Catherwood etching from the 1841 expedition to the Yucatán with John Lloyd Stephens

Izamal

"One of these great mounds, having at that time benches upon it, commanding a view of the bull-fight in the plaza, blocked up the yard of the house we occupied, and extended into the adjoining yard of the Senora Mendez, who was the owner of both. It is, perhaps, two hundred feet long and thirty high.
    The part in our yard was entirely ruined, but in that of the senora it appeared that its vast sides had been covered from one end to the other with colossal ornaments in stucco, most of which had fallen, but among the fragments is the gigantic head represented. It is seven feet eight inches in height and seven feet in width. The ground-work is of projecting stones, which are covered with stucco.
    A stone one foot six inches long protrudes from the chin, intended, perhaps, for burning copal on, as a sort of altar. It was the first time we had seen an ornament of this kind upon the exterior of any of these structures. In sternness and harshness of expression it reminded us of the idols of Copan, and its colossal proportions, with the corresponding dimensions of the mound, gave an unusual impression of grandeur."
John Lloyd Stephens, 1841

NB: This stucco relief no longer exists, the only record of its former existence being Catherwood's etching.

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