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vertical faces of each of the molding stones in the lowest course of this five-member molding (Ruppert 1935:159, Figs. 195, 196, 206). Similar grooves, possibly cord-holders, were discovered in the lowest overhanging member above the plain lower facade of the Iglesia, again suggesting the close relationship between the Caracol and structures of Pure Florescent Chichén Itzá. Use of stone lintels is a final feature associating the Caracol with earlier structures. Stone lintels were the rule in Pure Florescent structures, whereas wooden lintels were most common in Modified Florescent structures, even though stone lintels were employed occasionally.

platform to vault, indicate strong influence from Pure Florescent builders. Little evidence distinguishes the Caracol from Pure Florescent buildings. Pollock concluded “that the Caracol shows the more fundamental constructional practices to be cast in the Maya mold, while more superficial features, such as balustrades and roof crests, pertain to the Mexican era” (1936b:103). The inscriptions of the Caracol suggest absolute chronology, or at least its position relative to other dated inscriptions. The date on the Caracol stela, possibly in the Maya long count, has already been mentioned. Both Thompson and Morley interpreted a date of from the hieroglyphic serpent band that decorated the upper facade of the Caracol (Morley 1935:283-292, Thompson 1937:182, 186). This date is over four katuns later than the cluster of dates associated with the Pure Florescent constructions of Chichén Itzá. While the Pure Florescent period might have extended to this date or possibly even later, this date is incompatible if, on the other hand, a date of around or is favored for the beginning of Modified Florescent Chichén Itzá. Thus, although the later date on the Caracol can be interpreted as Pure Florescent or Modified Florescent according to differing opinions on the regional chronology, the early date is consistent with the strongly Pure Florescent aspect of the construction techniques of the building.

These architectural features indicate that the Caracol is Pure Florescent or among the earliest Modified Florescent constructions at the site. Traits shared with the earlier Pure Florescent structures include the vertical lower zone, the step up into the interior chamber, the unspecialized vault stones, and the stone lintels. The method of capping the vault is unique, but it most closely resembles the technique employed at the East Wing of the Monjas, the Monjas Southeast Annex, and the Iglesia. The cord-holders cut into the stones of the basal member of the fivemember molding occur at the Iglesia, where they are present in the basal course of the medial molding. The four doorways with mask panels above are reminiscent of the design of the Castillo temple, while the masks themselves perhaps most resemble the masks of the Monjas (Pollock 1936b:103). Techniques of construction, from lower 88

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Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán  

Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán