Substructure terraces are rectangular in plan with inset corners and outset elements on the center of each side. The central outsets mark cardinal directions while the inset corners mark intercardinal diagonals. These directions may be associated with the actions of natural forces, often referred to as "gods". The "gods" in Maya iconography, have directional aspects. There are nine terraces, and this number is also associated with natural forces or "gods".

Notice that the apron insets (horizontal slots) in the terraces and inset corners are at different levels. Apron levels change at the central outsets also, and the whole profile changes at the stair-side outsets that mark the central element of the west front. These subtle shifts in form may serve to differentiate the identities associated with different parts of the substructure.

photo: HSL  

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