home First Round Table: Lords of Palenque

Peter Mathews and Linda Schele

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Go to page: In view of the data presented to the Primera Mesa Redonda de Palenque by Linda Schele ("Observations on the Cross Motif at Palenque"), it was decided to further investigate some of her conclusions by examining all of the hieroglyphic texts of Palenque to see what could be determined about the rulers of Palenque. This paper is a presentation of the findings and glyphic evidence of the investigation.

Go to page: Heinrick Berlin (1959 and 1970) and George Kubler (1969 and 1972) were perhaps the first to identify 'name glyphs' of rulers at Palenque. Kubler (1969: 20-22) identifies the glyph group T74.184.624a or b as the name of a ruler whom he calls "Sunshield", and correctly suggests that his birthdate was 8 Ahau 13 Pop in the Maya Long Count, and his death is 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax. (Note: throughout this paper we shall use the Thompson "1962" System of transcription of Maya hieroglyphs.)

Go to page: Ruz (1954: 94) had previously implied that this latter date was the death of "Sunshield". In a later paper, Kubler suggests that the name glyph of "Sunshield's" successor was T74.184.762: he calls this personage "Jaguar-Snake" due to the apparent fusing of elements of those animals in the T762 glyph.

Go to page: In his article on the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs, Berlin (1970a) identifies four lords at Palenque, whom he calls "Subjects A, B, C and D". His subject A is the same lord as Kubler's "Sunshield" and is "prominently linked ... with the old dates and" (1970a: 140). Berlin also made an important step when he identified the association of the prefix compound T74.184 with important personages or lords of Palenque. There is additional evidence from other sites which substantiates such a view.

Go to page: Proskouriakoff's (1960) Series 7 ruler of Piedras Negras, for instance, usually has as his name glyph T74.184.1083b. On Throne 1 there is an accession of a lord T74.184.757: unfortunately the date is not certain. Indeed, all examples of the 13 glyphs which occur with the T74.184 prefix in Thompson's Catalog (1962) could be reasonably be personal names or title glyphs.

Go to page: With all this in mind we went through the Palenque texts looking for glyph groups beginning with the compound T74.184 and tying them to the dates apparently associated with them. A great number were found covering the reigns of six Palenque rulers. Other names and associated dates without the T74.184 compound were also identified: we are convinced they are alternate names and/or titles of various rulers of Palenque.

Go to page: PACAL: David Kelley first pointed out to Mathews the probable existance of a ruler at Palenque with the name Pacal. This ruler is Kubler's "Sun Shield" and Berlin's "Subject A". His principal name is the T624 a or b 'shield' glyph. Frequently his name glyph is accompanied by a complementary glyph group (T586 or 602 or 1014'd' or 1023 or :25 or 205:178) which should be read as 'pa-ca-l(a)'. David Kelley has proven that the pa-ca-l(a) reading beyond any reasonable doubt. It is, however, appropriate to discuss here the variant forms of the glyphs which are read as pa and ca (figure 2).

Go to page: The codex form of pa is T715, a plain cartouche: pa appears on the monuments with a cross-hatched center (T586). We agree with Thompson (>1962: 215-216 and 216-217) and Kelley (1968: 257) that T602 is a local variant of T586. The head variant of this glyph is that of an old personage with toothless gums and is quite possibly, as Michael Coe indicated to us (personal communication), the head of God N in one of his aspects. For this reason, we transcribe the head variant as 'T1014d': Thompson merely calls it 'T602P'. It also seems that a younger head can occasionally be substituted: possibly this is T1023. At any rate, the important feature is that the two heads, like T586 and T602, are almost entirely cross-hatched.

Go to page: The ca 'comb affix' (T25) has as its head form a fish head. The word for fish in Yucatec is cai or cay. And in Chol chay. We have no doubt that the correct reading for T25 is the phonetic ca. The head variant is T205, an 'affix' in Thompson's catalogue: he has no 'main sign' for it, although we suspect that some of his xoc fish heads (T738) are actually ca heads just as come of his T205's are xoc heads.

