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Thursday Morning December 10 — Becan

↓ Becan map, showing the moat around the city.
As the history panel (next frame) explains, the word becan means trench in the Maya laguage.

We started with Structure 4 in the lower middle. ↓
79 map

↓ Becan sign -- History ↓
80 history sign

↓ Checker board ornamentation. Notice that it has a frame of points along the bottom and 2 sides. ↓
83 checkerboard

↓ More patterns in stone, rather than painted on, as we had seen at other sites. ↓
03 more patterns

These next three photos are of a stairway.
Once enclosed, the stairs can now be seen wrapping around the exterior of the structure.

↓ Joe's head is level with the entrance lintel, still in place.
This photo shows the passageway's small size. ↓
88 stairs below

↓ There is the lintel again in the lower left, with the stairway going on up.
Later I found myself standing on top of the vault over an enclosed portion of this stairway.

A freelance guide discouraged us from following this stairway,
and there really wasn't time to follow every intriguing lead. ↓
87 stairway

↓ Decoration above this stairway.
It seems this would have been visible only to those inside the narrow passageway,
but there are many examples of the earlier decorations covered
by newer construction as the buildings were enlarged. ↓
86 decoration above

↓ Sign discussing residential habitation of Structure 4. ↓
89 residential habitation sign

↓ Joe climbing Number 4. See the rope? ↓
90 climbing #4

↓ View from top of Number 4 and whatever it was Mary was on top of. (Southeast of us) ↓
92br view from 4

↓ Looking down the other side — to the north of Number 4, and where we came in. ↓
97 view to the north

↓ Looking into rooms to the Southwest ↓
98 view sw

↓ Then we looked up instead of down. Wow!
What are those over there? They look Disney-esque. ↓
01 towers!?

↓ Number 4 was set up with a rope to help climb safely. ↓

Pict0038 rope

↓ That’s me inspecting a badly frayed spot in the rope. ↓

Pict0039 frayed rope

↓ Mary in the red sweater and a larger view of Structure 4. ↓

Pict0040  Mary in red sweater

↓ The rounded corners at Rio Bec Architecture is noted for.
And oh, yeah -- see where the grass ends -- lower center? ↓
10 rounded corners

↓ We have been up on a terrace! This is the terrace shown in the wall mural in last night’s pictures.
In the lower right is the grass I just pointed out in the last photo. ↓
11 terrace view

↓ Two different unknown fruits ↓
17 unknown fruits 1

19 unknown fruits 2

Before leaving this site,
even though we had a long ways to go this day,
I wanted to take a minute to explore
a little tunnel we had spotted on the way in.

↓ We took this picture on our way in, but then got distracted by that great staircase and forgot the tunnel.
I said I thought it wouldn’t take but a minute to walk through it. ↓
82 tunnel 1

↓ Into the tunnel ↓
22 tunnel 2

↓ A false arch vault (a hallway in this case). ↓
23 tunnel 3

↓ We pass through the tunnel, and... Oh wait, there’s more! ↓
25 more!

↓ And there are other visitors here even. ↓
26 more visitors too

↓ Oh my!
I decided it was time for a visit to the restroom. ↓
27 another set of stairs

↓ Note, it only says not to climb the temple at the top of the pyramid. ↓
28cr   sign

↓ The rope is right there beckoning -- and there goes Joe! ↓
29 joe going up

↓ The map of Becan again,
Joe pointing to the high one he, Mary, and Josh climbed, and the entrance we started from.
The black arrow points to the tunnel we went through. ↓
0047 Becan map again

↓ Overview history of the Maya ↓
0050 history of Maya

↓ In the glass souvineer case -- reproductions of jointed clay dolls and wheeled dogs.
I've heard that the Maya never did develop wheels for use other than in these toys.
Joe thinks that's because they had no large beasts of burden to pull a wagon anyway. ↓
0054  clay toys

Next: A quick stop in Xpujil before heading north this morning

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