Chiapas - 2005
The Grand Plaza
Edifice XX
The front of Edifice XX, seen from the Grand Plaza in Yaxchilan

I do not recall a whole lot about Edifice XX (Roman numeral “20”).  We had to walk up a flight of steps to get to it.  I cannot recall how it felt either.

According to the INAH Plaque accompanying this plaza, the Mayans built Edifice XX on a large terrace where other major temples are located.  Edifice XX (“20”) corresponds to the last outstanding ruler, Shield Jaguar II (772-800 A.D.), as shown on the inscriptions.  It is also the last notable temple that the Mayans erected in Yaxchilan’s monumental core area.Edifice XX (“20”) retains almost all of its structural elements and part of the facade adornments.  Several sculptural monuments are associated with this temple: Lintels XII (“12”), XIII (“13”), and XIV (“14”), plus Hieroglyphic Stairway V (“5”).  Lintel XII (“12”) shows a scene from 1 of Shield Jaguar I’s conquests.  On Lintel XIII (“13”) is Shield Jaugar II’s parents, Lady Large Skull and Bird Jaguar IV, commemorating the ruler’s birth with a “Vision of the Snake” ceremony.  Lintel XIV (“14”) also portrays Shield Jaguar II’s parents in a ceremony of self-sacrifice connected to “the Vision of the Snake”.  Hieroglyphic Stairway V (“5”) recounts, among other events, Shield Jaguar II’s capture of 16 prisoners of war.

INAH’s hypothetical reconstruction of Edifice XX in the Grand Plaza at Yaxchilan