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Moon Skull

ja-tzo?-JOLO:M?. Drawing and transcription after Martin and Grube (2008).


Maya ruler of Yaxchilan. Reigned >454-467.

Dynastic title: Seventh in the line.

9.0.19.2.4 2 K'an 2 Yax (October 15, AD 454) is the first secure date in the chronology of Yaxchilan rulers because Moon Skull dedicated a building called the "Four Bat Place" in this year and three centuries later Bird Jaguar IV noted the fact when he re-dedicated it (Martin and Grube 2008:119).

The "moon" in this ruler's nickname is actually the syllable ja, which goes together with the next sign in his name glyphs to spell the Mayan word for the spear-throwing weapon that the Aztecs called an atlatl (ibid.:119).

Moon Skull warred against Piedras Negras and apparently captured its king, Ruler A (ibid.:119).

The foregoing is based on Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube (2008:119). Their sources include David Stuart (1998) for the "Four Bat Place."


David Stuart (1998:390-391) discusses Yaxchilan Lintel 21 (which names the "Four Bat Place"):

Here the initial series date is 9.0.19.2.4 2 Kan 2 Yax, far earlier than the style of the inscription itself. The event associated with the early date is again house censing, followed by the house name and then y-otot, with the name of the seventh ruler of the Yaxchilan dynasty ("Moon Skull"). The narrative then jumps forward nearly three centuries to record a seating ceremony involving the noted Late Classic ruler Bird Jaguar IV in the same house on 9.16.1.0.9, only nine days after his formal inauguration as king. The inscription was clearly composed at or near this second date, which is far later than the other two Early Classic lintels of the same structure. Its seems likely, therefore, that the censing event recorded on Lintel 21 was an original dedication event, associated with the construction of the building, and not a renewal cermony.