King Chan-Bahlun (Bird-Jaguar) - Temple of the Foliated Cross, Palenque, 692 A.D.
This sculpture is a fragment of a larger scene that shows one of the ascension rituals of Chan-Bahlum to the throne of the city of Palenque. Chan-Bahlum is shown presenting the "Tialoc" , a symbol of ritual bloodletting to the foliated tree of life. On the other side of the tree is the deceased King Pacal, father of Chan-Bahlum transferring the powers of kingship to his son. This scene occurs in Xibalba, the Maya underworld. Chan-Bahlum and his father Pacal, were the most important kings of Palenque and their reign can be considered the golden period of Palenque during which the city became the most important religious and political center in the Yucatan. Pacal and Chan-Bahlum built all the important temples and buildings of the city. Chan-Bahlum was responsible for building the three temples of the Group of the Cross from which this religious relief originates. During their reign, art reached new realms of technical sophistication. The name Chan-Bahlum means "Snake-Jaguar". He was born in 635AD., ascended to the throne on 684AD, at the age of 48 and died in 702AD.
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