LOCATION AND ACCESS The ruins are located near the town of Ocosingo, on a range of foothills that forms the northern edge of the Ocosingo Valley. The range of hills is, in fact, one of the many limestone ridges that run roughly northwestsoutheast through the state of Chiapas and into Guatemala. The ridge on which the ruins lie is intersected by small seasonal streams which flow into the Rio de la Virgen or the Rio ]atate, the two rivers that form the Ocosingo Valley.
The main group of ruins is located immediately to the west of one of these seasonal tributaries of the Rio Jatate. The hillside on which the ruins lie was modified by the ancient Maya into a series of terraces rising above a large plaza.
Tonina can be reached quite easily by road from Ocosingo. The journey, some 13 km long, takes about 30 to 40 minutes. From the central square of Ocosingo, one travels southeast on the road running immediately in front of the church. This road (l~ Calle Oriente) is virtually straight until the outskirts of town are reached. At this point, the road swings left shortly before reaching a fork (1.1 km from the square). One follows the left arm of the fork and continues another 1.9 km before reaching a second fork. Again, the left branch should be taken. Four kilometers from the square, the road passes over a bridge spanning the Rio de la Virgen. At 6.2 km and 7.2 km, fords are crossed, and at 8.2 km is another junction and the first signpost to the ruins! The right arm of the fork should be taken here. At 10.2 km is another ford, and at 12.2 km is a ranch which lies at the entrance to the track to the ruins. At this point is another signpost; one turns left off the main road and veers back in the direction of Ocosingo. Almost immediately, one passes over a cattle grid, and at 12.9 km another grid serves as the entrance to the Tonina ranch. At 13.0 km is the ranch. The site museum, which is the official entrance to the ruins, is located to the right of the road. The parking area and new museum lie about 0.4 km farther on, and just beyond them - across the arroyo - are the ruins.
The first mention of Tonina was made by Fray Jacinto Garrido, who lived at the end of the seventeenth century. His description of the site was used as the basis for a passage in the Isagoge Historico Apologetico (anon. 1892, pp. 108-109). The passage is quoted, in translation, by Blom and La Farge (1926-1927, vol. 2, pp. 259-260).
In 1808 Guillaume Dupaix visited Tonina and published a brief description of the site, which is accompanied by illustrations by Antonio Castaneda (1834, vol. 1, Premiere Partie, Troisieme Expedition, pp. 10-13, and vol. 2, Premiere Partie, Troisieme Expedition, pIs. 8-10; Kingsborough 1831-1848, vol. 4, pis. 9-10, vol. 5, pp. 291-294, vol. 6, pp. 470-472; Alcina Franch 1969, pp. 189-194, pIs. 88-91). Four monuments are included among Castaneda's drawings: Monuments 9 and 25 and two other monuments which Dupaix saw in the town hall of Ocosingo but which have not been seen since.
Juarros (1823, p. 19) made brief mention of Tonina under the name Tulha.
John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood visited Tonina in 1840 (Stephens 1841, vol. 2, pp. 255-261). Unfortunately, however, only a brief description of two monuments, without illustrations, was published.
E. G. Squier, traveling in the Ocosingo area in 1852, was offered a collection of jades which almost certainly came from Tonina. He bought them and in 1869 donated the collection to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (Easby 1961).
Other visitors to Tonina during the nineteenth century were Karl Sapper (1895,1896), who made a sketch map of the uppermost temples at the site, and Eduard and Caecilie Seier, who visited the ruins in March 1896. The Selers took photographs, and apparently also made paper molds, of some of the sculptures, including Monuments 7, 9, 22, and 30 (C. Seier 1897, 1900; E. Seier 1901). Meanwhile, other Tonina monuments were finding their way into the National Museum in Mexico City: at present in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia e Historia are Monuments 26, 27, 29, and 47 and a stone disc.
Alfred Tozzer visited Ocosingo and Tonina briefly in 1904; he photographed several sculptures in both locations. His field notes and photographs are now in the collections of the Peabody Museum.
In 1925 Frans Blom and Oliver La Farge visited Tonina. They published a detailed description of the site, including the illustration and description of some 30 monuments (1926-1927, vol. 2, pp. 259-306). Blom returned to the site in 1928 and discovered another monument - the stela from Pestac - and Ball Court 1 (1929, 1935).
Heinrich Berlin visited Tonina briefly in 1942 and discovered several new monuments. A copy of his brief report is in the archive of the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in Mexico City. In 1944 S. G. Morley and J. E. S. Thompson spent a few days at the site and ascribed dates to several of the monuments. By this time, some 45 monuments were known. Copies of their field notes are now in the collections of the Peabody Museum.
A further description of Tonina was published by Blom and Duby (1955-1957, vol. 2, pp. 63-88). This included illustrations of two monuments, the lower fragment of Monument 114 and the Lacandon Altar.
In 1972 excavations were begun at Tonina under the joint auspices of the Mission Archeologique et Ethnologique Fran,:;aise au Mexique and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France (henceforth referred to as the French Tonina Project). These excavations were continued in 1973 and 1974 and again in 1979 and 1980 (Becquelin and Baudez 1971, 1972, 1975, 1979). The directors of the project were Pierre Becquelin and Claude F. Baudez for the 1972-1974 seasons and Pierre Becquelin and Eric Taladoire for the 1979-1980 seasons.
Claude Baudez was in charge of the analysis of the stone monuments from Tonina during the 1972-1974 seasons. Of course, during the excavations many more monuments were found. In addition, numerous pieces lying on the surface were pointed out to the French archaeologists by Antonino Morales Cruz, caretaker of the ruins, and his brother Mario Morales Cruz. Baudez followed the numbering system for the monuments that had been started by Blom, with one emendation: all sculptures, based on their size and completeness, were designated either Monument (M. or Mon.) or Fragment (F. or Frg.). All of the pieces numbered by Blom were given the same monument number by Baudez. By the end of the 1980 excavations, more than 250 monuments and fragments were known from the site.
The results of the French excavations at Tonina are in the process of being published; the first volume (Becquelin and Baudez 1979) has already been published. A second volume, containing among other things descriptions and analyses of the monuments, is scheduled for publication in 1982. This will be followed at a later date by a third volume, covering the excavations of 1979 to 1980.
In 1981 work at Tonina was conducted under the direction of the Mexican archaeologist Juan Yadeun by the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. This work will be continued in future seasons.
Work at Tonina by members of the Corpus project has been carried out by Ian Graham during the 1973 field season and by Mathews during the 1980 field season and a short visit to the site in 1981.
REGISTER OF MONUMENTS AT TONINA
majority the original provenience has been lost. This is so for several reasons. First, Tonina has been known for a long time, and there have been numerous visitors, both serious and casual, to the site. Many monuments have been moved and even carried off during such visits. Second, the old trail between Ocosingo and the lands to the east passed through the plaza at Tonina, and travelers through the site have no doubt been responsible for some disturbance. Third, previous caretakers of the site have gathered sculptures (on the plaza, for example), without noting their original location. And finally, there is evidence of a Postclassic, but preColumbian, disturbance at the site, resulting in the resetting of at least one monument (Mon. 131) and quite probably in the movement (and/or defacement) of others.
All this necessitates some changes in the standard monument symbols in the plans of the mins. Those pieces that were found in situ are designated by solid black symbols; those found archaeologically but not in their original location are shown by open symbols. Sculptures that have been moved or removed in modern times are not included on the plans. The categories of sculpture, monument and fragment, are each subdivided into two groups: (1) discs and altars (designated by a circle) and (2) all other types - stelae, statues, stela bases, panels, etc. (designated by a rectangle). Fragments are designated by only a half of a circle or rectangle to differentiate them from monuments. It is fortunate that no chultuns have been found at Tonina, for it will be noted that the designation for a complete altar or disc not found in situ is the same as the symbol for chultuns in most other Corpus site plans.
More monuments and fragments continue to be found at Tonina each year, but the present tally (August 1981) is:
1-141 1-32 34-104 106-112 114-115
EI Miradero Panel Lacandon Altar
Disc now in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico City
- No sculptures correspond to Fragment 33, Fragment 105, or Fragment 113.
- The following monuments and fragments have now been united with others and so will not be dealt with separately:
Monument or Will be dealt
Fragment with under:
Mon. 4 Mon. 3
Mon. 21 Mon. 3
Frg. 12 Mon. 83
Frg. 29 Mon. 3
Frg. 38 Mon. 76
Frg. 39 Frg. 1
Frg. 45 Mon. 77
Frg. 57 Mon. 3
Frg. 71 Frg. 8
Frg. 85 Mon. 130
Frg. 94 Frg. 1
Frg. 96 Frg. 8
3. The following monuments are plain stelae:
Mon. 23 Mon. 96
Mon. 60 Mon. 118
Mon. 61 Mon. 119
Mon. 88 Mon. 120
The following are plain discs:
Mon. 51 Frg. 22
Mon. 62 Frg. 23
Mon. 68 Frg. 49
Mon. 79 Frg. 51
Mon. 103 Frg. 52
Mon. 112 Frg. 65
Mon. 129 Frg. 70
- Two monuments described and illustrated by Dupaix (M.92 and M.93 in the French numeration) have not been reported since the time of his visit. In addition, one monument described in detail in the Isagoge Historico Apologetico (1892, pp. 108-109; see also Blom and Duby 1955-1957, vol. 2, pp. 71-72) has not been located, although it has been numbered M.54 by Baudez. Accordingly, these monuments will not be dealt with in the Corpus.
- One of the mOTe common types of sculpture at Tonina is the stela base, a low rectangular stone with a hole in its center. It is clear that these sculptures were used as the bases for statues, many of which still have a vertical tenon below their feet. Technically I the shape of a stela base would be described as that of a rectangular frustum, with a cylindrical hole along the central vertical axis. However, since all stela bases (with the exception of Monument 8, to be described separately) have this shape, only "stela base" will be entered under the heading "shape" in the description of each of these monuments.
- Vertical views of the top of broken stela bases will be presented. These will possibly aid in the uniting of fragments found in the future.
- Many of the Tonina sculptures represent human figures carved fully in the round. Oearly, two-dimensional line drawings cannot do justice to the three-dimensionality of these sculptures. However, all the details of each sculpture can be seen in three views: front, back, and one side. The right side, as viewed from the front of the statue (the left side of the fig~re itself), will be illustrated unless the other side is in better condition. In some cases, stereophotos 'of these threedimensional statues will also be published.
- Slightly fe~er than half of the 250 or so sculptures from Tonina have inscriptions. Many of those without inscriptions, however, are rich in iconographic detail, and some combine with sculptures containing texts. For these reasons, all Tonina sculptures except for the plain monuments and fragments will be published in the Corpus.
- Since some of the monuments can be dealt with fairly briefly and since there are so many sculptures from Tonina, the policy of devoting one or more complete leaves of the Corpus to each monument will not be strictly adhered to.
- Only very poor illustrations of Monument 2 are available (and no photo at all of one of the sides). There are rumors that this stone is still to be found in Ocosingo, but so far I have not been able to see it. I hope that I can photograph the stone and publish it in a later fascicle of the Corpus.
ALCINA FRANCH, JOSE
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