Archaeological site of Mitla: the Columns Group--page 4 (of four pages)

600-1250 CE

See the map.
page 1--Church Group
page 2--Church Group
page 3--Palace of the Columns
page 4--Palace of the Columns

This group has two patios, one with an altar in the center


Hall of the columns, main (south) facade

The red painted wall runs along the base of the building with a staircase leading to the next level. The main facade has three centrally located doorways with panels of stone mosaic.

The Hall of the Columns

The stairway leads directly to the hall of columns, a narrow room about 120 feet long with six columns, about 3 feet in diameter, lined up along the long axis which once supported a ceiling.

The Hall of the Columns

It is thought that this area was the temple of the high priest.

Private area behind the hall of columns

A small patio here is surrounded by rooms, probably part of the priest's residence. Here in this courtyard some of the stone mosaics are at eye level. Note too the background color--red, some of which is still preserved.

Small room off the residential courtyard

The ceiling here is a reconstruction. Mosaic stone work covers the walls of this small room. Scholars speculate about the meaning of these mosaics--were they symbolic representations? Did they emulate fabric designs?

Works consulted or quoted:
Andrew Coe. Archaeological Mexico: A Traveler's Guide to Ancient Cities and Sacred Sites. Emeryville, CA: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2001.
Michael D. Coe and Rex Koontz. Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs. Fifth Edition. London: Thames & Hudson, 2002.
Mary Ellen Miller. The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec. Third Edition. London: Thames and Hudson, 2001.

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© 2009 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.