Dos Pilas

What is Dos Pilas known for?


760

civilization in the northern lowlands, begun at La Passion states such as Dos Pilas, Aguateca, Ceibal (Seibal) and Cancuen ca 760 CE, followed by the Usumacinta system cities of Yaxchilan, Piedras Negras (Piedras Negras (Maya site)), and Palenque, following a south to north path. Toward the end of the late Classic period, the Maya stopped recording the years using the Long Count calendar, and many of their cities were burned and abandoned to the jungle. Meanwhile

civilization in the northern lowlands, begun at La Passion states such as Dos Pilas, Aguateca, Ceibal (Seibal) and Cancuen ca 760 CE, followed by the Usumacinta system cities of Yaxchilan, Piedras Negras (Piedras Negras (Maya site)), and Palenque, following a south to north path. Toward the end of the late Classic period, the Maya stopped recording the years using the Long Count calendar, and many of their cities were burned and abandoned to the jungle. Meanwhile

civilization in the northern lowlands, begun at La Passion states such as Dos Pilas, Aguateca, Ceibal (Seibal) and Cancuen ca 760 CE, followed by the Usumacinta system cities of Yaxchilan, Piedras Negras (Piedras Negras (Maya site)), and Palenque, following a south to north path. Toward the end of the late Classic period, the Maya stopped recording the years using the Long Count calendar, and many of their cities were burned and abandoned to the jungle. Meanwhile


de amp

was originally a stela at Arroyo de Piedra, it was moved and re-erected here after Dos Pilas conquered its neighbour. *'''LD-25''' is a temple pyramid built by K'awiil Chan K'inich. Hieroglyphic Stairway 3 is located 120 meters south of the southeast corner of the plaza, it is a part of this structure and describes some of this king's victories in AD 743 and 745. ref

;Brady605" There are five major caves; Cueva de El Duende, Cueva de Río El Duende, Cueva de Río Murciélagos, Cueva de Sangre and Cueva de Kaxon Pec. Brady 1997, p. 610. Only these major caves were excavated and the offerings recovered from these caves included a sizeable amount of Preclassic (Mesoamerican chronology) pottery. ref name "Brady610" >

of the Cueva de Sangre (Cave of Blood) and possibly the western entrance of the Cueva de Río El Duende, suggesting that the caves were enormously important. Brady 1997, p. 609. The '''Cueva de Sangre''' (Cave of Blood) is located about 2 km east of the El Duende group, it has more than 3 km of tunnel running underneath a small hill. The cave has four entrances, two of which had been blocked with rubble


series ancient

of the American Anthropological Association location Oxford Arlington, VA accessdate 2008-12-19 :


