Link to enlarge Masculine head from Palenque Chiapas from photo by Michel Zabé WHO'S WHO IN THE CLASSIC MAYA WORLD
Peter Mathews
K'inich Kan B'alam II    King of Palenque (born AD 635, ruled AD 684-702)PAL 012

PAL:Temple of the Sun
Tablet of the Sun
Drawing by Linda Schele
With well over 20 known images, K'inich Kan B'alam II is one of the most portrayed individuals in the ancient Maya world. His distinctive profile, with a long face and nose and a rather pendulous lower lip, makes him immediately recognisable. Most of his portraits come from the Group of the Cross, the architectural masterpiece that he completed in AD 692, when he was over 56. Some of these portraits show him as a man in the prime of life, while others show him as a young boy, aged 6, upon his designation as heir (Karen Bassie 1991: 202-210, 218-219). He is also portrayed as a 6-year-old boy in the central piers of the Temple of the Inscriptions. Stela 1, set in front of the Temple of the Cross, almost certainly portrays K'inich Kan B'alam II on the k'atun-ending date, when he was at the height of his powers. He is also portrayed in the sanctuary tablets of Temple XIV and (probably) Temple XVII. Three stucco portraits of K'inich Kan B'alam II, found in Temple XIV, are masterpieces of Maya sculptural art. At least two portraits of K'inich Kan B'alam II clearly portray him with six fingers or toes: it is likely that he had a condition known as polydactyly.

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