Chiapas - 2005
The South Acropolis
Edifices XXXIX, XL, and XLI in the hilltop at Yaxchilan

After visiting Edifice XXXIII, we walked on up a fairly steep path to the top of the hill.  The heat was truly oppressive, and Adele had to sit down and pour water on herself.  I walked to catch up with the group and get some more water and electrolytes from other people in the group for Adele.  Eventually she felt good enough to continue to the top of the hill.

3 temples sit at the peak of the hill: Edifice XXXIX (“39”), Edifice XL (“40”), and Edifice XLI (“41”).  I like these temples; they feel great.  I also loved the feeling of being up on a high point.  Especially Edifice XL (“40”).  Our friend Enrique did a beautiful ceremony on the steps of Edifice XL (“40”).

According to the INAH Plaque accompanying these temples, Edifice XXXIX (“39”), Edifice XL (“40”), and Edifice XLI (“41”) are part of the Grand Acropolis and lie 300 feet above the Grand Plaza on the southeast side of the city’s monumental core area.  The Mayans built these 3 temples in 2 stages.  The Mayans built Edifice XXXIX (“39”) and Edifice XLI (“41”) between 650 and 700 A.D., and Edifice XL (“40”) during Bird Jaguar IV’s reign (752-772 A.D.).  Edifice XLI (“41”) probably underwent various structural changes and deterioration of its central elements because it shows structural problems from remote times.  Archaeologists found a number of stelae, altars, and steps with hieroglyphic inscriptions associated with these 3 temples.  In particular, Stela X (“10”) and Altar IV (“4”), both related to the beginning of Bird Jaguar IV’s reign.

INAH’s hypothetical reconstruction of Edifices XXXIX, XL, and XLI