Go to page: Michael Coe referred us to the following entry in the Vienna Dictionary: "Escudo, amparo del cuerpo: chimal, pacal" (1972: 97v.). David Kelley (1968: 258) suggests pacal as a phonetic complement of the T624 shield glyph. We believe that pacal was the personal name of our first ruler. In later times other important Palenque personages may either have inherited or adopted the Pacal name. The latest known Palenque inscription, the Carved Initial Series pot from Group 3, contains a pacal glyph group at H4. We will henceforth refer to this first lord of Palenque as Lord Shield Pacal. (PARI editor's note: If this is your first intensive exposure to glyphs, you could do worse than the historical approach courtesy of Linda Schele and Peter Mathews. This paper was certainly part of history in the making in 1974. And if you are tempted to make inferences herefrom to the current state of glyphic interpretation, again you are in good hands. Schele and Mathews hit the ground running, as it were. Inevitably, though, certain readings were refined with time. For instance, the "propeller" element of T624 above is now read as JANAAB' (some type of flower). Thus, Floyd Lounsbury's groundbreaking reading at the First Palenque Round Table has changed slightly in the following ways. Left glyph, superfix: now read as K'INICH, possibly translated as "sun-faced". Left glyph, main sign: now read as JANAAB'. Right glyph, top (unchanged): a phonetic sign for the syllable pa. Right glyph, center (unchanged): a phonetic sign for the syllable ca (now written ka). Right glyph, bottom (unchanged): a phonetic sign for the syllable la, supplying the final -l. As Lounsbury demonstrated, the three phonetic glyphs on the right side together read Pa -ca -l. (Pacal— or Pakal as it is written in the current orthography — is Mayan for "shield".) Thus the great ruler of Palenque is currently referred to as K'inich Janaab' Pakal. Sometimes the flower element is infixed in the glyph for "shield", giving a reading of k'inich janaab' pakal for the single glyph block, as in Palace Tablet P19. Or the JANAAB' glyph may appear adjacent to the glyph for "shield", as in Palace Tablet C12 [which also has a phonetic complement, la, underneath the shield logograph].)

Go to page: Proskouriakoff first associated T740, the "up-ended frog" glyph, with the 'initial' date of a person. We accept Kelley's reading for the T740 glyph as 'birth'. T740 occurs in rather disconcerting profusion at Palenque, and with the birth dates of some of the rulers there is still confusion. In the case of Lord Shield Pacal, however, there is no problem: his birth date occurs four times in the Palenque inscriptions (figure 3), and each time the date is immediately followed by a clear 'birth' glyph group, T740.181:125 or 246, or 125 [88].

Go to page: On two of the texts (Palace, House C, Hieroglyphic Stairway and T.I. Tablet 3), the 'birth' group is followed by 'Lord Shield Pacal': the Hieroglyphic Stairway then has the Palenque emblem glyph.

Go to page: The third occurrence of Lord Shield Pacal's birth is on the TI Sarcophagus Lid edge. Here the first five glyphs (1-5) record '8 Ahau 13 Pop/birth/6 Etz'nab 11 Yax.' Three glyph groups later 'Lord Shield Pacal' appears followed by the Palenque emblem glyph. As we shall see later, 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax is the date of Lord Shield Pacal's death: the close association of "Lord Shield" to the two dates above leaves no doubt that the 'birth' which occurred on 8 Ahau 13 Pop is his.

Go to page: The fourth reference to the birth of Lord Shield Pacal is on a fragmentary text which we present here for the first time (figure 4) with the kind permission of Ian Graham of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University. This piece was exhibited at the Pasadena, California Art Museum in 1966 at which time a tracing was made of the slab and sent to Mr. Graham. The slab has since disappeared. The stone almost certainly comes from Palenque and is obviously a fragment of a larger tablet.

Go to page: The first glyph group on the slab records '13 Pop', followed by 'birth', and then by a bird head and the glyph group pa-ca-l(a). The bird head is very similar to the bird head at B3 of the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs, which has infixed as its eye the shield glyph T624a. Berlin believes (1970a: 140) that the shield-eyed bird is a reference to Lord Shield Pacal. The bird head in the 'Pasadena Tracing' has several elements of the shield glyph around its eye: we strongly suspect that were the slab ever refound, the shield infix could be seen there. The bird head glyph group, the pa-ca-la group, and the '13 Pop' point strongly to the identification of this slab as a fragmentary record of the birth of Lord Shield Pacal on 8 Ahau 13 Pop.

Go to page: We should now like to enter into a discussion of 'inaugural' or 'accession' glyph groups. Berlin (1970a: 144-147) has summarized the known accession glyphs of other sites. He identifies T684 (Proskouriakoff's [1960] 'inaugural' glyph) as the predominantly used 'accession' glyph at Piedras Negras and Yaxchilan. It appears only in early texts at Tikal, rarely at Copan, and never at Palenque.

Go to page: In later texts, Tikal often uses T644, Copan predominantly and Palenque exclusively so. Berlin (1970a: 147) pointed out that "Finally, to complete our study of glyph 644 we ought to analyze the glyphs which in other Palenque texts go with the and dates of our inscription. But at present such an analysis would produce only a number of loose strands, which we would be unable to weave into a meaningful fabric." We think that by analyzing those texts and others, not only can many of the loose strands be woven into a 'meaningful fabric', but additional glyph groups for 'accession' can be clearly identified.

