Further excavations found nine platforms, a single stairway, and a temple with human bones, a jade-studded jaguar throne, and a Chac Mool. The Chac Mool is a form of Maya sculpture that depicts an abstract man figure reclining and holding a bowl used as a sacrifice receptacle. He usually sits on a jade throne.
Inside the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque are records of the births, deaths, marriages, and negotiations of a tribe called the Palenques. It is believed that these inscriptions were used to keep track of who was entitled to a portion of the kingdom. At the time of its construction, Palenque was one of the largest cities in Mesoamerica. By 250 A.D., however, it had been defeated by another city to the north.
After the fall of Palenque, most of its residents moved to the new city site, which today is occupied by a large archeological park. From here they could continue to monitor their dominion through palace politics and warfare.
However, in the 1930s, a crew of excavators began investigating and uncovered a second pyramid-temple nested within the bigger pyramid. The archaeologists also discovered a library full of books written in Maya hieroglyphics.
The Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque is one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico. It was originally built as a palace for King Piedras Gordas (also known as "the Founder") in 683 AD. However, he didn't live there for long since records show that he was killed in an uprising several years later. After his death, the building was abandoned for about 20 years until it was rebuilt by his son, Prince Imhotep. This new structure was only used for a few years before being destroyed too! Around 730 AD, another king named Pacal the Great started rebuilding the original pyramid of Piedras Gordas but using larger stones. He finished this construction project in 751 AD. Since then, this has been the main attraction at the site.
The Temple of Inscriptions is made up of two structures: a large courtyard and a smaller inner court. Both have many interesting features. For example, the outer court has six acacia trees growing out of its center.
Maya stelae (plural stela) are monuments built by the Maya civilisation of ancient Mesoamerica. They are made up of towering, carved stone shafts and are sometimes connected with low circular stones known as altars, though their exact purpose is unknown. Stelae were often placed at important sites to mark the transition between one realm of the dead and another. The word "stela" comes from the Mayan language and means "raised platform".
Stelae are found in almost every part of Mesoamerica where the Maya lived, but they are most common in the southern part of the region near present-day Mexico. There are more than 7,000 recorded stelae in Mexico alone!
Maya stelae usually measure about 1.5 meters (5 feet) high and have a flat surface about 0.5 meter (1.5 feet) wide. The longest stela ever discovered was cut from a single block of rock and measured 28 meters (92 feet)! It was found near Tikal, Guatemala.
Stelae are divided into three main categories based on style and function: altar stelae, rulers' stelae, and mythological stelae.
Altar stelae are those that contain representations of deities or ancestors.
Multi-level raised platforms, gigantic step-pyramids, corbelled roofs, and monumental stairways are all features of Maya architecture. The exteriors were embellished with sculpture and mouldings of Maya glyphs, geometric patterns, and religious symbolism, such as snake masks. Interiors were decorated with painted walls and sculptured stones.
Maya architecture is known from the ancient cities of Chichén Itzá in Yucatán State, Mexico, and Uxmal in the western province of the same name. These two sites are among the most important archaeological treasures in Mexico. Hundreds of structures at Chichén Itzá have been identified by current research as administrative offices, ball courts, temples, and other public buildings used for royal ceremonies. At Uxmal, which was once the largest city in the Mayan world, the population probably exceeded 20,000. There are more than a thousand structures at this site, most of them large pyramidal temples built between AD 800 and 1000. During its peak, the city may have had a total population of 50,000 people.
The Maya developed a new style of building construction that combined timber framing with stone masonry. This method allowed for larger structures with better protection against the elements than traditional brick or stone buildings. The Maya also used their knowledge of mathematics and astronomy to create an accurate calendar system based on a year of 360 days.
Maya temples, like many Maya constructions, were composed of stone, with platforms on top where wooden and thatched structures could be created. Temples were often pyramids with steep stone stairs leading to the summit, where major rites and sacrifices were performed. The pyramid shape was used because it was thought to contain evil spirits that would go away if the ghosts inside were given permission to leave.
In fact, most Mayan buildings were built with this type of structure as their base. They might have had other functions also, such as serving as tombs for important people or holding sacred books. However, these things aren't visible from the ground, so they weren't needed by most people who lived in Mayan cities.
The best-known type of Mayan building is the temple, which was usually placed at the center of a city. There were several types of temples, including those dedicated to specific gods, such examples as the Sun God's temple, which was usually shaped like a pyramid.
As well as being used for religious purposes, some Mayan buildings may have been used for military purposes. For example, some scholars believe that one of the reasons why there are no known images of Maya kings is because they didn't want to make them look too powerful since this might lead others to rebel against their rule.
Finally, some Mayan buildings may have been used for administrative purposes.