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Yuknoom Ch'een I

yu[ku]-no-ma[CH'E:N?]-na. Drawing and transcription after Martin and Grube (2008).

Maya ruler of Kaan.

Although nineteen Kaan kings are listed on the Dynastic Vases, some with the names of known historical rulers, clear discrepancies in their accession dates make it uncertain whether the nineteen names are to be considered historical or legendary. Thus Yuknoom Ch'een I can be said to be the first known, clearly historical ruler of Kaan (Martin and Grube 2008:103).

That kingdom's location in Yuknoom Ch'een's time — roughly the years around AD 500 — is not certain; although Calakmul is known to have been the capital in the Late Classic, there is reason to doubt that this was the case earlier (ibid.:103). Dzibanche emerges as a strong possibility for the previous center because Yuknoom Ch'een is repeatedly named there on a sculptured "captive stairway" (ibid.:103). Although this monument's interpretation hinges on a single problematic glyph, it is likely that Yuknoom Ch'een was a ruler of Dzibanche and the captives were his trophies (Martin and Grube 2000:103, 2008:103).

The foregoing is based on Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube (2000:103, 2008:102-103). Their sources include Enrique Nalda (2004) and Erik Velásquez (2004) for the Dzibanche captive stairway; and David Stuart (personal communication 1993) on the signs for no and CH'E:N in the spelling of this ruler's name.