The "Snake" Kingdom from the Vantage of Western Belize

Author(s): Marc Zender; Jaime Awe; Simon Martin

Year: 2016


Recent years have seen the evidence from Western Belizean sites—especially Buenavista, Cahal Pech, Caracol, Cuychen, and Xunantunich—beginning to contribute substantially to scholarly understandings of the hegemonic networks underlying Classic Maya politics. Particularly illuminating are a series of seventh-century monuments commissioned by Caracol's king K'an II, which chronicle his polity's shifting fortunes as a client kingdom. While his own father was placed on the throne of Caracol by Wak Chan K'awiil of Tikal in 553 C.E., K'an II reports the dissolution of that relationship in the wake of the Snake kingdom's military defeat of Tikal in 562, as well as his own accession under the supervision of the Snake king Yuhknoom Ti' Chan in 619. Two kings of nearby Naranjo were also placed on their thrones by Snake kings, in 546 and again in 693. Recent discoveries at Buenavista reveal it to have been the victim of warfare in 696 and 726 at the hands of the second of these Snake kingdom clients: K'ahk' Tiliw Chan Chahk. These discoveries join earlier evidence suggesting an invasively hegemonic Snake kingdom presence in the Eastern Petén and Western Belize during much of the sixth through eighth centuries.

Cite this Record

The "Snake" Kingdom from the Vantage of Western Belize. Marc Zender, Jaime Awe, Simon Martin. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404268)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;