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Teotihuacan Lineage at Tikal Studied
Mural in Teotihuacan with bird. Photo: DMC. INAH/H. Montano.
MEXICO CITY.- Iconographic studies of Teotihuacan murals confirm the extension of the lineage of a ruler of the ancient city of Tikal, Guatemala, already revealed by epigraphists of the Maya area.

The aforementioned investigation sums up to interpretations of Stele 31 of Tikal that relate to the dynastic line of Atlatl-Cauac (“Dart-thrower Owl”), possible ruler of Teotihuacan between 374 and 439 AD, and whose son, Yax Nuun Ayiin I, was seignior of Tikal. The emblem of this lineage would be represented by the image of a bird with a shield, observed in Teotihuacan murals, declared Dr. Raul Garcia Chavez, researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

There would be a relation between the register at Tikal and other Maya sites of late 4th century, which refers to the son of Atlatl-Cauac, Yax Nuun Ayiin I, as ruler of Tikal between 379 and 404 AD, commented the researcher during his participation at the 6th Academic Conference of Archaeology at Templo Mayor Museum.

The archaeologist from Estado de Mexico INAH Center, remarked that a series of enthroned figures with eye rings and headdress began appearing at iconographic register of Teotihuacan from 370 of the Common Era, possibly symbolizing the supreme ruler of the Central High Plateau city.

Iconography apparently indicates that the Teotihuacan ruler “was part of a clan whose emblem was an owl with a shield crossed by a hand taking up a dart or the dart-thrower. Sometimes it was represented with a cotton tassel headdress and the eye rings; others, without eye rings but enthroned”, explained the specialist.

“Evidence (at Teotihuacan) is fragmented. Some representations at the murals, among them a green-feathered bird with a dart-thrower (atlatl) and a shield, could refer to this character “Dart-thrower Owl” or maybe to his representation as a mythic element”.

“This representation has been found in many examples of Teotihuacan mural painting. Nevertheless, most paintings are fragmented so iconographic discourse is incomprehensible”.

Archaeologist Jorge Angulo Villaseñor, from INAH Direction of Archaeological Studies, commented that it is hard to believe that arrival of Teotihuacan people to Tikal and other Maya cities like Copan and Kamilnaljuyu, also in Guatemala, derived from a military conquest, since troop supply seems like an enormous effort, so it is feasible that there were political alliances.

“In Teotihuacan there is a fragmented iconographic system that given the formal similarities makes sense. Numerous representations found in the Central High Plateau are evidence of a representation-communication system with a specific purpose, maybe veneration and exaltation of a group of persons, in this case, the supreme ruler of Teotihuacan, Atlatl-Cauac and his genealogy”, concluded Dr. Garcia.

Mexico | Teotihuacan Murals | Tikal | National Institute of Anthropology and History |




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