Chiapas - 2005
Yaxchilan
Page 02

According to the 2nd INAH Plaque accompanying this site, Yaxchilan’s cultural zenith began approximately 681 A.D., and ended with the Mayans abandoning the city around 810A.D.  This desertion coincided with the collapse of the “Maya Classic Period” throughout the Lowlands around 800-900 A.D.  During this 130 year span, the city reached its present appearance.  The Mayans built some 100 stone monuments complete with hieroglyphic texts and portrayals of prominent figures such as Shield Jaguar I (681-742 A.D.), Bird Jaguar IV (752-768 A.D.), and Shield Jaguar II (772-800 A.D.).


Only the substructure of Edifice VII (roman numeral “7”) dates from before 600 A.D.  The Mayans built the group Edifices VI (“6”), VII (“7”), XIII (“13”), and LXXV (“75”) between 600 and 650 A.D.  Their main features are long narrow passageways below corbeled vaults, wooden lintels above the openings, wide vertical moldings on the facade’s 1st tier, modeled stucco decoration with sun god masks on the 2nd tier panels, and high slender crestings with slanting latticed walls placed at the vault middle.  The Mayans painted these temples red.


The Mayans built 2 types of construction between 650 and 700 A.D.  The earliest, consisting of Edifices XVIII (“18”), LXXVII (“77”), XXXV (“35”), and XXXVI (“36”), are stepped limestone block bases with indented corners.  Archaeologists believe that the Mayans decorated these temples with large stucco sun god masks placed on the bodies flanking their reinforced stairways.


The period’s 2nd group consists of Edifices XXV (“25”), XXVI (“26”), XXX (“30”), XXXIX (“39”), and XLI (“41”), all located within the Grand Acropolis atop the limestone rises.  These temples have the following features: split inside passageways (except XXXIX) and openings with a composite silhouette form at lintel level, large modeled stucco figures as decoration on the 2nd tier’s vertical wall, and cresting of upright latticed walls at the summit middle.


Here are links to great websites on Yaxchilan:


    http://mayaruins.com/yaxchilan.html

    http://www90.homepage.villanova.edu/lowell.gustafson/Maya/bonampak.html

    http://www.mayaexploration.org/maps.php (scroll down to the bottom for a map of Yaxchilan)

Map of YaxchilanCHIAPAS-YAXCHILAN-Map-2005.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0
Page 01CHIAPAS-Yaxchilan-2005.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0
Entering Yaxchilan through the back of Edifice XIX