This ancient city revolved around what we now call the Great Plaza, an approximately rectangular space bounded by major architectural elements on its east, west and south sides. This space is considered to have been the political and administrative heart of the city. In its east rises a colossal construction known as The Palace. Inside, buildings surround inner courtyards, forming a large complex of open spaces, corridors, subterranean galleries, drainage works and a tower that may have been used as an observatory. This structure is the result of several architectural transformations occurring over a 400-year span.

The Palace. (Photo: Merle Greene Robertson.)