Late Classic III
Late Classic III
Palenque, Copan, and Quirigua
in northern Belize, near
Occupied since Early Preclassic, but
most visible remains from Classic
when population about 3,000.
Relatively small site, but great wealth.
Temple of Green Tomb
Temple of the Masonry Altars
Palace site – elite family from larger
Glyphs: connection with Naranjo.
Detail, stucco frieze
edge of Maya region
History through stucco panels – no
Glyphs plus images.
Distinctive style of architecture.
Dynasty at Palenque
ruler: Bahlum-Kuk I
7 rulers were men, either father –
son or brother-brother succession.
8th ruler: Lady Kanal-Ikal.
Father, Chan-Bahlum I had no sons.
Dynasty at Palenque
Kanal-Ikal had 2 sons, Ac-Kan and
Ac-Kan became ahau but had no
Pacal I never became ahau, but had one
daughter, Lady Zac-Kuk.
Lady Zac-Kuk, mother of Pacal the
Great, became ahau after Ac-Kan.
Pacal at Palenque
the Great major ruler at
Ruled from A.D. 615-683.
Born A.D. 603, so became ahau at 12.
Temple of Inscriptions: Pacal’s
Palenque Temple of the Inscriptions
Temple of the Inscriptions
Chan Bahlum II at Palenque
Pacal’s Tomb and
Palace at Palenque
Figures on Palace, stucco
his father, Pacal, to the
throne 132 days after Pacal’s death.
He finished the Temple of the
Inscriptions, his father’s tomb, and
also embarked on massive building
projects of his own.
Hieroglyphic Stairs, Palace, Palenque
Group of the Cross
Bahlum built a group of 3
Temples of the Cross, Foliated
Cross, and Sun.
Arrangement recalls triadic forms from
Group of the Cross, Palenque
Temple of the Cross
Temple of the Sun
Temple of the Sun
Temple of the Sun, central tablet
Group of the Cross Text
temple has lengthy text.
Cross: text refers to the First Mother,
initiating creation in 3114 B.C.
He (and Pacal) made direct
connections between First Mother and
the women in their dynasty.
Chan Bahlum II to Kan Xul II
Bahlum became ahau at age 48
(A.D. 684) but died at age 66 in A.D.
His brother, Kan Xul II, succeeded him
Kan Xul added to palace (tower).
Xul needed captives to dedicate the
Led raid on Tonina in A.D. 711.
Captured in raid and held there for more
than 10 years.
Next ahau at Palenque succeeded in A.D.
722, but power in decline by that time.
Last recorded accession: A.D. 799, 6 Cimi
event: capture of Kan Xul in 711.
Monuments at Tonina carved in 3-D style,
similar to Quirigua, but unlike most that
were in 2-D.
Only monument at Tonina in 2-D was
the one about Kan Xul’s capture, carved
in Palenque’s flat style.
near Rio Copan, surrounded
Began in Early Preclassic period.
Population increased through Middle
Preclassic, declined, then increased
again in Early Classic.
Late Classic population: 18 -25,000.
Yax Kuk Mo’ Begins a Dynasty
ruler, Yax Kuk Mo’, began major
Later rulers continued
One early building: Rosalila, built by
Moon Jaguar, A.D. 571, preserved
Rosalila stucco figure
Smoke Imix at Copan
from A.D. 628-695.
Influence extended far into region;
Stelae and monuments throughout
region mark territory ruled by Copan.
Rosalila Sun God figure
18 Rabbit at Copan
Smoke Imix in A.D. 695.
Massive architectural program at
References to witz mountain.
Innovation: carved stone with added
plaster - - more dramatic 3-D effect.
Erected many stelae on great plaza.
Stela A –
Stela B and
Stela C –
Copan and Quirigua
closely for long period of time.
center, north of Copan.
Strategic resources: jade, obsidian, and
river access for trade.
Founded by elite lineage from Tikal in
Early Classic, but under Copan’s control
from about A.D. 493 to A.D. 725.
Copan ballcourt and plaza
Cauac Sky at Quirigua
A.D. 725, 18 Rabbit permitted
Cauac Sky to become ahau at
Cauac Sky adopted his own emblem
glyph and pursued an aggressive
building campaign, especially in
Left: Stela E
Right: Stela C
Quirigua after Cauac Sky
Sky Xul and Jade Sky,
constructed enormous carved
boulders, placed near the ballcourt.
Known as Zoomorphs B and P.
Copan after 18 Rabbit
Monkey succeeded 18 Rabbit
time in monument and architecture
Council system now in full use
9 elite lineages represented.
Smoke Shell succeeded Smoke Monkey
and added to the hieroglyphic stairway
begun by 18 Rabbit.
Smoke Shell at Copan
Yax Pac’s architecture
hard to capture faded glory of
Married noblewoman from Palneque,
establishing an alliance.
Son: Yax Pac, last ruler of Copan.
Massive building program of Yax Pac.
tallest at Copan; Altar Q
placed directly in front of stairs.
May have been bench from which he
Memorializes 15 previous ahaus - and 15 jaguars sacrificed at
Yax Pac’s Temple and Altar Q
Altar Q North
Altar Q East
Altar Q South
Altar Q West
Altar Q – Kinich Yax Kuk Mo passes scepter to Yax Pac
Yax Pac’s Ruling Council
Pac ruled with elite council.
residences also had benches for doing
Also had portraits and sculptures of elite
– reproduced veneration of ahau in
Yax Pac’s brothers governed territories
under Copan’s control.
Yax Pac’s Reign Ends
U Cit Tok and the end at Copan
Pac celebrated the katun ending
in A.D. 810 at Quirigua with their last
ruler, Jade Sky - - not at home.
Possibly a refugee from Copan.
Tomb never found at Copan.
Cit Tok attempted to establish
kingship but seems to have failed
Monument: Altar L intended to
replicate Altar Q, but never finished.
Partly finished side showed U Cit
Tok taking scepter from Yax Pac;
three sides blank.
End at Quirigua coincides
recorded date at Quirigua A.D.
810, in the monument
commemorating Jade Sky and Yax
Pac’s katun ending celebration.
People lived at Quirigua until about
A.D. 900, but no classic-style
monuments or buildings constructed.