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Yaxchilan: Step 2
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Yaxchilan, Hieroglyphic Stairway 2

NOMENCLATURE The blocks constituting this step are numbered in Roman numerals I to XIII. Individual hieroglyphs may be referred to in this form: YAX:HS.2-VII, Al.

LOCATION The step was discovered by Roberto Garcia Moll in 1975 during his program of clearing and consolidating Structure 33. The step is the last in the long ascent to this temple, and it runs nearly the full width of the building. The thirteen carved blocks extend slightly beyond the two outer doorways of the temple, the step itself continuing in both directions with uncarved and less massive blocks. (See the sketch plan on this page. This has been drawn to include Stela 31, the incised stalactite, in order to remedy the incorrect position given it in the site plan, pp. 3:6,7.)

CONDITION As found, the three central blocks, VI to VIII, were in a nearly pristine state. In common with the others they have suffered some damage to their upper edges from falling masonry. The other blocks (of clearly different style and origin) were more weathered, some of them being almost obliterated. The only block from which a substantial portion is missing is Block IV.

MATERIAL Limestone, of various qualities. The three central blocks are of yellowish stone of uniform fine grain.

SHAPE Most of the blocks are well trimmed, with dressed treads, although they lack depth below the carved area such as is commonly found in the sculptured steps of the Maya.

CARVED AREAS Risers only.

PHOTOGRAPHS Graham, 1975.

DRAWINGS Graham, based on field drawings corrected by artificial light.

DIMENSIONS

Block Ht MW HS, WS, Rel (cm)
I 0.40 0.77 0.27 0,60 1.0
II 0.42 0.96 0.30 0.77 0.2
III 0.42 0.86 0.32 0.72 0.5
IV 0.35 0.80 0.26 02
V 0.32 0.87 0.26 0.69 0.2
VI unknown 0.81 0.35 0.70 3.5
VII unknown 1.65 0.38 1.53 4.0
VIII unknown 0.97 0.33 0.84 3.0
IX 0.56 1.10 0.30 0.81 0.2
X 0.36 0.88 0.25 0.69 0.2
XI 0.38 0.75 0.27 0.3
XII 0.36 0.68 0.26 0.52 0.2
XIII 0.36 0.85 0.28 0.65 incised
 

 

INSCRIPTIONS

 
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