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The central tier is also organized around two central figures, one in mosaic costume like the supine figure in the border below, and the so-called “bearded man,” emphasized by the serpent in a “Z” curve behind him. Individuals seated on stools flank these central figures, the left group characterized by turban type headdresses, the right group by their high feather panaches. These seated figures bear neither arms nor offerings; rather, they seem to be in audience to what transpires between the figure in the dress of hexagonal scales and the man under the authority of the feathered serpent. In the top row, warriors again surround the figures of the central scene, but unlike the lower two rows, four persons dominate the scene. The principal individuals are probably the two on the right, a figure sitting on a jaguar throne within a sun disc, and a man under a curving feathered serpent. The first figure on the left is not particularly distinctive, but the second person has a very high headdress and a ring around his eye.

Vault Sculptures, North Ball Court Temple, drawn by Miguel Angel Fernández Marquina 1964:Photos 440, 441

The scenes on the east and west side walls and on the east and west ends of the north wall do not maintain the controlled formality of the central composition of the rear wall (Breton 1917:Pl. 4, Figs. 6, 7; Kubler 1962: Fig. 67). There is some loss of the horizontal lines of the three registers, with a resultant blending of the animal, vegetable, and human forms in the compositions, which in their ruined state, gives a somewhat orgiastic effect to the sculptures. On the west end, eagle men possibly dance to a tune played by a musician (Breton 1917:189, Kubler 1962:197), while others stand in queues or in conference. Vegetation and animals are prominent, and scrollwork or plaited tapes fill extra space. On the east end, more effaced than the west, the scenes include two individuals standing and gesturing over a prostrate figure, two figures sitting on stools in a temple, and possibly two scenes of two individuals facing each other. Unfortunately the sculptures on the side walls are not well preserved and reveal only the general nature of the sculptures.


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Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán  

Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán