Ralph L. Roys discusses the presence of temple among the Maya.

Ralph L. Roys

Ralph L. Roys, “Lowland Maya Native Society at Spanish Contact,” in Handbook of Middle American Indians, ed. Robert Wauchope, 16 vols. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965), 3:672

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Ralph L. Roys
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TEMPLES. The temple proper was a small structure, often with masonry walls and apparently often thatched, through many of them probably had flat beam-and-mortar roots. I surmise that some of the ancient stone-vaulted structures were still in use. It was erected on a pyramidal base with a ceremonial stairway and set in a parklike plaza, which must have been surrounded by a wall, for we read of its patio, or court. We are told of a somewhat small room and an altar, which may not always have been inside, for when Cortés transformed one into a Christian chapel, he had to supply an altar. The interior walls were sometimes decorated with religious frescos; in the room were idols, chests of votive objects, bones of important rulers, incense burners, and shallow clay bowls. Many important ceremonies, such as human sacrifices, were performed either on the platform in front of the door or in the patio below. In some cases, at least, the platform outside was large enough to hold many people. (Díaz de Castillo, 1933-34, chs. 3, 27; Oviedo y Valdés 1851-55, bk. 17, ch. 8; RY, 1:130, 2:19; Roys, 1943, pp. 71-72; Tozzer, 1941a, p. 305.)

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