Chiapas - 2005
The Small Acropolis
The front right of Edifice XLIV in the Small Acropolis at Yaxchilan

After visiting the South Acropolis, we walked down the hill to the Small Acropolis.  The Small Acropolis comprises a plaza with several temples, including Edifices XLII (Roman numeral “42”), XLIV (“44”), and LI (“51”).

According to the INAH Plaque accompanying this group of temples, the Small Acropolis (also called the West Acropolis) is an architectural group composed of 13 temples sitting 166 feet above the Grand Plaza.  The Mayans constructed the temples of the Small Acropolis in various stages, just like the other architectural groups in Yaxchilan.  The Mayans built upright barriers and stairways into the slopes of the natural hill to prepare the terrain, which required huge amounts of materials for filling in and grading the plazas and their bases.  The complex contains 2 large plazas: the higher known as the Central Plaza, is surrounded by Edifices XLII (“42”), XLIII (“43”), XLIV (“44”), and LI (“51”).  The lower, known as the West Plaza, is surrounded by Edifices XLV (“45”), XLVI (“46”), XLVI-A (“46-A”), XLVII (“47”), XLVIII (“48”), XLIX (“49”), and L (“50”).  In addition is Edifice XLII-A (“42-A”) on the southeast terrace edge.

The back right of the Small Acropolis, including Edifice XLIV, seen from Edifice LI, in the Small Acropolis at Yaxchilan
Map of the Small AcropolisCHIAPAS-YAXCHILAN-SMALLACROPOLIS-Map-2005.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0