Go to page: T644 is associated with four of the six Palenque rulers presently under discussion (figures 5, 6, and 7). It appears only once in three of those four, while it appears twice with Lord Shield Pacal. In both Lord Shield Pacal occurrences, T644 is associated with the date 5 Lamat 1 Mol. This date occurs a total of six times at Palenque; the remaining four occurrences are connected with different glyphic compounds.

Go to page: One of these compounds is composed of two glyph groups. The first glyph group is a variable, but it always contains T713. The second is transcribed T89 or 92.11 or 60 or 204:757. For convenience we shall call the entire compound the T713/757 compound. Four of the six accession dates we are postulating are associated with the T713/757 compound. Since no example of both T644 and the T713/757 compound are present in the same passage, we suggest that they are at least in part interchangeable, and hence that the T713/757 compound also stands in some way for 'accession'.

Go to page: We have established 5 Lamat 1 Mol as the 'accession' date of Lord Shield Pacal. The 5 Lamat 1 Mol date is connected by distance numbers and/or 'accession' clauses to other known 'accession' dates in Palenque. The del Rio Tablet links 5 Lamat 1 Mol to 8 Oc 3 Kayab, the 'accession' date of Lord Shield Pacal's successor. On the Palace Tablet, 5 Lamat 1 Mol is linked to 5 Lamat 6 Xul, the date of 'accession' for Berlin's Subject B. The deliberate interconnection of the T713/757 dates is not accidental.

Go to page: Other dates are associated with Lord Shield Pacal (table 1). Since it is our purpose in this paper to identify only the birth, accession and death records of each ruler where possible, we shall proceed to the death of Lord Shield Pacal, which occurs three times in the Palenque inscriptions (figure 8). The first and most significant of the death texts is on Tablet 3 of the Temple of the Inscriptions (figure 9) where (T5-T12) 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax is followed by 'Lord Shield' and then by a Distance Number which, subtracted from 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax, leads back to 8 Ahau 13 Pop, the birth of Lord Shield Pacal.

Go to page: The Distance Number is followed by two glyph groups which are a T644 'seating' complex (c.f. Berlin, 1970a:141). The 'seating' complex is followed by 8 Ok 3 Kayab, just 132 days later. The 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax at 8 Ok 3 Kayab is the 'accession' date of Lord Chan-Bahlum, Lord Shield Pacal's successor. The Calendar Round is followed by the T713/757 'accession' compound, and then by 'Lord Chan-Bahlum/Palenque'. Two and a half glyph blocks of unknown significance occur at S11-S12A, followed at S12b-T12 by 'u cimi ("his death")/Lord Shield/Palenque'. This is a fitting way to end the long inscription which immortalizes Lord Shield.

Go to page: We have no doubt that the final death clause refers to the last Lord Shield Pacal date in the inscription, namely 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax. Our conclusion is confirmed on the Sarcophagus Lid edge (1-5), were the text begins with the 'birth' of Lord Shield Pacal followed by the 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax date.

Go to page: The third occurrence of 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax is on the Palace Tablet (figure 8) at J9-I10, but there is no Lord Shield Pacal explicitly mentioned. However, we think that at J13 there is the head variant (T1010.184.74) for the 'Lord Prefix' (T74.184), followed by a quincunx compound (T181.23.585H). The quincunx compound is commonly associated with Palenque rulers, though less frequently with Lord Shield Pacal than with others. We suspect that these two glyph groups must have contained for the ancient Maya some implicit reference to Lord Shield Pacal.

Go to page: At any rate, 'death' is explicitly mentioned in this clause, at J10-I11 as T78?:575.125/1:179.503:82; this same phrase, with only minor variations, occurs three times at Yaxchilan immediately after the death date of Shield Jaguar (Proskouriakoff, 1963:163). The presence of the death compound, along with the correspondence of the date to the reference in the Temple of the Inscriptions, leaves us in no doubt that the death of Lord Shield Pacal is again recorded in this passage.

Go to page: There is also a possible reference to Lord Shield Pacal's death in the final clause of the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs (L6-L7), where, after the dates of the text progressively climb to, there is a final reference to Lord Shield Pacal, who died some five katuns earlier. Here we find at L6 'five katuns', which we at first thought must be a reference to Lord Shield Pacal's age at death (he was in his fifth katun), but there is not the customary 'ben-ich' superfix present. We now believe that the '5 katuns' refers to the approximate time that had elapsed from the time of Lord Shield Pacal's death to the date of the carving of his inscription,

'5 katuns' is followed at K7 by 'Lord Shield', then at L7 by a glyph group with a strange prefix (T84?? or 86??) and a 'main sign' composed of a head with death markings and an 'i ' glyph infixed above the eye (T1041). One almost wonders whether this reads literally '?-i-cimi '. It is interesting to note that i in Chol is the equivalent of Yucatecan and Quiché u , "his, her, its". Lounsbury recently suggested to us that it is quite probable that the ancient Palenqueños spoke an ancestral form of Chol, and may have written that language. He believes there were also "universal glyphic elements" that were cross-linguistic in nature. He suggests the 'u -bracket' was understood by all groups to represent the third person singular possessive pronoun, but the specific Chol word in the third person possessive could be written phonetically in the local language. Lounsbury's suggestions could certainly help to explain the abundance of 'birth' glyphs at Palenque with u prefixes, but one would normally, perhaps, expect a 'u -bracket'. Could these glyphs, then, read 'Lord Shield Pacal/x-his death'?

