(Photo: Joel Skidmore)
As explained by Merle Greene Robertson in the Sculpture of Palenque, Volume IV, "A portion of the Sierra de Palenque mountain slope was leveled off and partially filled in to accomodate this temple, with a series of three staired terrace platforms leading up to the final platform upon which the temple was built. The rear of the terrace almost abuts the side of the mountain, a practice that proved to be the norm at Palenque when building along the side of a hill."

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