The Rise and Fall of a Maya Bannerman

AUGUST 12, 2021

June 24, 726 CE, Ajpach ‘Waal met with the great 18 Rabbit at Copan in Honduras. Ajpach ‘Wall was from El Palmar 200 miles away over rugged terrain, a month on foot away. The meeting was memorialized on a monument at Copan and on a monument at El Palmar. Ajpach ‘Waal’s title was “Bannerman.” He may be buried near the monument. The monument was constructed on September 14 CE. There is a staircase with 164 limestone block glyphs, unusual for a site so small. The ruler of Calakmul is depicted, belonging to the Snake dynasty. Ajpak ‘Waal went to Copan on behalf of the king of Calakmul, perhaps to broker an alliance against Tikal.

Ajpjk ‘Waal was a royal diplomat or Lakam. The possible burial site of Ajpach was very modest. The bones found indicate the life of a man who had malnutrition and possibly scurvy. He had shin injuries possibly related to playing the ball game, and ballplayers are depicted in the glyphs. He had severe arthritis like a Lakam you have hiking long distances over rugged terrain. He had jade and pyrite teeth inlays.

On May 3, A.D. 738, 18 Rabbit was captured and beheaded by rebels from Quiriguá, supported by Ajpach’ Waal’s patron, the king of Calakmul. Calakmul itself then fell to Tikal. After that Ajpach’s standing fell, and he could not pay for a missing tooth with an inlay. His burial place was celebrated with a fire ceremony and maintained by his family. has the story with photos: