Tikal: Temple II

Temple II seen from the North Acropolis [January 4, 1999]

Clemency Coggins first suggested that Temple II was constructed in honor of Hasaw's wife. The name assumed for this wife is "Lady Twelve Macaw," the name recorded as the mother of Hasaw's son (Ruler B or Yik'in Chan K'awil). The relationship of this woman to the names recorded on Altar 5 remains a mystery, although the specific alignment formed by Temples I, II and Altar 5 strongly corroborates the interpretation that the woman on the altar and the woman on Temple II are the same.

Lintel 2 of Temple II was carved, and the surviving remnant shows the figure of a royally garbed woman, but no text has survived. The carved beam of this lintel now resides in the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

In his excavations of the Great Plaza, W. R. Coe (Tikal Report 14) determined by the stratigraphy that the beginning of construction of Temple II preceeded the beginning of construction of Temple I by a few years. This is significant for a number of reasons. The date on Altar 5 indicate that Hasaw's wife had died in AD 703, 31 years before the accession of her son in AD 734, presumed to be close to the date of Hasaw's death which is not recorded anywhere yet known.

Given this long gap in time, it is likely that Temple II, if indeed dedicated to Hasaw's wife would have begun to be constructed before the even more monumental work of Hasaw's own mortuary temple, Temple I.

Peter Harrison, The Lords of Tikal, p. 141