Stela C

Copan: West Side of Stela C[January 9, 2004]

"The west side of Stela C continues to play on the themes of Creation and the sky on the night of the k'atun ending. The key is the giant turtle altar set in front of Waxaklahun-Ubah-K'awil's feet [next photo]. To see the stela across the altar re-creates the image of the Maize God being reborn from a cleft in the Cosmic Turtle's back. At the end of the Third Creation in Maya mythology, the Hero Twins defeated the Lords of Death and then went to the Ballcourt of Xibalba to resurrect the Maize Gods, who were their fathers. In the imagery of the times, these gods were reborn from a crack in the carapace of this Cosmic Turtle. Like the crocodile tree, the Cosmic Turtle occurred in the sky. It corresponded to the belt of Orion, a constellation that happened to be directly overhead at midnight on this k'atun-ending."

Linda Schele & Peter Mathews, The Code of Kings: The Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs, p. 144