strong leadership

It was founded in an area with little previous occupation at a distance of only 4 km from the pre-existing settlement at Arroyo de Piedra. The general preservation of the site is poor due to the desperate stripping of stone from the principal buildings in order to build defensive walls immediately prior to the complete abandonment of the site. Drew 1999, p. 283 Hieroglyphic inscriptions at the site have been identified as belonging to the Ch'olan Maya language (Classic Maya language). Sharer & Traxler 2006, p.130. The site is laid out around three monumental complexes aligned upon an east-west axis, in a form that is reminiscent of the Preclassic layouts at El Mirador and Nakbe in the far north of Petén. The Main Group is the westernmost of the monumental complexes, while the El Duende group is the easternmost. A series of concentric rubble walls were built immediately before the city's abandonment, surrounding the Main Group and the El Duende Group. These hastily-built fortifications were topped with a wooden palisade. Main Group The Main Group was laid out around a central plaza by B'alaj Chan K'awiil. Stelae (Maya stelae) 1 and 2 are located in the centre of the plaza. Stela 1 depicts an elaborately attired Itzamnaaj K'awiil and dates to AD 706. It records the defeat of a Tikal lord and contains the last known reference to that city so far recovered from inscriptions at Dos Pilas. Stela 2 is badly damaged and depicts the defeat of Yich'aak B'alam of Seibal by "Master of Sun Jaguar". The plaza is enclosed on all four sides by structures; at least two of the surrounding structures were accessed via hieroglyphic stairways. South of the main plaza are a series of smaller elevated plazas with more restricted access, bordered by multi-roomed buildings. A further two hieroglyphic stairways have been found in this area. *'''L4-35''' is a structure located on the west side of the plaza. At its base is Hieroglyphic Stairway 1, which records events during the life of Itzamnaaj K'awiil. Kelly 1996, pp. 162–163. thumb right 200px Stela 5, Detail showing a Jaguar Skin. (File:DospilasSt5.jpg) *'''LD-49''' (also referred to as L5-49) is a large pyramid to the south of the plaza and is topped by three temple sanctuaries. Fahsen 2002 The pyramid is the largest structure in the site core and rises about 20 meters over the plaza. This pyramid's main stairway (known as Hieroglyphic Stairway 2) contains at least eighteen hieroglyphic steps, describing the arrival and life of B'alaj Chan K'awiil. The discovery of eight new hieroglyphic steps in 2001–2002 and their interpretation lead to a complete reevaluation of the early history of the site, throwing light upon the wider Maya politics involved with the break from Tikal, formerly seen as an internal affair. The steps currently ''in situ'' are replicas put in place after looters stole a section of Step 6 containing four glyphs in January 2003. The original steps were removed to a secure location. Flanking the stairway at the east and west ends are Panel 6 and Panel 7, both bearing hieroglyphic inscriptions. Kelly 1996, p. 163. The well-preserved Panel 10 is located part of the way up the east side of the pyramid. Panel 10 was originally a stela at Arroyo de Piedra, it was moved and re-erected here after Dos Pilas conquered its neighbour. *'''LD-25''' is a temple pyramid built by K'awiil Chan K'inich. Hieroglyphic Stairway 3 is located 120 meters south of the southeast corner of the plaza, it is a part of this structure and describes some of this king's victories in AD 743 and 745. *Structure '''L5-1''' is a ruined building on the east side of the plaza containing a vaulted crypt 9 meters beneath its summit. Inside were found the remains of an individual wearing a heavy jade collar and wristlets accompanied by offerings of fine painted ceramics and almost 400 pieces of shell mosaic that once formed a headdress. Due to the nearby Stela 8, positioned in front of this structure and containing a text relating the life, death and burial of king Itzamnaaj K'awiil, the tomb is presumed to be that of this king. Martin & Grube 2000, p. 59. *The '''palace''' of B'alaj Chan K’awiil was torn down by the last inhabitants of Dos Pilas in order to build defensive walls immediately prior to the abandonment of the city. It lies about 100 meters south of the plaza, behind Structure LD-49. Martin & Grube 2000, p. 54. Hieroglyphic Stairway 4 is located on the east side of the destroyed palace and was discovered when the defensive wall that crosses it was being excavated. Hieroglyphic Stairway 4 details the history of B'alaj Chan K’awiil and the founding of the Dos Pilas dynasty. Kelly 1996, p. 164. *A ''' Mesoamerican ballcourt ball


series location

of the American Anthropological Association location Oxford Arlington, VA accessdate 2008-12-19 :


association location

of the American Anthropological Association location Oxford Arlington, VA accessdate 2008-12-19 : :


interpretation+lead

Stairway 2) contains at least eighteen hieroglyphic steps, describing the arrival and life of B'alaj Chan K'awiil. The discovery of eight new hieroglyphic steps in 2001–2002 and their interpretation lead to a complete reevaluation of the early history of the site, throwing light upon the wider Maya politics involved with the break from Tikal, formerly seen as an internal affair. The steps currently ''in situ'' are replicas put in place after looters stole a section of Step 6 containing four glyphs in January 2003. The original steps were removed to a secure location. Flanking the stairway at the east and west ends are Panel 6 and Panel 7, both bearing hieroglyphic inscriptions. Kelly 1996, p. 163. The well-preserved Panel 10 is located part of the way up the east side of the pyramid. Panel 10 was originally a stela at Arroyo de Piedra, it was moved and re-erected here after Dos Pilas conquered its neighbour. *'''LD-25''' is a temple pyramid built by K'awiil Chan K'inich. Hieroglyphic Stairway 3 is located 120 meters south of the southeast corner of the plaza, it is a part of this structure and describes some of this king's victories in AD 743 and 745. *Structure '''L5-1''' is a ruined building on the east side of the plaza containing a vaulted crypt 9 meters beneath its summit. Inside were found the remains of an individual wearing a heavy jade collar and wristlets accompanied by offerings of fine painted ceramics and almost 400 pieces of shell mosaic that once formed a headdress. Due to the nearby Stela 8, positioned in front of this structure and containing a text relating the life, death and burial of king Itzamnaaj K'awiil, the tomb is presumed to be that of this king. Martin & Grube 2000, p. 59. *The '''palace''' of B'alaj Chan K’awiil was torn down by the last inhabitants of Dos Pilas in order to build defensive walls immediately prior to the abandonment of the city. It lies about 100 meters south of the plaza, behind Structure LD-49. Martin & Grube 2000, p. 54. Hieroglyphic Stairway 4 is located on the east side of the destroyed palace and was discovered when the defensive wall that crosses it was being excavated. Hieroglyphic Stairway 4 details the history of B'alaj Chan K’awiil and the founding of the Dos Pilas dynasty. Kelly 1996, p. 164. *A '''ball court (Mesoamerican ballcourt)''' lies at the northeast corner of the plaza. The structures forming its sides are designated as L4-16 and L4-17. These structures bear the heavily eroded Panel 11 and Panel 12, both of which show a standing lord wielding a spear. El Duende group The El Duende group lies about 1 km to the east of the site core. Kelly 1996, p. 162. This group was built by Itzamnaaj K'awiil after his victory over Tikal in 705. Sharer & Traxler 2006, pp. 405-406. El Duende is the largest pyramid in the city, built by enlarging and terracing a natural hill some way from the site core, giving the impression of a single massive structure. The terraces supported five stelae and altar pairs, Coe 1999, p. 209. commissioned by Itzamnaaj K'awiil in the early 8th century AD. During excavations in 1991, a sinkhole near the western limit of the El Duende complex discovered a 1.5 km long cave that passes directly under the temple, which was named ''Cueva de Río El Duende'' (River Cave of El Duende) by archaeologists. Within the cave were found abundant artifacts and human bones. Brady 1997, p. 605. Smaller buildings flank the main platform. The Bat Palace The Bat Palace (also known as the Murciélagos Group, from ''murciélago'', Spanish for "bat") lies half way between the site core and the El Duende group, being 0.5 km to the east of the main plaza and 0.5 km to the west of the El Duende pyramid. The Bat Palace was the political centre of Dos Pilas from AD 725 until the city was abandoned in AD 761. Excavations of the Bat Palace revealed that it was an exclusive, closed elite compound with ritual significance, with a cave entrance emerging within the palace and being marked by a shrine with offerings over the buried entrance. The Bat Palace is believed to have been the most important elite area of Dos Pilas during the reigns of the last two rulers of the city. The entrance to the palace complex was flanked by two small temples built of masonry, leading to two courtyards. The courtyards were enclosed by masonry buildings with perishable roofs. A smashed royal throne was found in the Bat Palace, evidence of the violent conquest of the city in the Late Classic. Monuments '''Stela 8''' was raised in front of Structure L5-1. Its text describes the principal events of king Itzamnaaj K'awiil's life, and mentions his death and burial in AD 726. Caves thumb right Cave entrance near El Duende (File:Dos Pilas 1006.JPG) During excavations, a total of 22 caves were located in the immediate vicinity of the Dos Pilas, totaling over 11 km in length. There are five major caves; Cueva de El Duende, Cueva de Río El Duende, Cueva de Río Murciélagos, Cueva de Sangre and Cueva de Kaxon Pec. Brady 1997, p. 610. Only these major caves were excavated and the offerings recovered from these caves included a sizeable amount of Preclassic (Mesoamerican chronology) pottery. Brady 1997, pp. 604–605. The strong Preclassic traces found in the caves would imply that the caves were important long before the warlike Dos Pilas state was founded in the Late Classic. All the major architecture at Dos Pilas dates from the Late Classic and is aligned with important cave systems, showing that the builders of the city incorporated a thousand-year old sacred landscape into the design of their city. On the hill forming the base of the El Duende group were erected several stelae containing toponym glyphs. One of these glyphs refers to water and the cave contains an underground lake directly underneath the hill, making it likely that the toponym is referring to this particular body of water. The fact that the El Duende group were originally named after this subterranean water source demonstrates how important this cave was to the ancient inhabitants of Dos Pilas. The entrance to the '''Cave of Bats''' (Cueva de Río Murciélagos) lies 75 meters to the northwest of the Bat Palace. Although relatively dry in the dry season, after rainfall water can pour out through the cave mouth at a rate of 8m³ second, creating enough noise to be heard in the main plaza 500 meters away. Brady 1997, p. 606. Although the seasonal flow of water has washed away almost all archaeological remains from the cave, archaeologists consider that the Cave of Bats was of ceremonial importance to the inhabitants of Dos Pilas due to the dramatic torrent that flows through it in the wet season. Investigation of the various caves at Dos Pilas revealed that all of the larger caves were part of a single drainage system and that the Cave of Bats is the drainage outlet for the system, this cave therefore being connected to the Cueva de Río El Duende. A continuation of the Cave of Bats was found to emerge inside the Bat Palace, where it was marked by a shrine. A plaza group directly overlies the principal chamber of the '''Cueva de El Duende''' (not to be confused with the similarly named Cueva de Río El Duende), which lies just southwest of the El Duende pyramid. A 2 meter deep midden was discovered in this cave showing heavy use during the Preclassic and Classic periods. A ceramic vessel bearing the earliest dynastic text yet recovered from Dos Pilas was found in this midden. Brady 1997, p. 608. A thick cap of sterile yellow clay covers much of the floor of the main chamber, it appears to have been deliberately deposited in order to cover the entrance to the cave's longest tunnel, which passes underneath the El Duende pyramid and connects with the Cueva de Río El Duende. In the entrance of the cave were found large quantities of rubble, much of it consisting of finely dressed stone that had been stripped from nearby buildings and used to block the cave entrance. Brady 1997, pp. 608–9. James E. Brady believes that the blocking of this sacred cave was a part of a termination ritual carried out by the conquerors of Dos Pilas, who also blocked the entrances of the Cueva de Sangre (Cave of Blood) and possibly the western entrance of the Cueva de Río El Duende, suggesting that the caves were enormously important. Brady 1997, p. 609. The '''Cueva de Sangre''' (Cave of Blood) is located about 2 km east of the El Duende group, it has more than 3 km of tunnel running underneath a small hill. The cave has four entrances, two of which had been blocked with rubble as at Cueva de El Duende. The west entrance appears to have been the principal entrance used by the ancient inhabitants of Dos Pilas. A small building was built above this entrance, the function of this building must have been linked to the use of the cave itself. A stone wall enclosed both the cave entrance and the building itself. Preclassic ceramic fragments were found inside the Cueva de Sangre. See also *List of Mesoamerican pyramids Notes


