Opposite the arch, a squat temple sits at the peak of a high, steep pile of rocks. Atop the temple, an impressive roofcomb soars even higher. This is El Mirador, the building which explorer John Lloyd Stephens called “the most curious and extraordinary structure” he’d seen in his travels through the Maya world.
Stone struts suggest the roof comb was once adorned with a complex array of stucco figures, including a huge statue over the center door. Stephens reported only “scattered arms and legs” remained at his visit, more than a century and a half ago; today only the legs of a single figure remain.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition