Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/105

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73
MAYAS.

TSOM D105 Statue from Palenque.pngstatue of palenque. principal one, separated by pillars ornamented with figures more than six feet in height. Over their heads are hieroglyphics which contain the key to their meaning, still hidden to us.

The inside of the palace corresponds with the outside, galleries run all round the court, and the lofty chambers are decorated with strange bas-reliefs in granite thirteen feet high or more, strange and grotesque to us, but full of meaning and expression to the race which understood them.

Over the palace rises a tower of three stories, thirty feet square at the base, decorated profusely with symbols no longer suggestive. A strange thing about the palace is that the staircases look new, the steps whole and unworn, as if the people who built it had suddenly taken flight soon after they erected their chief buildings.