Early Classic Co-Rulers on Tikal Temple VI

Maya Decipherment

by Simon Martin, University of Pennsylvania Museum

The oversized inscription that runs down the back and sides of Tikal Temple VI—featuring the largest glyphs in the Maya world—presents many problems of interpretation, although most of them a simple consequence of its highly dilapidated condition (Figure 1). Three studies have established key details of its chronology and subject matter (Berlin 1951; Jones 1977:53-55; Stuart 2007a), but a number of problematic areas remain. Photographs and field drawings dating to 1965, now held in the Tikal Archive at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, offer an important resource for further investigation. I rely on these materials to examine a single extended passage that runs from C13-D19, a section that refers to a fascinating period in the dynastic governance of Tikal (Figure 2).(1)

Figure 1. Tikal Temple VI, back of roof comb (Photograph by Jorge Pérez de Lara) Figure 1. Tikal Temple VI, back of roof comb (Photograph by Jorge Pérez de Lara)

Figure 2. The 9.4.0.0.0 Period Ending, Tikal Temple VI (C13-D19): a) Photographs by Gordon Echols b) Drawing by William R. Coe. Figure 2. The 9.4.0.0.0 Period Ending, Tikal…

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