"Yaxchilan, with Tikal, Copan, Piedras Negras, and Palenque, is one of the most important Classic Period Maya cities in terms of its size and the number and quality of its monuments. It is best known for its sixty carved lintels, which, aside from being aesthetically interesting, depict Maya ritual bloodletting and warfare with an explicitness presented nowhere else. Other unique aspects of the art and inscriptions of Yaxchilan are the inclusion of many women in ceremonial roles, the complex cosmological format of imagery on the stelae, the degree of documentation of the reigns of two Late Classic kings, Shield Jaguar and his son Bird Jaguar IV, and the unusual design of the city to mimic the passage of the sun over the earth."

Carolyn E. Tate, Yaxchilan: The Design of a Maya Ceremonial City, p. 3