K'ak' Chan Yopaat

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K'ak' Chan Yopaat
Ajaw of copan
Copán Stela P.jpg
Stela P in Copan depicts K'ak' Chan Yopaat
Reign 578-628
Predecessor Tzi-B'alam
Successor Chan Imix K'awiil
Born 612
Copan
Died 5 February 628 (Aged 64 ?)
Copan

K'ak' Chan Yopaat was the eleventh dynastic ruler at Copán. He was crowned as king in AD 578, 24 days after the death of Tzi-B'alam. At the time of his rule Copán was undergoing an unprecedented rise in population, with residential land use spreading to all available land in the entire Copán Valley. The two surviving stelae of K'ak' Chan Yopaat contain long hard-to-decipher hieroglyphic texts and are the oldest monuments at the site to survive without being either broken or buried. He had a long reign, ruling at Copán for 49 years, and he died on 5 February 628. His name is recorded on four stelae erected by his successors, one of which describes a rite performed with relics from his tomb in AD 730, almost a hundred years after his death.[1]

Smoke Imix was crowned 16 days after the death of K'ak' Chan Yopaat. He is thought to have been the longest reigning king of Copán, ruling from 628 to 695. He is believed to have been born in AD 612 to have become king at the age of 15. Archaeologists have recovered little evidence of activity for the first 26 years of his reign but in AD 652 there was a sudden explosion of monument production, with two stelae being erected in the Great Plaza and a further four in important locations across the Copán Valley. These monuments all celebrated a k'atun-ending. He also erected a stela at the Santa Rita site 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) away and is mentioned on Altar L at Quiriguá in relation to the same event in 652. It is thought that he was trying to stamp his authority throughout the whole valley after the end of some earlier restriction to his freedom to rule as he wished.[2]

After this sudden spate of activity, Smoke Imix continued to rule until almost the end of the 7th century; he dedicated another 9 known monuments and made important changes to the architecture of Copán, including the construction of Structure 2 which closes the northern side of the Great Plaza and a new version of Temple 26, nicknamed Chorcha. Smoke Imix ruled Copán for 67 years and died on 15 June 695 at the age of 79, an age that was so distinguished that it is used to identify him in place of his name on Altar Q. His tomb had already been prepared in the Chorcha phase of Temple 26 and he was buried just 2 days after his death.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Martin & Grube 2000, pp.200–201.
  2. ^ Martin & Grube 2000, p.201.
  3. ^ Martin & Grube 2000, pp.202–203.

References[edit]

Martin, Simon; Nikolai Grube (2000). Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya. London and New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05103-8. OCLC 47358325.