Altun Ha: Plaza B

Structures B4 and A3 at Altun Ha
W0763: Structures B4 and A3
Plaza B is much smaller than Plaza A and appears to have been added at a later period. In figure W0763 you can see Plaza B in the distance and its dominating Structure B-4. Figure W0763 is the view looking south-east across Plaza A from Structure A-1. The building on the right is Structure A-3, which is followed by a low mound, known as Structure A-4, which abuts Structure B-1. Although A-4 and B-1 look congruent, the latter is set at a different angle and was once substantially taller (Structure B-1 has now been partially restored and is no longer a mound of rubble as it is in fig. W0763).  From B-1, the plaza leads to the eastern flank which is completely dominated by Structure B-4. Leading round from there is Structure B-6 (which is just visible above the small trees to the left of A-3 in fig. W0763). Structure B-6 was a small temple structure and is joined by two palatial buildings, Structures B-5 and B-3, to complete the southern flank.

The western flank is largely taken up by the rear of Structure A-3, which, as you can see in fig. W0763, faces Plaza A in-line with the narrow Structure A-4, and therefore backs some way into Plaza B (this is more clear in fig. W0767, which is the first image in the article on Plaza A). Attached to the rear of A-3 is Structure B-2, which completes the western flank of Plaza B. Structure A2 was largely dismantled by locals looking for stone, but the footprint suggests it was also a palace that was attached to the back of Temple A-3. This was possibly designed to allow royalty to ascend the temple without using the main stairway at the front which ascends from the floor of Plaza A – a similar development was made to Structure A-8 to allow royalty to ascend Temple A1 without using the main stairway. Structure A2 lead back round to the palace structures of B-3 and B-5, which means that Plaza B contain three palaces in the south western corner (B2, B3 & B5), with one small temple structure (B6), the long platform (B1) and the mighty Temple of the Masonary Altars, also known as B4 (click here to read about Structure B4). In summary, Plaza B is a predominately residential area, whereas Plaza A was a more religious.

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