Go to page: A second reference to Lord Shield Pacal's death may be contained earlier in the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs. At C1-D1, we find "Lord Shield Pacal/5 'ben-ich' katuns". The passage seems to refer to 9 Chuen 9 Mac, but at that date Lord Shield Pacal was only in his third katun of life. Since his death at death was and he had entered into the 5th katun of life, it is possible that this phrase at C1-D1 refers to his death and is not linked to 9 Chuen 9 Mac.

Go to page: These passages seem to be parallelled in the Tablet of the Sun by the phrase, "5 'ben-ich' katuns (M4)/Lord Shield (L5)/TI:606 compound (M5)/Lady 'Ben-ich' Hel (L6)/Palenque Emblem Glyph (M6)". Preceding this passage at L4 is a glyph group that is possibly an abbreviation of the death compound of the Palace Tablet.

Go to page: The Tablet of the Foliated Cross has a similar passage (H-K), though there is no 'ben-ich' superfix over the 'five katuns', and the 'abbreviated death compound' is not nearly so convincing. On the Eaves of House C of the Palace, Inscription 5, there is apparently a death compound at A1, followed by 'Lord Shield/Pacal/Palenque', but there is no associated date. The 4 Cauac 2 Pax of Inscription 6 must be in the Long Count because of its G3 and F associations.

Go to page: Lord Shield Pacal was by all accounts a most remarkable man. Apparently in power, at least in name, by the age of 12 1/2, he ruled for almost 70 years. His was a dominant influence at Palenque and he was surely the man responsible for its sudden blossoming c. into a major Classic site. His importance is clearly attested to by the apparent desire of later rulers, such as Lord Chan-Bahlum, Lord Hok, Chac Zutz' and Lord Kuk, to mention him with prominence in their own records.

Go to page: 6 uinals and 14 kins after the death of Lord Shield Pacal, the most prominent date in all Palenque inscriptions, 8 Oc 3 Kayab, occurs seven times at Palenque. Five of these seven examples clearly show the accession glyph groups, the 'T713/757 compound' (figure 6).

Go to page: There is no doubt whatsoever that this is the accession date of Lord Shield Pacal's successor, whom Kubler (1972) called "Jaguar-Snake" and whom we shall refer to as Lord Chan-Bahlum (T74.184.762) (figure 1).

Go to page: The date of Lord Chan-Bahlum's birth is recorded twice in the Palenque inscriptions. Twice with Lord Shield Pacal texts there is a Distance Number leading directly from his birth date to that of his accession: one of those (the Hieroglyphic Stairway, A1-B12) had 'birth' clearly recorded after the Initial Series date and before the Distance Number leading from it to the accession date.

Go to page: The other, however (T.I. Tablet 3, E1-F6), records the birth in the following way: E1-F1: 12.9.8, D.N. Add to E3-F3... E2-F2: 'birth / Lord Shield Pacal'. E3-F3 ( 8 Ahau 13 Pop: ...(birth date) to reach... E4-F5  : 'accession / Lord Shield / Pacal'. E6-F6 ( 5 Lamat 1 Mol (accession date).

Go to page: Both event clauses precede the date on which they took place. We think that this system of recording is parallelled in the Tablet of the Foliated Cross, M17-O5, where we find: M17-O1:, D.N. Add to... N2 'birth' (, 2 Cimi 19 Zotz') ...(birth date) to reach N5-O5. O2-O4: 'accession / title? / Lord Chan-Bahlum / Palenque'. N5-O5: ( 8 Oc 3 Kayab (accession date).

Go to page: The differences between the two passages are: (1) the 'birth' date 2 Cimi 19 Zotz' is not recorded, and (2) the person who was born is not specifically mentioned, but it is certain that Lord Chan-Bahlum is implied as the subject of both 'event' glyphs. On the Tablet of the Sun at P12-Q12, the actual record of 2 Cimi 19 Zotz' appears. The Long Count position is clearly, and the Calendar Round is followed by 'birth' at P13. On the basis of the Tablet of the Foliated Cross reference and its parallelism with the birth/accession clause of Lord Shield Pacal and with birth/accession clauses of later rulers, we accept 2 Cimi 19 Zotz' as the date of birth of Lord Chan-Bahlum.

