Hieroglyphic caption from the Temple XIX limestone tablet. According to Project epigrapher David Stuart, the top glyph reads ch'o-ko or ch'ok, "emergent one". This used to be translated as "sprout" or "youth" but seems to mean more generally a person of noble blood. There is no reading as yet for the unusual second glyph.

The third glyph begins with yi and ends with ni. Dr. Stuart suggests that this is an odd spelling of y-ichan, "his maternal uncle." The final glyph is ajaw, "lord".

Thus the captioned figure may be identified as the maternal uncle of the central figure in the sculpture, the Palenque lord and ruler K'inich Ahkal Mo' Nahb' III. But based on a similar inscription at Yaxchilan pointed out by Stanley Guenter, it is perhaps more probable that he is being identified as the uncle of the ruler's eldest son, the heir apparent, U Pakal K'inich.

We know the name of U Pakal K'inich from the stucco panel that we discovered in 1998 in Temple XIX. We now know that he went on to rule Palenque as K'inich Janahb' Pakal II. (See "A New Palenque Ruler".) (Photo: Alfonso Morales.)