Structure 20

Yaxchilan: Structure 20 [January 3, 2004]

About this stucco figure, Carolyn Tate writes: "During his 1980 exploration and consolidation of the structure, Roberto Garcia Moll found no traces of the stucco sculpture that had once been attached to the façade, However, in July 1985, when Martin Diedrich and I were measuring Structure 20, we noticed a lifesize stone core of a stuccoed torso near the pile of loose stones immediately northwest of the structure. Both of us recognized that it was the lower portion of a seated cross-legged figure, and we began to look for other parts of the figure on the surface of the terrace, without disturbing any soil. In less than a minute we had located the chest area of the figure on the edge of the upper terrace, immediately in front of the northwest niche. It was barely covered by weeds, although the grass around the structure had recently been mowed with machetes. We looked below on the next terrace and easily found the central portion of a head, again without disturbing any soil or digging in any way. We photographed and measured these and other fragments, and brought them to the attention of the guards. These pieces were of the proper size to fit in the niches."

Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 189