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Thomas William Francis Gann.

The Maya Indians of southern Yucatan and northern British Honduras online

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ble of withstanding for all time the less
heavy rainfall of this part of British Honduras and Yucatan. About
the center of a triangular space, bounded at each angle by a small
mound, situated close to the mound last described, was found a
piece of water-worn rock measuring 4 feet 10 inches in length, which
had evidently been carried up from the river bed a quarter of a mile
away. Three or four inches of it appeared above the soil. Beneath
the rock extended a layer of water-worn river stones to a depth of
2 feet. Among these were found numerous fragments of pottery
and patches of charcoal. On the
western side of the rock, close to
its edge, and buried 10 inches be-
neath the surface, were found three
rather well-chipped flint spearheads,
the largest of which was 25 cm. in
length (fig. 37, a, b, c) ; these were
placed erect in the earth, points up-
ward, and close to them lay the small,
eccentrically shaped object seen in
figure 38, b, very well chipped from
dark-blue flint, measuring 7h cm. in
length. A few feet to the north of
these objects, buried at about the
same depth and quite close to the rock, were found the serrated flint
spearhead shown in figure 38, c, 27 cm. in length, together with the
eccentrically shaped object seen in figure 38, a, 28 cm. in length; both
of these were placed perpendicularly, the spearhead point upward.

About 1^ miles from the village of Benque Viejo, in the Western
District, is the only considerable aboriginal building in British Hon-




Fig. 38.вАФ Flint objects.



gann]



MAYA INDIANS OF YUCATAN AND BRITISH HONDURAS



95



duras, still in a fairly good state of preservation. This is a two-story
temple standing upon a small natural elevation. Each story contains
12 small rooms, three on the north side and three on the south side,
each of which has a narrower room in the rear. The central rooms
are 27 feet in length, the side rooms 17 feet 6 inches. The breadth
of the smaller rooms is 4 feet 6 inches; the dividing walls are 3 feet
thick. All the rooms in the lower story are filled in with large blocks
of stone, loosely held together with a small amount of mortar. This
seems to have been a favorite device among the Maya architects, its
object probably having been to give greater strength and stability
to the new upper story erected upon a building of older date. All the
rooms are roofed with
the triangular so-called
"American arch."
The height of the rooms
is 5 feet 10 inches to
the top of the wall, and
5 feet 10 inches from
the top of the wall to
the apex of the arch.
All the rooms had been
covered with stucco,
and upon the wall of
one of the inner cham-
bers completely cov-
ered over with green
mold the devices shown
in figure 39 were found,






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Online LibraryThomas William Francis GannThe Maya Indians of southern Yucatan and northern British Honduras → online text (page 10 of 15)