Posted by: Johan Normark | February 17, 2012

Dedications of Maya causeways

Tikal’s Mendez Causeway, which connects the east side of the East Plaza and Temple VI, is probably being referred to in inscriptions found on Temple VI. Two dates from AD 527 (GMT) relates to the “stone-building/-fashioning” and “road-striking” which probably describes the construction and dedication of this wide causeway according to David Stuart. The current causeway has parapets and is probably the result of a later refurbishment during the Late Classic. It overlies an earlier causeway that lacks parapets and this structure has been dated to the Early Classic and may therefore support the interpretation that it was dedicated in AD 527.

In an earlier article, Stuart also describes six carved stones from the Coba-Yaxuna causeway which all begin with a date. The third glyphic compound on each stone appears to be SAK-BIH-hi (sakbih or sacbe). Stuart believes that the carved stones are dedicatory monuments for this causeway. However, these six monuments seems to have different dates (they are too eroded to be read), and they could perhaps relate to dedications of different sections of the causeway. Although the six stones were all found in different places closer to Coba, it should be noted that there is adjustment in bearing of the causeway in six places. These are all found at places with ruins that appear to pre-date the road construction. Maybe the six stones were dedicatory monuments of the six adjustments, dedicated when a section had been completed. However, the monuments are not located at each section.

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