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PLAN OF THE RUINS.
Plan of the Ruins.-Pyramidal Structure.-A Building.–Stucco Ornaments. Human Figures.-Tablets.-Remarkable Hieroglyphics.- Range of Pillars.Stone Terrace.--Another Building.--A large Tablet.- A Cross.--Conjectures in regard to this Cross. Beautiful Sculpture.-A Platform.-Curious Devices.-A Statue.- Another Pyramidal Structure, surmounted by a Building.Corridors.— A curious Bas-relief.–Stone Tablets, with Figures in Bas-relief.Tablets and Figures. The Oratorio.-More Pyramidal Structures and Buildings.-Extent of the Ruins.—These Ruins the Remains of a polished and peculiar People.--Antiquity of Palenque.
The plan opposite indicates the position of all the buildings which have been discovered at Palenque. There are remains of others in the same vicinity, but so utterly dilapidated that we have not thought it worth while to give any description of them, nor even to in. dicate their places on the plan.
From the palace no other building is visible. Passing out by what is called the subterraneous passage, you descend the southwest corner of the terrace, and at the foot immediately commence ascending a ruined pyramidal structure, which appears once to have had steps on all its sides. These steps have been thrown down by the trees, and it is necessary to clamber over stones, aiding the feet by clinging to the branches. The ascent is so steep, that if the first man displaces a stone it bounds down the side of the pyramid, and wo to those behind. About half way up, through openings in the trees, is seen the
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building represented in the engraving opposite. The height of the structure on which it stands is one hundred and ten feet on the slope. The engravings represent the actual condition of the building, surrounded and overgrown by trees, but no description and no drawing can give effect to the moral sublimity of the spectacle. From the multiplicity of engravings required to illustrate the architecture and arts of this unknown people, I have omitted a series of views, exhibiting the most picturesque and striking subjects that ever presented themselves to the pencil of an artist. The ruins and the forest made the deep and abiding impression upon our minds; but our object is to present the building as restored, as subjects for speculation and comparison with the architecture of other lands and times. The supposed restorations were made after a careful examination, and in each case the reader will see precisely what we had to guide us in making them. I must remark, however, that the buildings are the only parts which we attempted to restore; the specimens of sculpture and stuccoed ornaments were drawn as we found them.