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In contrast to the central scene, the three tiers of sculpture on the side walls generally seem to be divided into smaller scenes of two or three individuals. Vegetal motifs, animals, and animal impersonators occur exclusively in the side scenes. Many persons in the central scene carry arms, whereas one cannot clearly identify arms on the peripheral figures, many of which are too effaced to reveal details. These scenes elude interpretation. Kubler suggests (1962:197) that “the intention of the entire room is to portray actual events together with the indications of their symbolic meaning; probably it illustrates an historical account. . . .�

the North Temple, where scenes on the side walls and vault were clearly separated from the central scene of the rear wall. In addition, although the interior sculptures of the North Temple are not as well preserved as those in the Lower Jaguar Temple, clearly the technical quality of the sculptures in the North Temple is not as fine as the carving in the Lower Jaguar Temple. Finally, few figures in one temple can be identified in the other. Only the general arrangement of the wall and vault sculptures suggests similarity between these two structures. Otherwise, the structures are architecturally distinct.

The figures in the flanking scenes are more animated and more informal than the precise symbolism and narrative depicted in the central composition. Perhaps more of the subject matter in the flanking scenes represents daily life or ritual than the central scene, where historic events appear linked to symbolic rituals, figures, or occurrences. Similar themes pervade the vault sculpture, where each of the two tiers is divided into seven scenes (Marquina 1964: photos 440, 441). Sacrifice, ritual, symbolic action and perhaps scenes of daily life are depicted. The linear arrangement and division of the composition into scenes suggest narration. These wall and vault sculptures, arranged in five tiers above a basal border, superficially resemble the composition on the walls and vault of the Lower Temple of the Jaguars. The attempted unification of side wall and vault sculpture into a single composition centered on the rear wall of the Lower Jaguar Temple was not attempted in

Of the ball court structures, the North Temple is probably most closely related to the South Temple, which it faces across the length of the playing field. Similarities between the two structures include the design of the upper facade, the sculpture on the stairway ramps, and the atlantean functions of the figures in the spotted robes on the jambs of the South Temple and the columns of the North Temple. Floor plan, basal platforms, columns and the remaining sculpture in each building distinguish the two structures. The saurian deity on the pilasters of the North Temple is a variation of the type from the South Temple and the Upper Jaguar Temple (Tozzer 1957:Fig. 337). Differences in general architectural design and sculptural features distinguish The North Ball Court Temple from the Upper Jaguar Temple. The inspiration for the arrangement of the wall and vault sculpture in the North Temple came 57

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Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán  

Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán