occu-
pied one of these lower rooms during his visit, as
being more comfortable than the others, at least in
the dry season. The chief entrance to the vaults
seems to have been from one of the southern rooms
of the building E, at the point r, through an opening
in the floor. A narrow stairway by which the descent
was made, is divided into two flights by a platform
and doorway, surmounting which was the stucco de-

VOL. IV. 21

Ornament over a Doorway.


vice shown in the cut. Waldeck states that when he
found this decoration it was partially covered with
stalactites formed by trickling water. His explana-
tion, by which he connects the figures with aborig-
inal astronomical signs and the division of time, is
too long and too extremely conjectural to be repeated
here. Stephens noticed this ornament but gives no
drawing of it. It was sketched by Castaneda together
with another somewhat similar one. Dupaix speaks
of two doors in this stairway ; Del Kio speaks of sev-
eral landings, and says that he brought away a frag-
ment of one of the ornamented steps. I suspect the
visitors may have confounded this stairway with
another at w, concerning which nothing is particularly
said. Somewhere in connection with these stairways
Dupaix found a tablet of hieroglyphics which he
brought away with him, and concerning which he
states the remarkable fact that on the reverse side of
the tablet, built into the wall, were the same characters
painted that were sculptured on the face. Openings
through the pavement were found at several points,
as in the court 1, and the building C, which led to
no regular galleries, but to simple and small excava-
tions in the earth, very likely the work of some early
explorer or searcher for hidden treasure.^^

Having now given all the information in my pos-
session respecting the Palace, I present in the accom-
panying cut a restoration of the structure made by a
German artist, but which I have taken the liberty to
change in several respects. The reader will notice
a few points in which the cut does not exactly agree
with my description; such as the curved surface of
the roofs, the height of the tower and its spire, the
width of the western stairway in court 1, etc., yet it
may be regarded as giving an excellent idea of what

31 Stephens, vol. ii., pp. 316, 318-19. Plan of galleries in Dupaix, pi.
xvii.,fig. 24. Stucco ornaments, pi. xxv., fig. 30, 31. Hieroglyphic tablet,
pi. xxxix., fig. 41. Description, p. 28. Niche in the wall of the gallery,
Waldeck, p. iv., pi. xi., fig. 2. Decoration over doorway (copied above),
Waldeck, Voy. Pitt., p. 105, pi. xxii. ; also in Del Rio, pi. xiv.



Restoration of the rulace.

the Palace was in the days when its halls and courts
were thronged with the nobility or priesthood of a
great people. The view is from the north-east on the
bank of the stream, and besides . the palace includes
the edifice No. 2 of the general plan.^^

The structure No. 2 shown in the last cut stands a
short distance south-west from the Palace, and may
be known as the Temple of the Three Tablets. The
pyramid supporting it, of the same construction as
the former so far as may be judged from outward ex-
amination, is said by Stephens to measure one hundred
and ten feet on the slope, and seems to have had con-
tinuous steps all round its sides, now much displaced
by the forest. The cut on the following page presents
a view of this temple from the north-east as it ap-
peared at the time of Catherwood's visit, and illus-
trates very vividly the manner in which the ruins are
enveloped in a tropical vegetation.

The building, which stands on the summit platform
but does not like the Palace cover its whole sur-

32 Cut from Armin, Das Hciitige Mex., p. 73.





face, is seventy-six feet long, twenty-five feet wide,
and about thirty-five feet high. The front, or north-
ern, elevation is shown in the cuts. Fig. 1 includes
the temple with the supporting pyramid, and fig. 2

Temple and Pyramid. — Fig. L

Temple of the Three Tablets.— Fig. 2.

presents the building on a larger scale. Each of
the four central piers on this front has its bas-re-
lief in stucco, while the two lateral piers have each
ninety-six small squares of hieroglyphics, also in
stucco. The bas-reliefs represent single human fig-
ures, standing, and each bearing in its arms an infant,
or in one instance some unknown object. They are
all very much mutilated, and although dra"\vings have
been published, I do not think it necessary to repro-
duce them. The roof is divided into two sections,
sloping at different angles; the lower slope was cov-
ered with painted stucco decorations, and had also five
square solid projections, one over each doorway. The
dividing line between the two slopes marks the height


of the apartments in the interior, the upper portion
beino- solid masonry. Along the ridge of the roof
was a line of pillars, of stone and mortar, eighteen
inches high and twelve inches apart, probably square,
although nothing is said of their shape, and surmounted
by a layer of projecting flat stones. Similar construc-
tions may possibly have existed originally on some of
the Palace roofs, since they would naturally be among
the first to fall. Waldeck's plate represents a small
platform in front of the doorways, ascended by four
lateral stairways. Respecting the two square pro-
jections below the piers at the side of the central
doorway there is no information except their repre-
sentation by Catherwood in the cut, fig. 2.

The arranofenient of the interior is shown in the
accompanying ground plan. The central wall is four

Ground plan — Temple of the Three Tablets.

or five feet thick, and is pierced by three doorways,
which afford access to three apartments in the rear.
The front corridor has a small window at each end;
Stephens speaks of two slight openings about three
inches wide in each of the lateral apartments of the
rear; and the plan indicates two similar openings in
the central room, although he speaks of them as dark
and gloomy. Castaneda's drawing shows only one
window at the end; it also represents the building as
having a roof like the Palace, and as standing on a
natural rocky hill in which some steps are cut, no
bas-reliefs or other decorations appearing on the



front. The interior walls are perfectly plain, and it
is not even definitely stated that they are plastered.
In the walls, however, at a, h, and c, of the ground
plan, are fixed stone tablets one foot thick, each com-
posed of several blocks, neatly joined and covered
with sculptured hieroglyphics. Those in the central
wall, at a and h, measure eight by thirteen feet, and
contain each two hundred and forty squares of hiero-
glyphics in a very good state of preservation, while
the one hundred and forty squares of the tablet in
the rear apartment, three and a half by four feet, are
much damaged by trickling water. Drawings of the
hieroglyphics have been made by Waldeck and Cath-
erwood only, although other visitors speak of them.
I do not copy the drawings here, because, in the ab-
sence of any key to their meaning, the specimen
which I shall present from another part of the ruins
is as useful to the reader as the whole would be.
The cut is a longitudinal section of this temple at the

MllLlilllilliiiJ ILMillOlll



Section — Temple of the Three Tablets,

central wall, and shows the position of the tablets.
Waldeck's drawing represents the two lateral door-
ways as having flat tops. Brasseur tells us that,
according to the statements of the natives, the tablets
were used originally for educational purposes. M.
Charnay found them still undisturbed in 1859.^

33 Stephens, vol. ii. , pp. 339-43, with the cuts which I have given,



Some four hundred yards south of the Palace is a
pyramid, only partly artificial if we may credit Du-
paix, and rising with a steep slope of one hundred
feet from the bank of the stream according to Ste-
phens, on which is a small building, No. 3 of the
plan, which we may call, with Waldeck, the Temple
of the Beau Relief This edifice was found by later
visitors in an advanced state of ruin, and Cather-
wood's drawings of it are much less satisfactory than
in the case of other Palenque ruins ; but both Dupaix
and Waldeck found it in a tolerably good state of
preservation, and were enabled to sketch and describe
its principal features. This temple measured eight-
een by twenty feet, apparently fronting the east, and
is twenty-five feet high. It presents the peculiarity
of an apartment in the pyramid, immediately under
the upper rooms. The cut gives ground plans — No.

Ground plan — Temple of the Beau Relief.

1 of the upper, and No. 2 of the lower rooms. The
stairway which afforded communication between the

and also plates of the four stucco reliefs, and the hieroglyphic tablets.
Waldeck, pi. xxxiii.-xl., illustrating the same subjects as Catherwood's
plates, and giving also a transverse section of the building in pi. xxiii., fig.
4. Waldeck's ground plan represents the building as fronting the north.
Dupaix, pp. 24-5, pi. xxviii.-xxxii., including view of north front, ground
plan, and the stucco reliefs, which latter M. Lenoir, Antiq. Mex., tom. ii.,
div. i., p. 78, incorrectly states to be sculptured in stone. Castaiieda did
not attempt to sketch the hieroglyphics, through want of ability and pa-
tience, as Stephens suggests. See Charnay, Ruines Amer, p. 424; Brasscur
dc Bourbonrg, Hist. Nat. Civ., tom. i., p. 89; Baldwin, Anc. Amer., p. 107;
Del Rio, Descrip., p. 16; Galindo, in Antiq. Mex., tom. i., div. ii., p. 71.
It is to be noticed that Stephens' plan locates this temple nearer the Palace
than the one I have copied. Dupaix states the distance to be 200 paces.


southern elevation. The construction of tjie lower
portion is precisely like that of the other buildings
which have been described. The two lateral piers
were covered with hieroglyphics, and the central ones
bore human figures, all in stucco. The lower slope ot
the roof was also covered with stucco decorations,
amono- which were fragments of a head and two bod-
ies pronounced by Stephens to approach the Greek
models in justness of proportion and symmetry. Un
the top, the roof formed a platform thirty-five leet
lono- and about three feet wide, which supported the
peculiar two-storied structure shown m the precedm^
cut, fifteen feet and ten inches high. This is a kind
of frame, or open lattice, of stone blocks covered with
a great variety of stucco ornaments. A layer of pro-
jecting flat stones caps the whole, and from the sum-
mit, one hundred feet perhaps above the ground, a
mao-nificent view is afforded, which stretches over the
whSle forest-covered plain to Laguna de Termmos and
the Mexican gulf. This superstructure, like some
that I have described at Uxmal and elsewhere m Yu-
catan, would seem to have been added to the temple
solely to give it a more imposing appearance, it
could hardly have served as an observatory, since
there are no facilities for mounting to the summit.

remained of the Beau Relief. Waldeck, p. iii., pi. xli -ii., with ground plans,
s^c rifai d Beau Relief as given above, and which the arti.t pronounces
•dgued'Le comparee aux%lus ]^eaux ouyrages du s^cle d .U.g^^^^^
Drlwint^sof the relief also in Dupaix, pi. xxxiu., fig. 37; Del Kio, Vescrip.,

^'' lS-i)fS?^2^!'p™aVsi~id is one of thr^ ^MchW
a trian-le each supporting a square building 11 x 18 yards. Chainay

oca es tWs temple 300 metres to the rightof the Palace. Raines Amer p.
417 irSS pl. XX., is a fine view of this temple and its pyramid as
teen frmn the niain entrance of the Palace. But f ^^^-d^^S /«/»«. P.^*^

he structure on the roof is at least 10 feet wide instead of 2 * ?f ^f ^^'^^:^ J
as Stephens gives it, and narrows slightly towards the top. 1 his P^^ite also
shows two T shaped windows in the west end. Stephens, vol u., I^p. 344-
8 elevalion and ground plan as given in my text from Bakhvin^s Anc.
Am^r Tm, and some rough sketclies of parts of the interior. Dupmx,
nl xxkv fi- 39, exterior view and ground plan. The view omits a to-
iether the superstructure and locates the temple on a natural rocky cliff
Galindo in Antiq. Mex., torn, i., div. ii., p. 71, speaks of the top walls as
80 feet from the ground and pierced with square openings.



The interior arrangement is made clear by the ad-
joined plan. Within the central apartment of the


Ground plan — Temple of the Cross.

rear, or northern, corridor, and directly opposite to the
main doorway is an enclosure measuring seven by
thirteen feet. From its being mentioned as an enclos-
ure rather than a regular room by Stephens, it would
seem probable that it does not reach the full height
of the chamber, but has a ceiling, or covering, of its
own. At any rate, it receives light only by the door-
way. Besides a heavy cornice round the enclosure,
the doorway was surmounted by massive and graceful
stucco decorations, and at its sides on the exterior
were originally two stone tablets bearing each a hu-
man figure sculptured in low relief, resembling in their
general characteristics the more common stucco de-
signs, but somewhat more elaborately draped and
decorated. One of them wears a leopard-skin as a
cloak. These tablets were sketched by both Waldeck
and Catherwood in the village of Santo Domingo,
whither they had been carried and set up in a modern
house. Stephens understood them to come from
another of the ruins yet to be mentioned, but the evi-
dence indicates strongly that he was misinformed.
Both Waldeck and Stephens entered into some nego-
tiations with a view to remove these tablets; at the



time of the former's visit the condition of obtaining
them was to marry one of the proprietresses; in
Stephens' time a purchase of the house in which they
stood would suffice. Neither removed them.^*^

Fixed in the wall at the back of the enclosure, and
coverino- nearly its whole surface, was the tablet of
the cross, six feet four inches high, ten feet eight
inches wide, and formed of three stones. The central
stone, and part of the western, bear the sculptured
figures shown in the cut. The rest of the western,
and all of the eastern stone, were covered with hiero-
glyphics. This cut is a photographic reduction of

Tablet of the Cross.

36 Waldeck, p. viL, pi. xxiii-iv.;/M.»*, vol. ii., p. 352; i)™x,
24-5, pi. xxxvii-viii.; Galindo, in Anticj. Mex., torn, i., dn. n., p. 71.



Waldeck's drawing, the accuracy of which is proved
by a careful comparison with Charnay's photograph.
The subject doubtless possessed a religious significa-
tion, and the location of the tablet may be considered
a sacred altar, or most holy place, of the ancient
Maya or Tzendal priesthood. Two men, probably
priests, clad in the robes and insignia of their office,
are makinof an offerinof to the cross or to a bird
perched on its summit. This tablet has been perhaps
the most fruitful theme for antiquarian speculation
yet discovered in America, but a fictitious importance
has doubtless been attached to it by reason of some
fancied connection between the sculptured cross and
the Christian emblem. All agree respecting the ex-
cellence of the sculpture. Of the two priests, Ste-
phens says: "They are well drawn, and in symmetry
of proportion are perhaps equal to many that are
carved on the walls of the ruined temples in Egypt.
Their costume is' in a style different from any hereto-
fore given, and the folds would seem to indicate that
they were of a soft and pliable texture like cotton."
Stephens and other writers discover a possible like-
ness in the object offered to a new-born child. Of
the hieroglyphics which cover the two lateral stones,
the cut on the opposite page shows, as a specimen,
the upper portion of the western stone, or what may
be considered, perhaps, the beginning of the inscrip-
tion. The large initial character, like an aboriginal
capital letter, is a remarkable feature. In Dupaix's
time all parts of the tablet were probably in their
place, and in good condition, but his artist only
sketched, and that somewhat imperfectly, the cross
and human figures, omitting the hieroglyphics.
Waldeck and Stephens found and sketched the cen-
tral stone in the forest on the bank of the stream,
to which point it had been removed, according to the
former, with a view to its removal to the United
States, but according to the latter its intended des-
tination had been the village of Santo Domingo.


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