K'an II

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K'an II
King of Caracol
Caracol glyph
Father King Yajaw Te' K'inich II
Mother Lady Batz' Ek'
Religion Maya religion

K'an II[pronunciation?] (born on April 18, 588, died on July 21, 658; Ruler V, Lord Stormwater Moon and Antenna Top II) was a Maya ruler of Caracol (in present day Belize). He reigned AD 618–658.


Birth and family[edit]

K'an was a younger son of the king Yajaw Te' K'inich II, and his mother was Lady Batz' Ek'. His half-brother was Knot Ajaw. His paternal grandfather was K'an I.[1]


In the view of the substantial expansion from the site core into the surrounding area during his reign, K'an II might be considered Caracol's most successful ruler.[2] The wealth underlying this expansion was widespread, as indicated by the quality of grave goods and architecture in the outlying districts; Caracol's system of roadways also expanded to accommodate the growing population.

Having taken his grandfather's name upon his accession to rulership, K'an often combined it with his childhood name (Sak B'aah Witzil [or Sak Witzil B'aah]) in order to distinguish his inscriptions from those of his ancestor. He was a successor of his half-brother.

The fact that his mother, Lady Batz' Ek', was the more junior wife caused K'an II to emphasize his royal legitimacy and his mother's importance in the text of Stela 3.

It is to K'an that we owe Altar 21's account of his father's reign, which saw a shift from the overlordship of Tikal to that of the Kaan ("Snake") kingdom, as well as the great Tikal reversal of AD 562. He records all of his father's major period endings, but he omits that of his half-brother.

Mentions of the Snake kingdom in K'an II's inscriptions include a reference to Sky Witness (possibly his death) in 572; an event performed under the auspices of Yuknoom Chan in 619; the accession of Tajoom Uk'ab' K'ahk' in 622; the receipt of a gift from Tajoom Uk'ab' K'ahk' in 627; the latter's death in 630; and two successful war events involving Yuknoom Head in 631 and 636.[3] It was probably toward the end of this timespan that the Snake kingdom became established in Calakmul.[4]

One of K'an II's most important monuments is the Naranjo Hieroglyphic Stairway.


He died on July 21, 658.


  1. ^ Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube
  2. ^ Martin and Grube 2000:91
  3. ^ Martin and Grube 2000:92, in press
  4. ^ Martin and Grube 2000:106