I was greeted by a series of signs as I entered Kabah. The first (above), which declared the site’s name, was only about a foot long and a few inches high. Quite a change from the fascades at Chichen Itza and Uxmal, which both sported letters that were probably taller than I am. So…not so much a major site…no.
[DO NOT THROW TRASH]
Reaction: Who would chuck something in an ancient temple???
[DANGER!Â CEILINGS MAY COLLAPSE]
Reaction: Cool! We get to go inside the structures!!!
[DANGER! CLIMB STRUCTURES AT YOUR OWN RISK]
Reaction: Yay!!! We get to climb them, too!
And I wonder why my mother worries about me.
[The Palace of Masks]
Though I know you cannot see it clearly – at all – the Palace of Masks is covered from head to toe…or ear to ear…in masks of the rain god, Chaac, though most of the long noses have long since broken off.
[Chaac mask on the Palace of Masks]
Above is a close-up of one of the masks, which claims a rare in tact nose, most likely thanks only to the fact that it is sitting on the ground.
[A supporting collumn in the shape of a person]
On the back side of the Palace of Masks was the above collumn, an interesting site because 3D human images are extremely rare in Mayan works that have been uncovered thus far. More impressive to me is the fact that it’s in as good condition as it is.
The Palace – not to be confused with the Palace of Masks – was probably a government administrative building. Now, iguanas live there. I climbed up to the main level to take a look around. “Don’t wander off,” my guide warned me. “There’s nothing but jungle for miles and miles.”
[Doorway pillars are a trademark of this area's architecture style - at one time, perhaps ceilings were common, too.]
Carefully I made my way around to the back side of the side of the Palace. Yep. Nothing but jungle as far as I could see…yet didn’t my guide book say there was one other pyramid out there…a little disconnected from the group? Imagine me…out in the jungle…discovering new pyramids… Then something I had read earlier came back to me… “Don’t wander off – it’s no fun playing Indiana Jones in the sweltering heat.” Another day, perhaps. I turned back.