Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat
|Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat|
|'kʼul ahaw (holy lord) of Quiriguá|
Stela D, north side, from Quiriguá, representing king Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat.
|Reign||724 – 785|
Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat,[pronunciation?] previously known variously as Cauac Sky, Kawak Sky, Butsʼ Tiliw[pronunciation?] and Butzʼ Tiʼliw, was the greatest leader of the ancient Maya city-state of Quiriguá.
Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat ruled the city from 724 to 785 AD. The most significant event of his reign—and of Quiriguá's history—occurred in AD 738 (126.96.36.199.6 on the Mayan calendar), when his forces defeated the city of Copán. The ruler of Copán, Uaxaclajuun Ubʼaah Kʼawiil (formerly known as "18 Rabbit") was captured and later beheaded.
Before Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat's bold move, Quiriguá had been a vassal of Copán. The defeat of Copán led to its decline but heralded a golden age for its former dependent. For the next 38 years, stonecutters of Quiriguá created zoomorphs and stelae celebrating their legendary king. Quiriguá became a fully autonomous city which controlled the main trade route from the Caribbean to the Maya world. Meanwhile, this incident was followed by a 20-year hiatus in inscriptions at Copán, as well as the disappearance of any further mention of 18 Rabbit.
Current evidence leads to the conclusion that Kʼakʼ Tiliw Chan Yopaat died in 785 AD. There remains a stone at Quiriguá, now identified as Zoomorph G, which seems to have served as his funeral marker.
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