Stela C

East Side of Stela C, Grand Plaza, Copan, Honduras

"To commemorate (December 5, 711), the first k'atun-ending after his accession, Waxaklahun-Ubah-K'awil commissioned a magnificent, larger-than-life-size statue of himself frozen in the midst of materializing beings from the Otherworld. In fact, he depicted himself twice on opposite sides of this stela so that he could face both the rising and the setting sun. On both sides he holds the most important royal scepter, a Double-headed Serpent Bar, against his chest, but the details of his costume and accouterments reflect the direction he faces and the patterns in the sky on the night the k'atun ended. He copied this double-portrait format from his father, who had erected images of himself facing north and south to celebrate, the k'atun-ending sixty years earlier. Both of these k'atun-endings fell on the day Venus was first seen in the evening sky."

Linda Schele & Peter Mathews, The Code of Kings: The Language of Seven Sacred Maya Temples and Tombs, p. 141

This photo shows the figure of 18-Rabbit portrayed on the east side of the stela facing the rising sun. He is youthful and beardless. Behind the stela we catch a glimpse of the accompanying tortoise altar which we will view in more detail later in this sequence of photos.