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Yuknoom Took' K'awiil

yu[ku]-?-?-li-TO:K'-K'AWI:L-li, "? Flint K'awiil". Drawing, transcription and translation after Martin and Grube (2008).


Maya ruler of Kaan. Also known as Ruler 5, Ruler 6, and Ruler 7. Reigned >702-731>.

Wife: Lady of Stela 54?

Monuments: Stelae 1, 7?, 8, 23, 24, 38, 39?, 40, 41?, 42?, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, and 89.

Calakmul can be said to have rebounded from the Tikal victory over Yuknoom Yich'aak K'ahk' in AD 695 to the extent that Yuknoom Took' K'awiil erected as many as seven stelae to celebrate the 9.13.10.0.0 period ending of 702 (Martin and Grube 2008:112). Although activity within the site is not necessarily an indicator of the strength of external relations, in the same year a variant of Took' K'awiil's name appears in a text at Dos Pilas (in external references including this one, he is called "Scroll-head K'awiil", one of a confusing series of alternatives and abbreviations for this king in the glyphic record) (ibid.:112). This suggests that Calakmul's sphere of influence had at least to some extent survived the Tikal victory or recovered from it.

El Peru, as well, is known to have remained a vassal, with Took' K'awiil supervising the acccession of a new ruler of that site at some unknown date; and the continuing loyalty of Naranjo is suggested by the fact that as late as 711, a king there is still professing his allegiance to the late Yich'aak K'ahk' (ibid.:112).

The 9.15.0.0.0 k'atun ending in 731 saw an even more impressive spate of monument erection by Yuknoom Took' K'awiil; before looters sawed off their faces in the 1960s, the stelae erected at the base of Structure 1 were the finest surviving sculptures from Calakmul, having been carved from imported limestone far more durable than the local variety (ibid.:112-113). (The magnificent Stela 51, a depiction of Yuknoom Took' K'awiil, survives in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.)

The inference that Calakmul had fully recovered its bygone vitality, however, is belied by an altar at Tikal showing a bound Calakmul prisoner; this dates to between 733 and 736 and is paired with a stela bearing the latter date (ibid.:113). Yuknoom Took' K'awiil may be named in the damaged caption, and Wamaw K'awiil is known to have replaced him on the throne in 736 (ibid.:112-113).

The foregoing is based on Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube (2008:112-113). Their sources include Christopher Jones and Linton Satterthwaite (1982) for the altar at Tikal.


That La Corona also remained a vassal site is suggested by the fact that a daughter of Yuknoom Took' K'awiil married a lord of that site in 721 (Martin 2008; available online).