Go to page: The date of Lord Chan-Bahlum's death is more obscure than that of his birth. The date 5 Eb 5 Kayab is prominent, but it does not appear with death records. We believe his death is recorded on the Palace Tablet, which is a tablet of his successor. At K6-L6 his accession date, 8 Oc 3 Kayab occurs joined by a distance number 6.12 to 6 Etz'nab 11 Yax, the date of Lord Shield Pacal's death (J9-J14). 8 Oc 3 Kayab is followed by four glyph groups which we propose as an alternate glyph group for accession.

Go to page: At K9-L9 we see the glyph groups T1010.184.74/missing?:762:142. The former is our head variant for the T74.184 'Lord Prefix'; the latter is a reference to Chan-Bahlum.

Go to page: His accession record is followed by: M8-N8 ( 6 Chicchan 3 Pop. M9 1.5, D.N. Subtract. N9-N10 (9.13.)10.0.0 7 Ahau 3 Cumku Anterior date indicator: half katun.

Go to page: These dates are followed by two glyph groups and at M12-N12 by T74:544:25.?:762:142/38[43].168:793a:178?, reading 'Lord Chan-Bahlum/Palenque'.

Go to page: A Distance Number of 5.3 follows at M13. At N13-M14 are two glyph groups, which appeared earlier in the text immediately after the Distance Number leading from the death of Lord Shield Pacal to the accession of Lord Chan-Bahlum. The parallelism again seems to be deliberate. The second Distance Number, only 29 days less than the earlier one, almost certainly connects the date of Lord Chan-Bahlum's death to the accession date of his successor.

Go to page: While there is no recognized 'death' glyph group in the 6 Chicchan 3 Pop clause, the section is riddled with 'death heads': we would suggest that M11 (notice the i-cimi element) or M7 is the place to look for a 'death' reference. Of our two glyph groups in the Distance Number clause, we suggest that the former goes with the death date and is an explicit reference to 'death', while the latter goes with the accession date.

Go to page: The next ruler at Palenque is Berlin's "Subject B", whose accession date he identifies (1970a: 140-147) on the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs as 5 Lamat 6 Xul (D4-C7). Berlin associated "Subject B" with the 'Trias' group of the Palace Tablet, a group he first identified in 1965.

Go to page: According to Berlin 'Trias' 3 was 'born' on the day of 1 Ahau 3 Uayeb.

Go to page: However 'birth' is recorded elsewhere on the Palace Tablet at C4 and is associated with the Initial Series 11 Ahau 8 Mac and the 819-day count date 1 Ik 15 Yaxkin; 'birth' is repeated at D19 where it is again linked to 11 Ahau 8 Mac. Berlin seems to think (1965d and 1970a: 141) that the members of the group are separate individuals; however, we think that due to the constant association of glyph groups identified as the 'Trias' group with Lord Hok (Berlin's "Subject B" ruler), the 'Trias' glyph groups represent alternative or additional names and/or titles or offices of Lord Hok.

Go to page: The accession date of Lord Hok is recorded twice on the Palace Tablet. The second of these records (R4-Q8) employs the 'T713/757' accession compound. Followed by 'Trias' 1 and 'Lord Hok/Palenque'. 'Trias' 1 is also associated with Lord Hok whose name appears with the head variant of the 'Lord Prefix' on the Dumbarton Oaks Tablet at E-H.

Go to page: The first occurrence of Hok's accession date in the Palace Tablet shows the date to be extremely important: it is followed by a secondary series, almost elevating the date to the status of an Initial Series. The passage is completed by an extremely long explanatory passage, possibly beginning with the missing M19, and continuing through P14. Lord Hok is mentioned at 09-P9, with the head variant of the 'Lord Prefix', and is directly preceded by 'Trias' 2.

Go to page: The latest occurrence of Lord Hok so far known is following the date 9 Men 3 Yax, where he is preceded by 'Trias' 3.

Go to page: The accession readings are strengthened by the presence of the glyph group at C6b on the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs. C6b follows the date 5 Lamat 6 Xul (D4-C5) and T644 accession compounds (D5-C6a?), and it precedes 'Lord Hok/Palenque' (D6-C7). The transcription of the glyph group at C6b is TIII:793a:23. Berlin (1970a:141) thinks that this glyph must refer to 'Trias' 1 or 'Trias' 2. We think it more probable that C6b refers to the 'Trias' Group as a whole and that T793a signifies three particular offices held by Lord Hok in his rulership of Palenque.

Go to page: A problem arises with association of the 'Trias' group members with Lord Hok from the ambiguous birth dates recorded on the Palace Tablet. We think that is the actual birth date of Lord Hok: it is obviously a highly important date in Lord Hok's inscription: 'Trias' 1 is mentioned, although 'Lord Hok' does not seem to be in the accompanying passage.

