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K'inich Tatbu Skull II

K'INICH ta-(ta)-bu-JOLO:M?. Drawing and transcription after Martin and Grube (2008).

Maya ruler of Yaxchilan; also known as Mak'ina Tah Skull II. Reigned 526-537>.

Acceded: 2 Kib 19 Pax (February 11, 526).

Father: Bird Jaguar II.

Mother: Lady Chuwen.

Brother: Knot-eye Jaguar I.

Monuments: Lintels 11, 20? 22, 34, 35, 36?, 37, 47, 48 and 49.

It is to K'inich Tatbu Skull II that we are indebted for much of our knowledge of the first ten kings of Yaxchilan (Martin and Grube 2008:121). His lintels, which retrospectively provide one of the two Early Classic king lists (the other being a hieroglyphic stairway from two centuries later) were probably intended to reassert the glories of Yaxchilan after the dark day on which his brother, Knot-eye Jaguar I, was captured by Piedras Negras (ibid.:120-121).

The lintels record not just the names of the kings who came before K'inich Tatbu Skull but an important captive taken by each one (ibid.:118-119). Another lintel records K'inich Tatbu Skull's own military triumphs, with prisoners seized from Lakamtuun, Bonampak and even Kaan (ibid.:121).

The carving of these lintels is magnificent, and Yaxchilan was evidently prosperous enough to afford the finest artisans (ibid.:121). But it was probably aware of its relative insignificance in comparison to the "superpowers" Tikal and Kaan; this may be reflected on the lintels in the fact that the only dates associated with captives are those of the taking of a lord of Tikal by Knot-eye Jaguar in 508 and K'inich Tatbu Skull's Kaan capture in 537 (Martin and Grube 2000:121).

The lintels of K'inich Tatbu Skull II were reset in Structure 12 in the mid-700s; it is not known where they were originally located (ibid.:121).

The foregoing is based on Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube (2000:121, 2008:118-119, 120-121).