Page 100

period at Chichén Itzá, some building dating to this period must have been demolished before the drum was incorporated in the construction of the Temple of the Wall Panels. Ruppert reported that the column drums in the colonnade often vary in circumference, which may indicate that many of the drums were reused from other structures.

emerging from what appears to be a serpentlike body, are the head and fore limbs of an animal, probably a jaguar. This curious design was repeated twice on the south wall panel, perhaps an alternate way of indicating the figure in the sun disc, who usually sits on a jaguar throne. The overall presentation of the scenes of the wall panels, the division into central and peripheral areas as well as a rough division into tiers, the presentation of a figure in a sun disc confronting a person associated with the arching serpent, and the chaotic impression given by the peripheral figures recalls the organization of the wall sculptures of the North Ball Court Temple. There is a vague resemblance to some of the dais sculptures, and some resemblance to small block sculptures of the type from the Mercado Ball Court or the south building of the Southeast Court of the Monjas, but these associations cannot be pushed too far nor can their meaning be confidently interpreted.

The wall panels for which the structure is named cannot be clearly related to any of the sculpture from the architectural sequence (Ruppert 1931:128-132, Pl. 11). Both panels were organized around central sculptures, most often scenes of confrontation. The south panel was divided into three tiers; the central scene of the upper tier shows a Figure with a serpent in an “S” curve behind him facing a figure in a sun disc with offerings between them. The central scene of the north panel shows three individuals, two with arching serpents, standing before a house or temple, with a figure suspended in the air above. These arching serpents were repeated at least six times in the two small panels, usually around central figures. In the top rows of the two panels human figures extend all the way across the field, whereas in the lower rows various animals and birds break the tiered effect of the sculptures at the periphery.

The few indications of the chronological position of the Temple of the Wall Panels in the architectural history of the site suggest that it is later rather than earlier Modified Florescent. The entrance through the colonnade suggests affinity with the Chac Mool Temple, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Temple of the Jaguar Atlantean Columns. The second period of construction at the temple, when the interior access was walled and the stairway was built in front of the colonnade, indicates a later preference for entry over the colonnade. If the

A sculptured stone tablet found covering a cist in the upper temple was carved in a style similar to the wall panels (Ruppert 1931:126127, Pl. 10c). Here again two figures confront each other over an offering, one below the curving serpent. Above the other figure,


Profile for CityofMesa

Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán  

Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán