Yaxchilan lintel 41

Maya, Late Classic period (AD 600-900)
From Yaxchilán, Mexico

This is the upper part of a limestone lintel found by A.P. Maudslay in front of the left (south) doorway of Structure 42. The lower section of the lintel is damaged.

Throughout the series of lintels set in Structure 42 Bird Jaguar IV commemorates his battles and other events to consolidate his power. These events emulate those enacted by his father, Shield Jaguar II. The various stages of warfare are shown in more detail at Yaxchilán than at any other Maya city. The scenes depicted are ritual preparations for war or the results of the battle.

Here, like Shield Jaguar on Lintel 26, Bird Jaguar is preparing for battle. One of his wives, a princess from the kingdom of Motul de San José, is presenting him with his spear.

The inscription tell us that this event took place in AD 755. The 'shell/star glyph', just above the lady's head-dress (bottom left), indicates war against a particular site. Her name and titles appear in front of her, while those of Bird Jaguar are represented by the fourth glyph in the sequence carved in front of him.

Find in the collection online

More information


L. Schele and M.E. Miller, The blood of kings (London, Thames & Hudson, 1986)

C. Tate, Yaxchilan: the design of a May (University of Texas Press, 1992)

C. McEwan, Ancient Mexico in the British (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

S. Martin and N. Grube, Chronicle of the Maya kings an (Thames and Hudson, 2000)


Museum number

AOA Ethno 1886-315

not found on MERLIN

Gift of A.P. Maudslay


Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore