National Geographic : 1985 Oct
Chronicle of kings, a carved door lintel at Yaxchildn is examined with great eagerness by young Maya scholarDavid Stuart (below, at left) and the author. Discoveredtwo years ago by Mexican archaeologistRoberto GarciaMoll, the lintel names the first four of ten rulers thought to have reigned in Yaxchildn from the fourth through the early sixth centuriesA.D. The names of the fifth through the tenth members of the dynasty were inscribedon three previously discovered lintels. David, who began learningto readMaya glyphs when he was ten, realizedimmediately that GarciaMoll's discovery was the missingpiece. His rendering(right)is a valuable addition to recordedMaya monuments. The names are included in groupings of three or four glyphs, which read in pairs from top to bottom starting at the left. Precedingeach name glyph is one indicating the orderof succession, followed by the title glyph, Lord of the Seating, which is easily spotted by two crouchinglegs. The first ruler,at upper left, is known as ProgenitorJaguar,since a male sex organ tops the familiarjaguarsymbol. The second, whose name employs two glyphs, is Deity Jaguar. The third is Bird Jaguar, and the fourth is named Yax-Deer Antler-Skull. Many of the remaining glyphs are understood individually, but their combined meanings have yet to be decipheredin detail.