Go to page: We suspect that ( 1 Ahau 3 Uayeb, 5.7.0 after Lord Hok's birth, is the date on the which the title or office 'Trias 3' was initiated and on ( 8 Ahau 18 Xul, just 4.1.12 after Lord Hok's accession, Lord Hok took on that title or office.

Go to page: Berlin's "Subject C" whom we shall call Lord Chaac is almost certainly the next ruler of Palenque. The date of his accession, 9 Ik 5 Kayab, is recorded three times at Palenque:

1. On the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs at F2-E3, followed by the accession compounds T644:181[178].53:747:188 at F3 and T74:184:229:528:140 ('Lord Chaac') at F4.

Go to page: 2. On the jambs of Temple 18, where the date is not stated but implied by a Distance Number (D4-D5) leading to it from the Initial Series date 3 Lamat 6 Zac, and by the next Distance Number (D7-C9) leading from it back to the early date 9 Ik 0 Zac, recorded at C10-D10. We thus have the scheme: A1-B5, A13:, 3 Lamat 6 Zac. Initial Series. D4-D5: D.N. Add to I.S. (, 9 Ik 5 Kayab) Not recorded. D7-C9:, D.N. Subtract. C10-D10: 9 Ik 0 Zac.

Go to page: The passage D4-D6 on the Temple 18 Jambs exactly parallels the Lord Shield Pacal clause (Temple of the Inscriptions, Tablet 3, E1-F6)...

Go to page: ... and the Lord Chan Bahlum clause (Tablet of the Foliated Cross, M17-05) mentioned earlier (figure 10). In all three cases a Distance Number leads from a single 'birth' date to a later date. In the case of the first two clauses, at least, this later date is the accession date of the lord in question. In all three cases a 'birth' glyph group immediately follows the Distance Number. In the Lord Shield Pacal passage we have 'Shield Pacal' and then his birth date. In both the Lord Shield Pacal and Lord Chan Bahlum passages the 'birth' record is followed by the accession compound 'T713/757'.

Go to page: The glyph group T679.168:700var.116 in the Temple 18 passage [D6] is yet another way to record accession. The same basic glyph group occurs in the Palace Tablet immediately after the date of Lord Chan Bahlum's accession period.

Go to page: A probable third occurrence is on the Del Rio Tablet [A2], where a 'Main Sign' similar in form to the T700var. appears with identical affixes (T168 superfix and T116 postfix) and immediately follows the accession date of Lord Shield Pacal. In all of these passages no other recognized 'accession' glyph group is present, though all are confirmed accession dates. Thus the T679.168:700var.116 glyph group must be an alternative way to record accession.

Go to page: 3. The third occurrence of the date 9 Ik 5 Kayab is on the Tablet of the Slaves at C1: '( 9 Ik 5-te-Kayab'. Another date ( 8 Ix 7 Yaxkin immediately follows at D1. These dates cannot be definitely fixed in the Long Count, but we believe that after the second date of the Tablet ( 7 Caban 15 Kayab (B4), the dates jump into the 14th katun. The text ends with the 3-katun anniversary of 7 Caban 15 Kayab, at ( 1 Caban 15 Uo at G5b-H5a. The first event glyph group after the dates 9 Ik 5 Kayab and 8 Ix 7 Yaxkin is the 'T713/757' accession compound (C2).

Go to page: The principal subject of the Tablet of the Slaves is named without the T74.184 'Lord Prefix'. He, like Lord Hok, has three names and/or titles -- T333:544 or 106:130 or 126/1:526:246/109:756. The T109:756 occurs at D2a and G2a: one of the full tri-name compounds (with T544.166) occurs at D3-E1a, and the last (with T106) at F3-F4a. At A3 we find, apparently, 'birth-x-bat', almost certainly a reference to Chac Zutz'.

Go to page: Apart from the apparent sharing of the date 9 Ik 5 Kayab, this text and those of the Temple 18 have a great deal in common. The personage offering the shield in the Tablet of the Slaves is undoubtedly a woman, as shown by her huipil.

Go to page: Her 'name glyph' is at L1 -- T1000.518:592:117. This glyph group also occurs twice in Temple 18: on the Jambs at C13, and as one of the detached stucco glyphs (Ruz number 3 -- see Ruz, 1958a:160).

Go to page: Lord Chaac and Chac Zutz' also share a correspondence in name or title glyph groups. As seen on the Temple 18 Jambs, the name and/or title glyphs of Lord Chaac are T758:110 or 11.110:529?/1:526:246/1068 (here we differ from Berlin [1970:140] who claims the 'T1068' and Lord Chaac are two different people)/74.184.229:528:178. It is apparent that the T1:526:246 (long ago recognized by Kelley [1962:324 and 329] as an 'appellative' glyph group) and also, perhaps, the T110 compounds are shared. 'Chac Zutz'" also occurs in Temple 18, which seems to have been Lord Chaac's domain, in a detached stucco glyph (Fernandez#51a--see Fernandez and Berlin [1954:43]).

