JUNE 17, 404


Also known as “Curl Snout,” his name actually meant “First Crocodile.” Son of Spearthrower Owl, a lord of Teotihuacan in central Mexico, his installation on the Tikal throne, on September 12, 379, marked a high point of Teotihuacan influence in the central Maya lowlands. In his early years as Ajaw, it seems that one of his father’s generals, Sihyaj K’ahk’, served as regent. Sihyaj K’ahk’ entered Tikal on May 15, 378–the date of death of the previous Tikal ruler, Chak Tok Ich’aak I. Hence, Yax Nuun Ayiin was likely installed by conquest. Two monuments at Tikal, Stelas 4 and 18, are associated with Yax Nuun Ahiin I.  He is depicted as a Teotihuacano warrior. His wife may have been a Mayan woman. His tomb, known as “Burial 10,” is one of the most complete Mayan burials yet found. His body, placed on a wooden bier, is surrounded by at least 9 sacrificed youths. A headless crocodile was also interred with him and among the chamber offerings is a jade ornament in the form of a curl-snouted crocodile.

Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube, Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya (2nd ed.) (Thames & Hudson, London & New York: 2008).
James L. Fitzsimmons, Death and the Classic Maya Kings, (University of Texas Press: 2010).  Retrieved 5/17/2020, https://books.google.com/books?id=eXMSu_g2Ae0C&pg=PA93#v=onepage&q&f=false
Image:  H. Grobe, 1980.  Permissive Use. 

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