Yik'in Chan K'awiil

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Yik'in Chan K'awiil
Yik'in Chan K'awiil as depicted in a lintel from Tikal Temple IV.[1]
Residence Tikal
Other names Tikal Ruler B
Title King of Tikal
Spouse(s) Lady Yax Ahau Xoc
Parent(s) Jasaw Chan K'awiil I
Lady Twelve Macaw

Yik'in Chan K'awiil (name may be glossed as "K'awiil that Darkens the Sky"; fl. 734 – c. 766) was a Mayan ruler (ajaw) in the Late Classic period of the city-state polity centred at Tikal, a major pre-Columbian Maya site in the Petén Basin region (modern-day Guatemala).


Identified by Mayanist epigraphers as the 27th ruler in Tikal's dynastic succession,[2] Yik'in Chan K'awiil was one of Tikal's most successful and expansionary rulers, consolidating the political gains won by his father, Jasaw Chan K'awiil I. During his reign prolific building works were undertaken at Tikal, with a number of the site's significant still-standing structures commissioned or extended under his direction. Before advances in the decipherment of the Maya script revealed this reading of his name, this ruler was also known to researchers as Tikal Ruler B.[3]

Yik'in K'awiil conquered Calakmul in 736 and two other Calakmul allies in 743 and 744. El Peru to the east and Naranjo to the west destroying the noose of power that had previously dominated the area.

His principal wife was a princess of Lakamha; her personal name is unknown, but her formal title was Lady Yax Ahau Xoc. It is unknown exactly where his tomb lies, but strong archaeological parallels between Burial 116 (the resting place of his father) and Burial 196, located in the diminutive pyramid immediately south of Temple II and referred to as Str. 5D-73, suggest the latter may be the tomb of Yik’in Chan Kawiil.[4] Other possible locations, and likely candidates as mortuary shrines, include Temples IV and VI.


  1. ^ Sharer & Traxler 2006, p. 401.
  2. ^ Sharer and Traxler (2006, p. 313). Tikal Stela 5 records his lineage statement, as the 28th successor from the founder [of Tikal's dynastic line].
  3. ^ Valdes, Juan Antonio (Feb 2001). "Tikals Dynastic Rulers". 
  4. ^ Sharer and Traxler (2006, pp.304–305)


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.  Invalid |name-list-format=scap (help)
Sharer, Robert J.; Loa P. Traxler (2006). The Ancient Maya (6th, fully revised ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4816-0. OCLC 28067148.  Invalid |name-list-format=scap (help)