Intro   1998   1999 Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7


By Edwin L. Barnhart

The first season of the FAMSI sponsored Palenque Mapping Project (PMP) was carried out from February to August of 1998. The survey started with the consolidated structures of the center and then expanded to cover Group A (I/II), Group J (IV), Group F, Group H, the Galindo Group, the Encantado Group, and the hills directly south of the central precinct.

Map 1: Central Area
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Each area was thoroughly explored with an underbrush cutting crew to identify individual structures and then surveyed using a Topcon EDM. Nearly 10,000 data points for topography and architecture were recorded. The accuracy of the mapping, checked by closing loops of EDM stations, was kept to under +/-10cm error. A total of 403 structures were recorded, 262 of which are presented for the first time in this report.

In addition to the buildings and terraces located during the course of this survey, a number of other new features were discovered. Two new stelae were found, both uncarved and fallen. One stela lies on the north patio of Structure XXVI, the other was found in the open plaza north of the Encantado Temple. A small quarry, situated directly south of Structure XXVI, was located, complete with large blocks cut from a limestone outcrop.

One of the most exciting discoveries of the season was the canal system found in Group J. Four stone lined canals, each originating at an underground spring, weave between the structures of Group J. The canals join together north of the group to form the Tak'in Ha Cascades. The sophistication of this canal system fits well with Palenque's tradition of architectural eloquence.

This report presents the results of the 1998 season. An explanation of methods and discussions of each group are included. Nine maps are presented, an overall map and eight group maps. In addition to the report and maps, Table I provides the dimensions for each outlying structure measured during the survey.