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Photo-textured 3D model of System IV, created from point cloud data

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System IV Information

Built during Period IIIa-IIIb around 450-500 CE atop earlier constructions, System IV is a temple-patio-altar complex (like System M), with a central altar, enclosed courtyard, stepped pyramid and east-west orientation. System IV's courtyard patio may have served as an amphitheater for observers to see rites conducted on the main pyramid. Centuries of continuous building made System IV more enclosed over time, until the area reached a point where entry was restricted to a small number of highly defensible entrances. Two tunnels extend under the surface of the complex and are believed to been used by priests to divinely enter and exit the main ritual spaces during ceremonies.

System IV also features the talud-tablero (slope-panel) architectural style similar to those found in Teotihuacán, as well "double-scapular" (doble escapulario) horizontal moldings which are highly geometric and thought to symbolize the sky.

Some of System IV's earlier construction elements that remain intact include a six meter-tall sloping wall dating to Period I (500-100 BCE) and a temple in the northwest corner that dates to Period II (circa 200 CE).



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