Structure IVb marks the position of the rising sun at the equinox

Structure IV

Feb. 18, 1997


In the middle of the 6th century A.D., Ku Hix ruled Calakmul and consolidated a network of strategic alliances with other Mayan states in an attempt to surround Tikal with a ring of enemies comprised of Calakmul to the north, Caracol in the south, Naranjo to the east, and Yaxchilán to the west.

Ramón Carrasco writes that "under the rulership of Ku Hix, some renovation projects in the Great Plaza of Calakmul were undertaken, one of which was the remodeling of Structure IV where his remains were buried after his death. The dating of his tomb, based on carbon-14 evidence, yielded results of 560 ±50, which is consistent with the date of his death. The funerary chamber where his remains were placed has been profaned in the Late Classic period and part of its contents, specifically the icons of power associated with his investiture, were placed in niches conditioned in the construction fill of Structure IV.

Among the objects in the tomb's offering was a funerary mask made of ceramic representing an individual of advanced age, which seems to portray Ku Hix at the moment of his death. Analysis of the bone remains indicates the advanced age of the dead. In Structure IV, Ku Hix ordered the placement of the only stone lintel reported for this region, though this kind of element was very common in the architecture of the Usumacinta basin; the lintel represents him in a ritual dance of rebirth at the edge of the cosmic cleft."

Ramón Carrasco V., The Metropolis of Calakmul, Campeche. Rizzoli: NY (1998)