The site took a generation or two to build and was inhabited for maybe 100 years. Wooden beams were brought down from the mountains. River cobbles for building were close by. The sandstone for most of the building had to be brought from miles away. And greenstone for decorative layers of wall had to be brought from quite a distance.
The outer walls are more or less flat, but buried inside the walls the rocks are irregular and shaped together with mortar or mud. So, much of the wall material is buried inside the thickness of the mud.
Archeologists have found pottery and baskets, probably connected to rituals, buried intact in layers of midden and soil. These objects were apparently buried as is, not thrown away or lost under layers of ruin. Like sacred bundles, they are hidden and part of the site. After they were documented and studied they were reburied by the archeologists.
The long lines of greenstone are curious and perhaps hold some hint of how people thought about their structures and their world. They seem to be decorative, perhaps commemorative or symbolic. They are reminiscent of serpents, rivers, etc., all of which are symbolic in Mesoamerican expression. Green may also symbolize life, growth, and fertility. But the interesting thing is that these lines of greenstone, which took enormous effort to bring to the site, were also buried intentionally by the builders.
It's as if it were enough just to have the presence of the stone, the symbol of life and fertility, hidden in the walls of the structure, again like a sacred bundle.
In some ways it's hard to understand what people were thinking when they engaged in this kind of nuilding project. In some ways though, it's not. Our culture revels in the visible, the apparent, the facies. But artists are also concerned with process, the hidden or buried effort that goes into artistic expression. In science as well there is almost overwhelming stress othe internal, processes and patterns "hidden" in molecular combinations deep within the cell.
So when we explore the "mysterious" cultures of "non-western" people perhaps we can look for hints in our own ways of thinking and problem solving. Maybe there are human universals that are expressed variously by various cultures. Alternatively, we can try to understand the "other" on it's own terms, a challenging, frustrating proposition that may offer insights of its own.