Galindo’s Glyphs


In his 1831 visit to Palenque, explorer Juan Galindo removed four stucco glyphs from the Temple of the Inscriptions, most likely from one of its inscribed outer piers (Piers A or F). Drawings of the glyphs – truly excellent for the time — were published in Galindo’s report of 1834, and Heinrich Berlin reproduced these in his 1970 article “Miscelánea Palencana” (Journal de la Société des Américanistes, vol. LIX, pp. 107-108). Even so, the glyphs remain obscure today and seldom studied. Last year I did these drawings, based solely on the old images Galindo published. I’ve never seen photographs of the glyphs, if they exist.

Three of the glyphs seem to be part of the opening I.S. from Pier A. Considering these in connection with other date elements from Pier A (a “Kawak” day sign and an I.S.I.G. with a Pax patron), Berlin rightly proposed this as the best solution for reconstructing the opening date: 9 Kawak 17 Pax G9

The fourth and last of Galindo’s glyphs is ye-TE’-na-hi, probably a variant spelling of the proper name (9-(Y)EHT(?)-NAAH) given to the tomb and temple on the west panel of the Inscriptions text. If they were removed together, it suggests that the peir I.S. corresponds to the dedication of the Temple of the Inscriptions. Dedication dates on stucco piers may be a pattern at Palenque, also seen on House A of the Palace and on the Temple of the Sun.

2 thoughts on “Galindo’s Glyphs

  1. Jorge Pérez De Lara July 5, 2015 / 9:06 PM

    Did Galindo remove these glyphs for the purpose of sending them to Spain? If so, are they not in Madrid’s Museo de América? (It becomes more and more important to have online access to museum’s collections.)

    • David Stuart July 5, 2015 / 9:29 PM

      I don’t believe they are in Madrid. Those items in the Museo de America are from the Del Río and Armendariz expedition, I believe. And If I recall, Heinrich Berlin found Galindo’s report in an 1832 issue of the Journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London. The glyphs themselves may have been in London too, but as far as I’m aware all trace of them is now lost. There are many unknown stucco bits from Palenque still out there in collections, I’m sure.

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