Chan Bahlum, Pacal's eldest son and successor, continued his father's aggressive building program. The three temples known as the "Cross Group", located in the hillock just south of the main plaza, are among the most elegant of all Maya architecture. All three temples have a large central opening flanked on each side by two stucco decorated piers and a narrow portal. The interiors are divided into front and back rooms, much like the traditional Maya home. In the back room is a sanctuary that houses a three part panel. In each temple the panel has a similar theme, depicting what is now believed to be Chan Bahlum as a boy on one side and as a man on the other. The central icon is different in each temple but the glyphs tell the same story - how Chan Bahlum is rightful heir and ruler of Palenque.

Temple of the Sun

In the Temple of the Sun the central motif depicts God III as a sun shield. The Panel from the Temple of Cross has been removed to the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and depicts the sacred cieba tree. The Temple of the Foliated Cross has lost its entire front wall, permitting a clear view of the tribolated vault and corbel arch. The rear panel features a stylized maize plant.


Temple
of the Cross

Temple of the Foliated Cross



READ MORE ABOUT IT
A Forest of Kings : The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya
by Linda Schele, David Freidel (Contributor)
$14.36, Paperback, January 1992
Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City
by Carolyn Elaine Tate
$45.00, Hardcover, April 1992
Scribes, Warriors and Kings: The City of Copan and the Ancient Maya
by William L. Fash
Paperback, May 1993, 0500277087
The Lords of Tikal: Rulers of an Ancient Maya City
by Peter Harrison, Colin Renfrew, Jeremy A. Sabloff
$42.00, Hardcover, July 1, 1999
E-Mail to:jeeni@criscenzo.com
©Copyright 1997-2000 Jeeni Criscenzo