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Temple of the Cross, Palenque

The Cross Group is a complex of three temples designed by Palenque's ruler K'inich Kan Bahlam. Each temple is built at a different height, possibly corresponding to three different levels of the Maya universe: heaven, earth/surface of water and the underworld. Each temple is dedicated to one of the three patron gods of the Palenque dynasty – The Palenque Triad.

This is the largest of the three structures, built on the highest ground and housing the main member of the Palenque Triad, god GI, also referred to as Hun Yeh Winkil (the “one tooth creature”), associated with the east and sun and royal ancestry

The main structure of the group, which gave the name to the Cross Group complex, is associated with the sky (world of ancestors). The celestial nature of the temple is emphasized by the decoration of the temple (including the remains of the cosmological alligator) as well as the iconography (e.g. so called sky-bands) and the inscriptions.


  • Title: Temple of the Cross, Palenque

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