Gateway at Labna

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The remains of a Mayan building isolates a place with small groups of men from the forest behind
Gateway at Labnah [sic].




The Getty Research Institute, the Internet Archive
Drawn on stone by John Cooke Bourne


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The remains of a Mayan building isolates a square, where small groups of men are scattered, from the forest behind. The building is described as follows by the author:

This may be considered as one of the most pleasing architectural designs to be met with among the ruined edifices of Yucatan. It is the inner fa├žade of an arched gateway, ten feet wide, leading into what was formerly the courtyard of a large building. Under the arch are two doorways, giving entrance to two small rooms, twelve feet by eight (3.66 by 2.44 m), which also have openings towards the area. Over each doorway is a square recess, flanked by small pilasters, and supporting a mass of masonry pyramidally disposed. In the recesses are the remains of rich ornaments in stucco, with marks of colours still clearly visible, perhaps intended to represent the face of the sun surrounded by its rays, and probably to the Indian an object of superstitious adoration. The construction of the arch is the same as is found all over the country. The stones are laid horizontally, each projecting a little beyond the under one, until at last they nearly meet, and a flat cover-stone completes the arch, if it may be so called. This species of roof has its advantages; there is no lateral thrust, and frequently, vhen one side of an apartment, and, consequently, half the roof had fallen, the other remains entire. The cement used was very good, equal, in many instances, to that found in the ancient Roman buildings.

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