Anonymous: Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler (A.D. 785)


(Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, USA)

A carved relief made by an Mayan artist. This scene comes from the Usumacinta region in the state of Chiapas in Mexico and served as a wall panel inside a building or as a lintel over an entrance. The relief depicts the presentation of three captives to a local Mayan lord and takes place inside a throne room (you can see the curtains at the top of the relief). The sitting lord is a subsidiary lord of Yaxchilan king Shield Jaguar II, whose name is inscribed beneath the sitting lord. On the left side is a war captain with the title Ah K'in who is kneeling with one knee. This war captain is presenting three captives who are sitting in the lower right corner. to his lord. The text on the relief explains that 23 August 783, a lord with the title Baham-Ahau was captured by Ah Chac Max. Three days later a sacrificial bloodletting took place under the auspices of the sitting lord. The sitting lord is several years later depicted on another relief as a cahal, or underlord: the militairy achievements depicted here apparently served as a reason for promotion for the lord. Relief from around A.D. 785.

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