American Egyptomania Search

Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan

New York: Harper and Brothers, 1848

Browse scholarship by topic:

Art & Architecture


vaquero led the way up it on horseback, and we fol- lowed, dismounting at the top. On this terrace was a circular hole like those before referred to at Ux- mal and other places, but much larger ; and, looking down into it till my eyes became accustomed to the darkness, I saw a large chamber with three recesses in different parts of the wall, which the major dolno said were doors opening to passages that went un- der ground to an extent entirely unknown. By means of a pole with a crotch I descended, and found the chamber of an oblong form. The doors, as the major domo called them, were merely recesses about two feet deep. Touching one of them with my feet, I told him that the end of his passage was there, but he said it was tapado, or closed up, and persisted in asserting that it led to an indefinite ex- tent. It was difficult to say what these recesses were intended for. They threw a mystery around the character of these subterranean chambers, and unsettled the idea of their being all intended for wells.

Beyond this, on a higher terrace, among many re- mains, were two buildings, one of which was in a good state of preservation, and the exterior was orna- mented all around with pillars set in the wall, some- what different from those in the facades of other build- ings, and more fanciful. The interior consisted of but a single apartment, fifteen feet long and nine feet wide. The ceiling was high, and in the layer of flat stones along the centre of the arch was a single stone, like

Page 11