Go to page: Because of the above correspondences between Lord Chaac and Chac-Zutz', we felt must be one and the same individual. Our assumption was strengthened by the fact that Lord Chaac occurs as far as we know with no date later than 9 Ik 5 Kayab. It appeared to us that the name 'Chac-Zutz'' was an alternative name used in the Tablet of the Slaves and perhaps after the 8 Ix 7 Yaxkin date.

Go to page: However, there is one serious stumbling block to the interpretation of Lord Chaac and Chac-Zutz' as one personage. The Initial Series of the Temple 18 jambs and the associated 819 day count date are followed by 'birth' and then by T758:110/1068, which may be two alternative names or titles of Lord Chaac.

Go to page: Thus, it seems we have 7 Caban 15 Kayab as the birth date of Chac-Zutz' from the Tablet of the Slaves. The 3-katun anniversary of 7 Caban 15 Kayab is celebrated at the conclusion of the Chac-Zutz' inscription. At the same time, we have a clear 'birth' at 3 Lamat 6 Zac for Lord Chaac in the Temple 18 Jambs.

Go to page: We think that it is most likely that Chac Zutz' was Lord Chaac's successor, and that the early dates of the Tablet of the Slaves parallel the layout of the Palace Tablet and the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs, where important dates (especially accession dates) of predecessors are listed. The scheme of the Tablet of the Slaves seems to be (figure 11): A1 ( 5 Lamat 1 Mol Accession date. B1b of 'Lord Shield'. A2b-B2 Accession of 'Chan-Bahlum'?? A3 Accession of 'Hok'?? A4 'Birth' of "?-Zutz", on B4 ( 7 Caban 15 Kayab. C1 ( 9 Ik 5 Kayab (Accession date of Lord Chaac). D1 ( 8 Ix 7 Yaxkin. C2-D2a Accession of 'Chac Zutz'.

This is the only way of tying in the 8 Ix 7 Yaxkin date to any meaningful clause--possibly the 9 Ik 5 Kayab accession date of Lord Chaac (just over one year earlier) was considered to be fresh enough in readers' minds that no further explanation of it was considered necessary.

This interpretation would mean that Lord Chaac ruled for less than 1.8.12 in the Maya notation or only about 1 1/2 years. This short reign would help to explain the absence of dates associated with him after his accession. Later Chaac dates, possibly even that of his death, may be contained in the fragmentary stucco texts of Temple 18.

Go to page: The next known Palenque ruler has in his name glyph a quetzal bird as the 'Main Sign': the word for quetzal in Chol is kuk. Thompson (1962: 326-328) includes both quetzals and macaws (possibly parrots also) under his glyph T744. The quetzal head mainly belongs within theT744a category: our kuk head is in fact Thompson's T744a type glyph. It was Lord Kuk who had the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs inscribed. It is to two men in particular that this paper owes its existence: to Lord Kuk for having his tablet inscribed with the accession dates of so many of his predecessors and to Heinrich Berlin, who first realized (1970a) its tremendous importance in the sequence of rulers at Palenque.

Go to page: In view of the importance of Lord Kuk's records to us of the 20th Century, it is interesting that we only have three dates for him, all on the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs:

(1) H1-G2 ( 9 Manik 15 Uo--followed at H2 by an accession compound (T644:683[178].24?:1000c:188), then by two titles(?) and at G4 'Lord Kuk', T74.184.744a:142, and the Palenque Emblem Glyph (H4).

Go to page: (2) H7-G8 ( 7 Manik 0 Pax -- followed by 'completion of 'u' 1 Katun' (probably 'completion of his first katun', i.e. as ruler) at H8-I1 and later (J3) by 'Lord Kuk' -- the 1 katun anniversary of his accession.

Go to page: (3) K2-L2 ( 13 Ahau 13 Muan -- probably the dedication date of the Tablet of the 96 Glyphs. No date of birth, then, or or death is so far known for Lord Kuk -- all we know of him is that he gained power in Palenque on and that he ruled for at least 20 years.

Go to page: Summary: There seems to be no doubt that the birth, accession, and death dates for Lord Shield Pacal and Lord Chan-Bahlum are correct. Lord Hok's accession date is certain: his birth date, although ambiguous, was probably, the Initial Series date of the Palace Tablet. His death in all probability occurred after and is not recorded in the Palenque inscriptions known at the present time. All we know of Lord Kuk is his accession date, and that he was still in power one katun later. We have no record of his birth nor of his death.

