Sites such as Tikal in Guatemala, Copan in Honduras, and Palenque in Mexico represent the highest development of this style It is characterized by monumental constructions, including soaring temple pyramids, palaces with sculptural facades, ritual ball courts, plazas and interconnecting quadrangles. Buildings were erected on platforms, often with a roof structure. The lower section contained a continuous frieze carrying intricate decoration of masks, human figures, and geometric forms. Decorative elements formed open parapets. Exterior surfaces were covered with a lime stucco and painted in bright colors, and interior walls were massive and decorated. The sites were totally rebuilt periodically, leaving previous structures completely covered and intact. One of the most notable examples is Chichen Itza in Yucatan, the largest center of the Mayan civilization.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved