|Kan B'alam I was born in AD 524. He was just over a year younger than Akul Mo' Nab' II, and almost certainly his brother. Following the death of Akul Mo' Nab' II in AD 570, there was an interregnum of almost two years until Kan B'alam I's accession. We do not know he reason for the delay in his coronation. A year and a half after his accession, Kan B'alam I celebrated the k'atun-ending date 188.8.131.52.0 (AD 572), and the East Tablet of the Temple of the Inscriptions records that he also celebrated the 5-tun-ending date in AD 578. He died in AD 583, aged 58, after a reign of almost 11 years.
Kan B'alam I is the earliest Palenque ruler to have the honorific prefix K'inich' incorporated in his name. Usually, however, he was refered to simply as "Kan B'alam". A portrait of Kan B'alam I is on the East Side of the Sarcophagus in the tomb below the Temple of the Inscriptions. He is also portrayed, almost certainly, on Pier E of the Temple of the Inscriptions, holding his great-great-grandson and namesake, the baby K'inich Kan B'alam II.
PAL: Temple of the Inscriptions,
Sarcophagus Lid Edge: 24b
Drawing by Merle Greene Robertson
(Greene Robertson 1983: Figure 170)