Go to page: Our biggest problem is to resolve whether Lord Chaac and Chac-Zutz' are the same or different individuals. We will present a synthesis of the evidence for both interpretations but at present we cannot resolve the question.

Go to page: The evidence in favor of interpretation as a single individual is as follows:

1. The two occur in the same text, the Stucco Tablet of Temple 18; each occurs on one of the paired alfardas from the Tower Courtyard of the Palace (Lord Chaac is named on the 'Orator' Tablet and Chac-Zutz' on the 'Scribe' Tablet).

2. The two personages share certain titles, such as the u-cab.

3. It is possible that the 9 Ik 5 Kayab date is an accession date 'shared' by both Lord Chaac and Chac-Zutz'.

4. Both appear to be associated with the same female.

5. Chac-Zutz has no 'Lord prefix', yet all the other rulers of Palenque discussed in this paper do: it could thus be argued that 'Chac-Zutz'' is a secondary name of Lord Chaac. The Tablet of the Slaves was found in a secondary group well away from the area which contains the accession and death monuments of the other rulers and the tablet may well be a secondary text dedicated to the 3-katun anniversary of birth. If the tablet is celebrating other than a major event and positioned in a major monumental group, the use of names with the 'Lord prefix' may not have been a mandatory convention.

6. The text records the capture of one or more persons, and may be concerned primarily with the warrior aspects of the ruler. As 'captor' the name of rulers may not have required the 'Lord Prefix'.

7. On the Tablet of the Slaves we find a pattern very similar to that discussed earlier in which an 'age Distance Number' is followed by 'birth', name, and birth dates, then by 'accession', name and accession date (figure 11). On the Tablet of the Slaves, B3-C1, we find: B3 11 tuns (??), 2 katuns, Distance Number? A4 'birth-x-bat'. B4 ( 7 Caban 15 Kayab (birth date). A5 'accession' (almost certainly). B5 ?? C1 ( 9 Ik 5 Kayab (accession date)

The interval between and is, but as the Tablet of the Slaves is an extremely abbreviated text, it is possible that the Distance Number is recorded in an abbreviated form: B4 ( 7 Caban 15 Kayab. B3 2.11.(12.5) Approximate Distance Number. Add: C1 ( 9 Ik 5 Kayab.

If the above reading is correct we do find a correspondence with the three other texts mentioned and the accession date 91k 5 Kayab does refer to Chac Zutz'. If the 2.11.(0.0) Distance Number is an 'age at accession' record, it must be linked to the 'communal' 91k 5 Kayab date.

8. It is possible that the 8 Ik 7 Yaxkin date represents the adoption of a secondary name by Lord Chaac (namely, 'Chac Zutz'), thus parallelling our tentative suggestion for Lord Hok's adoption of the 'T3' title some 5 1/2 years after his actual accession to power.

Evidence in favor of interpretation as two different individuals is as follows:

1. Since most texts in Palenque mention at least two rulers, the occurrence of Lord Chaac and Chac Zutz' together may have no significance.

2. The shared 'titles' may well be universal ones; the 'u-cab' seems to be one of these (Kelley [1962: 324 and fig. 4]).

3. The 8 Ix 7 Yaxkin date on the Tablet of the Slaves has a very clear 'accession/Chac Zutz' following it. If Lord Chaac and Chac Zutz' are the same person, the later 'accession' record would have to be explained.

4. The association of Lord Chaac and Chac Zutz' with the same woman is no proof that the two men are the same. Likewise the absence of a 'Lord Prefix' to Chac Zutz' does not necessarily mean that he was not a 'lord' in his own right.

5. Lord Chaac definitely has an 'age Distance Number/birth/accession' passage referring to him on the Temple 18 Jambs. The accession date is clearly 9 Ik 5 Kayab, but the birth date is 3 Lamat 6 Zac, not 7 Caban 15 Kayab.

Until other texts are found including information on the period from to or until the known texts are further understood, the question of Lord Chaac and Chac Zutz' as one or two different personages must remain unanswered.

It should also be noted that there are still several gaps in the history of Palenque as we have presented it. There is a short gap between and, in which we feel that Lord Hok's death occurred. A much larger gap occurs between c. and, the date of Lord Kuk's accession; the record is likewise blank after It is to be hoped that inscriptions will be found to fill these gaps.

In this paper we have given interpretations of several glyph groups. Our 'T713/757' compound and 'T700 var.' glyph group are continually linked to dates associated with Berlin's 'T644' glyph group for accession. All three compounds can be interpreted as 'accession' in the general sense of the word.

We agree with Berlins' identification of T74.184 as a 'Lord Prefix' and suggest the T1010a and b.184.74 is the 'head variant' of that prefix. The head variant occurs frequently and in every case seems to be directly interchangeable for the prefix.

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