Step VII

Yaxchilan: Structure 33 Step VII [January 3, 2004]

"The central block, VII, is the largest, and portrays Bird Jaguar IV engaged in his first lineage event, a ballgame that was likened to ballgame events in the distant past. The historical date that he played ball was expressed as a single day within a scale of reference cosmic in dimension, as 13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.9.15.13.6.9. A verbal couplet states that the ballgame event also involved the letting of blood. Two dwarfs in the scene are marked with Venus signs and one wears a shell earplug. Perhaps, as Venus was called the sweeper of the path of the sun, the Venus sign identifies them as the sweepers of the path for Bird Jaguar as he journeyed to confront the Lords of the Underworld in their ballcourt."

Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 131

The stairway inscription details a series of three sacrificial rites that transpired in distant mythological time. Each features the decapitation of a different deity, followed by statements concerning a first, second, and third "dawning" or "creation" (ahal). All of these events took place on a mythological date of 1 Ahau in a supernatural location called "the Black-Hole-Place" that represents a portal to Xibalba.