Page:Appleton's Guide to Mexico.djvu/68

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40
GENERAL INFORMATION.

more remarkable. The first of these, 75 feet long by 25 wide, stands on the summit of a high truncated pyramid, and has solid walls on all sides save the north, where there are five doorways. Within are a corridor and three rooms. Between the doorways leading from the corridor to these rooms are great tablets, each 13 feet long and 8 feet high, and all covered with elegantly-carved inscriptions. A similar but smaller tablet, covered with an inscription, appears on the wall of the central room.

“'Casa No. 2' consists of a steep and lofty truncated pyramid, which stands on a terraced foundation, and has its level summit crowned with a building 50 feet long by 31 wide, which has three doorways at the south, and within a corridor and three rooms. This edifice, sometimes called 'La Cruz,' has, above the height required for the rooms, what is described as 'two stories of interlaced stucco-work, resembling a high, fanciful lattice.' Here, too, inscribed tablets appear on the walls; but the inscriptions, which are abundant at Palenque, are by no means confined to tablets. As to the ornamentation, the walls, piers, and cornices are covered by it. Everywhere the masterly workmanship and artistic skill of the old constructors compel admiration; Mr. Stephens going so far as to say of sculptured human figures found in fragments: 'In justness of proportion and symmetry they must have approached the Greek models.'"

It is probable that more buildings will be found at Palenque when the ruins have been fully explored. Mr. Stephens, referring to the dense vegetation, says: "Without a guide, we might have gone within a hundred feet of the buildings without discovering one of them." On account of the great abundance of inscriptions at Palenque, which have not thus far been deciphered, these ruins are considered to be very important by archæologists. (For routes to Palenque, see pp. 150-156.)