Link to enlarge Masculine head from Palenque Chiapas from photo by Michel Zabé WHO'S WHO IN THE CLASSIC MAYA WORLD
Peter Mathews
Wak Kimi Janab' Pakal III    The last known king of Palenque (ruled AD 799-?)PAL 018
The last known king of Palenque is known from a small blackware vessel found in an elite residential compound of Palenque, designated Group III by Alberto Ruz Lhuillier and Group C1 of the MurciƩlagos Group by Edwin Barnhart. This compound lies about 400 meters to the northeast of the Palace. The vessel is carved with a hieroglyphic text, which records the accession of Wak Kimi Janab' Pakal III in AD 799. Owing to the context of the find and the fact that no other reference to Wak Kimi Janab' Pakal III survives, there is some doubt as to whether he was in fact a ruler of Palenque. Generally, however, it has been assumed that he was the last known king of Palenque.

The fact that Wak Kimi Janab' Pakal III's name begins with the calendar name "6 Kimi" indicates ties with the rolling plains to the north of Palenque (we know also that the clay for the blackware vessel came from this region). For the other part of his name he adopted the most famous name in Palenque, "Janab' Pakal", echoing the name of Palenque's greatest king, K'inich Janab' Pakal I.

Archaeologically, Palenque in AD 799 was a city in trouble. No major building programs can be attributed to this time, and the population of the city was probably already in decline. The humble vessel (though beautifully and accurately carved) is the last known inscription from Palenque, and so Wak Kimi Janab' Pakal III is the last historical individual known from this great Classic Maya center.

Complete List of Text References

What's in a Name?

Portraits - None.

Buildings Commissioned - None known. It is quite unlikely that Wak Kimi Janab' Pakal III commissioned Group MC1, and he is not known to be associated with any of the buildings in the central precinct of Palenque.

Monuments Commissioned - None known, apart from the Initial Series Vase.



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