The Architecture and Sculpture of Polol
A Masters Thesis submitted to the Faculty
James L. Patton
Department of Anthropology
(Revisions, Corrections & Additions 2007-2009)
The archaeological site of Polol is located 1 km off the Kalto savanna in the West Central Peten rainforest of El Peten, Guatemala. A causeway leads from the savana to a single ceremonial plaza defined by 5 structures, the largest of which is a 26 m high x 100 m2 truncated pyramid built over a limestone hill and cave. The 1980 survey, mapping and partial excavation by San Francisco State University revealed 73 structures ranging in size from housemounds to a Late Classic elite palace/sunken courtyard complex and an occupational history extending from the Late Preclassic through the Late Classic. The 16 original monuments include the carved Late Classic Stelae 1-4, erected in traditional stela/altar combinatations, and Altar 1, a Late Preclassic, Cycle 7 fragment reset in a post-abandonment or Terminal Late Classic context. Stelae 4 is of particular interest as it has both Late Classic and Terminal Late Classic carvings and dates.