Acropolis

Ek Balam: Acropolis [June 9, 2004]

Several extremely stylized profile serpent mask motifs decorate this panel and reflect the esoteric preoccupation of Mayan architects with representing conventionalized serpent motifs at different scales and orientations throughout a design.

A profile mask on the left side of the panel faces toward the left and displays a square eye and curving nose, with small fangs visible within the open mouth and a huge scroll representing the lower jaw. The corresponding mask on the right side of the panel is larger and starts slightly higher in the panel. It looks to the right, has eyelashes and a longer set of fangs as well as a curling tongue resting against the back of the open mouth and a more angular nose.

Even though these motifs are very abstract, the eye can be easily trained to make out the patterns. Similar abstract serpent motifs can be seen at Structure VI and Structure I at Chicanna, at Hochob, at Becan, at Xpujil, and many other places.