682

, p. 58. Balaj Chan K'awiil had a famous daughter with a second wife, this daughter was Lady Six Sky who was despatched to Naranjo to refound its obliterated dynasty. Sharer & Traxler 2006, pp.387, 389. Balaj Chan K'awiil is known to have made several further visits to Calakmul; in 682 he celebrated a period ending ceremony there under Yuknoom the Great and in 686 he attended the enthroning of his successor, Yuknoom Yich'aak K'ak'. ref name "

as (Ix) Wak Chanil Ajaw, aka "(Lady) Six Sky"—arrived in Naranjo in the year 682, to establish (or re-establish) a regal dynastic line at Naranjo. Wak Chanil is presumed to be the mother of the next-recorded Naranjo ruler, K'ak' Tiliw Chan Chaak who acceded in 693, although no known inscription explicitly establishes this relationship. Given that K'ak' Tiliw Chan Chaak was five years old when he acceded, it is most likely that his mother Lady Six Sky was ''de facto'' ruler


monumental

stripping of stone from the principal buildings in order to build defensive walls immediately prior to the complete abandonment of the site. Drew 1999, p. 283 Hieroglyphic inscriptions at the site have been identified as belonging to the Ch'olan Maya language (Classic Maya language). Sharer & Traxler 2006, p.130. The site is laid out around three monumental complexes aligned upon

an east-west axis, in a form that is reminiscent of the Preclassic layouts at El Mirador and Nakbe in the far north of Petén. The Main Group is the westernmost of the monumental complexes, while the El Duende group is the easternmost. A series of concentric rubble walls were built immediately before the city's abandonment, surrounding the Main Group and the El Duende Group. ref name "

is lost due to the catastrophic defeat of the polity in AD 735 by the nearby Petexbatun kingdom with its capital at Dos Pilas, resulting in the destruction of its earlier sculpted monuments (Monumental sculpture). Schele & Mathews 1999, p. 177. Seibal was reduced to being a vassal state until the destruction of the Petexbatun kingdom in the late 8th century AD. Sharer & Traxler 2006, p. 520. In AD 830 a new elite installed itself


