Page:Nicaraguan Antiquities (1886).djvu/22

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(PI. 41: 1) measured about fifty m. in length by thirty m. in breadth, the smallest (PI. 41: 6) about fifteen m. in length by somewhat less than half in breadth. The greatest diameter of each mound was in N. and S. The stones of these mounds varied of course in size, but for the most part they were large, more or less cubical, from half a meter to one meter long and about half a meter broad. Their often regular shape and pretty plane sides, particularly in the mound 1, might lead one to infer that some of them have been hewn, and have formed the foundations and possibly also the walls of buildings, the ground plans of which are indicated by the form of the mounds and the situation of the statues, of which we are soon going to speak.


At the mound 1 (PI. 41), the largest of all, and the one situated farthest to the north and west, several statues were found remaining in the same position, that they originally must have occupied, because the mound was still surrounded by six figures, standing in its circumference; and larger or smaller fragments of the pedestals of three others were found in the ground, although the statues themselves were thrown down beside them, and more or less broken. Judging by the regular distances between these statues, it is probable, that there have been twelve figures standing in the periphery of this building or temple. The fact that those remaining in the ground fronted outwards, and that their backs, which were turned towards the building, were not smooth, but only plane-cut, strengthens my hypothesis that the figures have formed part of a stone or logwall enclosing the building. All those statues of the mound 1, of which the upper parts remained, with the exception of D, and another not delineated one, carried on their heads a more or less long and broad projection in the form of a tenon, and on this account I venture to propose the hypothesis, that they have served to support the wall-plate of a more or less circular building. All the statues were monoliths, cut from blocks of blackish basalt of a pretty considerable hardness. The roof itself has probably been covered with palm leaves, a supposition confirmed by certain indications in Cerezeda and