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One of the sites we are investigating is Structure XIX in the Southern Acropolis. This area south of the Temple of the Cross Group was heavily overgrown by jungle. (Click here for a map of the area.)

Structure XIX (also referred to as Temple XIX) was selected for excavation because of its excellent state of preservation and because it had not been previously excavated.

Structure XIX, along with Structure XIXa and the megalithic terraces to the south, probably represent the most recent major construction episodes in this area south of the Cross Group.

Structure XIX is also the only structure that directly accesses the upper plaza (Plaza C) and clearly represents the last known focal point of the plaza.

On July 7, 1998 we began a trench (or calla ) oriented along the north/south axis of Structure XIX.

It extends up the central stairway, across the central entrance of the superstructure and down the back side. A series of such trenches will be excavated not only to expose the final phase of architecture of the structure, but also to guide subsequent clearing excavations and consolidation.

Excavations across the central axis of the superstructure reveal that the roof, at least in this area, had completely collapsed. Originally, the roof of Structure XIX was double-vaulted across the front and rear galleries of the structure.

Just below the surface at about the center of the structure, the upper portion of a well-preserved central support pier was encountered.