698

Dos Pilas latd 16 latm 26.75 latNS N longd 90 longm 17.75 longEW W leader1 B'alaj Chan K'awiil leader2 Itzamnaaj K'awiil leader3 Ucha'an K'in B'alam leader4 K'awiil Chan K'inich year_leader1 648–692 year_leader2 698–726 year_leader3 727–741 year_leader4 741–761 '''Dos Pilas''' is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization located in what is now

B'alam ''c''. 695 Shield Jaguar - Itzamnaaj K'awiil 24 March 698 – 22 October 726 Ruler 2, Shield God K - Ucha'an K'in B'alam 6 January 727 – 28 May 741 Master of Sun Jaguar, Ruler 3, Scroll-head God K, Spangle-head, Jewelled Head - K'awiil Chan K'inich 23 June 741 – 761 Ruler 4, God K Sky, Mahk'ina B'alaj Chan K'awiil (Ruler 1) (c. 648–692+ ) was born on 15 October AD 625. ref name "SKM

;ref name "MartinGrube" ) had a short reign. He was the son of B'alaj Chan K'awiil and his wife from Itzan. Martin & Grube 2000, p. 58. Itzamnaaj K'awiil (Ruler 2) (698–726 ), another son of B'alaj Chan Kawiil, was born in AD 673, probably in Calakmul during his family's exile after Dos Pilas was defeated by Tikal. His birth abroad seems to have been cause for embarrassment

Dos Pilas

--- thumb right 350px The Central Plaza of Dos Pilas. (File:Dos Pilas 1.jpg) native_name Dos Pilas common_name Dos Pilas continent North America region Central America country Guatemala era Late Classic status City government_type Monarchy year_start 629 year_end 761 event_end Site abandoned year_exile_start 672 year_exile_end 677 event1 Conquered by Calakmul date_event1 648 event2 Subjugated Seibal date_event2 735 capital Dos Pilas latd 16 latm 26.75 latNS N longd 90 longm 17.75 longEW W leader1 B'alaj Chan K'awiil leader2 Itzamnaaj K'awiil leader3 Ucha'an K'in B'alam leader4 K'awiil Chan K'inich year_leader1 648–692 year_leader2 698–726 year_leader3 727–741 year_leader4 741–761 '''Dos Pilas''' is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization located in what is now the department (Departments of Guatemala) of Petén (Petén Department), Guatemala. It dates to the Late Classic Period (Mesoamerican chronology), being founded by an offshoot of the dynasty of the great city of Tikal in AD 629 in order to control trade routes (Trade in Maya civilization) in the Petexbatún region, particularly the Pasión River. Salisbury, Koumenalis & Barbara Moffett 2002. In AD 648 Dos Pilas broke away from Tikal and became a vassal state of Calakmul, although the first two kings of Dos Pilas continued to use the same emblem glyph (Maya script#Emblem glyphs) that Tikal did. Webster 2002, p. 263. It was a predator state from the beginning, conquering Itzan, Arroyo de Piedra and Tamarindito. Dos Pilas and a nearby city, Aguateca, eventually became the twin capitals of a single ruling dynasty. The kingdom as a whole has been named as the Petexbatun Kingdom, after Lake Petexbatún, a body of water draining into the Pasión River.

Dos Pilas gives an important glimpse into the great rivalries and political strife that characterised the Late Classic. Much of the history of Dos Pilas can now be reconstructed, with a level of detail which is almost unparalleled in the Maya area. Martin & Grube 2000, p. 55.

On June 12, 1970, the site was declared a National Monument according to Article 1210 of the Guatemalan Ministry of Education.

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