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Lady Huntan Ahk

IX-1-TAN-na-a-ku, "Lady Cherished Turtle". Drawing, transcription and translation after Martin and Grube (2008).


Maya princess of Piedras Negras; also known as Ix Huntan Ahk.

In an unprecedented departure from Maya convention, not only is the birth of Lady Huntan Ahk (in AD 708) recorded on Piedras Negras Stela 3, but she is depicted on the monument leaning casually on the knee of her mother, Lady K'atun Ajaw (Martin and Grube 2008:147). The latter seems to have exercised considerable political power at Piedras Negras as the queen of K'inich Yo'nal Ahk II, and she may have thought to ensure a continuing prominence for the female line (ibid.:145-147).

It is also possible that the king had failed to produce a male heir and Lady Huntan Ahk was groomed as the conduit of the royal bloodline (ibid.:147). It may be signficant in this regard that the incriptions of the next king of Piedras Negras, Ruler 4, omit any mention of his parentage and do not name Yo'nal Ahk as his father (ibid.:147).

The foregoing is based on Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube (2008:145-147).


Maler's photograph of Piedras Negras Stela 3.