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that were either shared with Pure Florescent structures at the site or were very early traits of the Modified Florescent period. The lower and upper facades, for example, have both Puuc Maya and early Modified Florescent characteristics. The lower facade rises vertically, a detail that is often overlooked when considering the unique lines of the Caracol. This would perhaps be of little significance, except that the only other wellstudied round structure at Chichén Itzá, the Casa Redonda, has a basal batter (Pollock 136a:140-141, Pls. 3a, 5a). This vertical lower facade is a feature of design shared with the nearby Castillo-sub, an early structure in the Modified Florescent period. The facade above the five-member molding is most reminiscent of the design of the Castillo. Here the parallel is general: over each of the four entrances to the Castillo temple is a mask panel, and although portions of only one panel were found in situ at the Caracol, the evidence indicates there was a panel over each of the four doorways (Ruppert 1935:179, 181, Figs. 220-223).

with the exposed face only occasionally square, dressed or slightly beveled” (Ruppert 1935:203, Figs. 258, 259, 261). This contrasts with the specialized veneer type vault stones characteristic of the Modified Florescent period. Rather than capping the vault with a horizontal stone, the usual procedure, the two ascending sides of the vault simply leaned together at the apex (Ruppert 1935:207, Figs. 192, 270). The upper course was slightly offset at the base. Of all structures at Chichén Itzá, the vaults in the East Wing of the Monjas, the Iglesia, and the Southeast Annex of the Monjas were the closest in design to the top of the vaults of the Caracol. In these three structures the vault stones of the upper course were offset and ascended at an angle, with only a very small space between the two sides. Unlike the Caracol, however, a horizontal stone capped the vaults. In other vaults at Chichén Itzá, the final course was either set vertically rather than at an angle (Red House, second story of the Monjas, Lower Jaguar Temple, Upper Jaguar Temple, Castillo), or if the final course was at an angle, the space between the walls was two or three times as great as in the examples above (inner rooms of Akab Dzib, Northwest Colonnade, Sweat House).

Other constructional practices betray the influence of the Pure Florescent tradition. There was a step up between the outer and inner annular chambers (Ruppert 1935:Figs. 192, 280), and inner rooms were constructed on a slightly higher level than outer rooms, a characteristic of Pure Florescent structures, although it also occurs in the Castillo-sub. Details of the vault also reflect Pure Florescent practices. The vault stones of the Caracol were unspecialized, “long, relatively thin,

The five-member molding that separates the lower and upper zones of the facade is unique in the Maya area (Ruppert 1935:159). The molding is essentially an expansion of the three-member type, with two beveled members flanking the central band rather than only one (Ruppert 1935:Figs. 193-195, 203-205). There is a curved groove on one or both of the lateral, 87

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Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán  

Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán