1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   Hilites Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5


While exposing the base of the modeled stucco of the interior jamb of the central support pier, the lower portion of a carved limestone tablet was discovered.

The stone carving is low relief, intricately detailed, and nearly perfectly preserved. Only the lower portion of the carved stone tablet remained in situ. The upper portion of the panel was forcibly removed in Precolumbian times. The hinge fracture along the top of the existing portion of the panel demonstrates that the top of the panel was pulled forward, probably in the attempt to remove it, snapping the piece in two near its base.

The butt end of the panel was uncarved and extended aproximately 45 centimeters into a prepared slot in the stone slab floor of the structure. A 12 centimeter wide plain basil border, carved from a single slab of limestone, was attached with a layer of stucco at the base of the panel. This border, as well as portions of the carved stone tablet, exhibited traces of red iron oxide paint.

The iconography of what remains of the tablet depicts the lower legs and feet of a standing figure, facing forward, with feet splayed to the right and left.

The knees, feet and thighs of two kneeling, barefoot figures are shown at either end of the standing figure.

The anklets and sandals of the central figure are very similar to those depicted on the stucco panel. The anklets are feathered with a knotted band of rattles and include a fringe of shell bangles.

The sandals exhibit Pop signs at the heels and the same feathered, cone-shaped objects on the tops of the feet that terminate in what appear to be water lily blossoms.

The two kneeling figures are wearing elaborately embroidered and beaded loincloths very similar to the loincloth worn by the central figure of the stucco panel.

The pattern on the loincloth of the left figure depicts a Pop symbol and Ik signs at the border of the garment, while the loincloth of the right figure displays two Ik symbols and has what is apparently a stylized sky band at the border, very similar to the border of the loincloth worn by the central figure of the stucco panel.

A 1 to 2 scale drawing of the panel was produced and in situ photographs were taken. The stone panel was then removed from its position at the front base of the central support pier and carried to the restoration laboratory where it was cleaned by Alfonso Cruz and rephotographed.

The decision to remove the stone tablet from its original position was made to insure its safety. (The tablet is relatively portable and could have been easily removed by vandals.)