Tikal: Temple II

Views of Temple II [January 7, 1998]

"The corbel technology of Maya architecture severely limited the amount of interior space that could be incorporated into a building. By functional necessity and traditional definition, access to interior spaces was limited, and the exterior plaza is the operational space in Maya architecture. Architectural sculpture and painting, as well as the stelae, face this open space. Maya buildings functioned like huge billboards manifesting religious and polical propaganda for the elite who commissioned them. They were also great stage fronts for the rituals vital to the sustenance of society as a whole. Through the symbolic information carried by sculpture and painting around and within the architecture, the framework of ritual was defined in terms of the larger Maya cosmos, the history of the site and region and the personal actions, authority and ancestry of kings."

Schele & Miller, The Blood of Kings, p. 35