LOCATION Eight whole or fragmented stones, now recognized as components of the hieroglyphic Tablets, were found by Arthes and Lopez lying at the foot of the stairway leading up the west side of Structure A-14, and molds of these were made. Maler considered these to be fragments of stelae, and numbered them as such. They were found at two loci: the southern end of the projecting stairway, and near its middle. During the Peabody Museum excavations of the structure, other sculptured stones were found, including those from the northern end of the stairway. Only five were in situ, the others having probably been wrenched out of place by the roots of falling trees. Among the portions definitely missing were a stone carrying the left margin of Tablet 6 and another carrying a narrow slice of Glyph JJ and the right margin of the same tablet. It has been suggested by Smith (1982, p. 65) that as these carried insignificant glyphic material- they were left behind when all the other components of the tablets were removed in antiquity for resetting in this structure.
The Seibal Project left the stairway unrestored, and the inscribed stones (except for the main part of Tablet 6, which remains in situ) were stored in a shelter at the site. The following stones identified by glyphblocks, have since been stolen: Tab.l, A, Bi
Tab.2, K, L; Tab.3, R, and K. H. Mayer informs me that the sawn-off face of Tab.4, W, X is presently in storage at TikaL I have been unable to establish whether the blocks corresponding to Glyphs I and J in Tablet 2 and glyph M and part of N in Tablet 3 were ever foundi if so, they were not photographed. Regarding the lefthand portion of Tablet 4, I have followed John Graham (1990, fig. 1) in placing the only "floating" fragment there, although with this arrangement the two halves of Glyph T do not appear congruent.
CONDlTJON The individual stones composing the tablets varied greatly in quality, and therefore in condition, notwithstanding Smith's statement (1982, p. 65) that all the stones are of his Type 2 (or hard) stone. The three constituent parts of Tablet 5 are excellently preserved, whereas the portion of Tablet 3 carrying columns N to P was of a stone that had lost practically all cohesive strength, and was to fall to pieces of its own weight soon after being unearthed.
SHAPE Each tablet is composed of two or three blocks. The front and the upper surfaces are well dressed, as are the sides when they abut other stones within the frame of an inscription.
A full record of dimensions cannot be given owing to the incompleteness of the stones. Since the figures available for complete tablets do not vary widely (except in regard to thickness), only the range of measurements is given.
CARVED AREAS Front only.
DRAWfNGS Graham, based on field drawings corrected by artificial light, on Maler's and Morley's photographs, and on photographs of the 1893 plaster casts.
REMARKS With the discovery of stones unknown to Morley, some still in situ, a better reconstruction of the original setting of all the component parts became possible. It then became necessary to introduce new nomenclature, and this was done by J. A. Graham (1990, p. 8). Discarding Morley's numbering of them as Panels, Graham employed the term Tablets so as to avoid confusion.