Stucco Glyphs from Tonina


Juan Yadeun’s excavations at Tonina, Chiapas, have revealed a number of beautiful stucco glyphs that once formed an inscription of at least 25+ blocks, most now on housed at the regional site museum, with several others on view the Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Mexico City. On a recent visit to the MNAH I was interested to see two of the glyphs, in different cases, that seem to form a reconstructable date: “3 Eb” and “End of Pop” (see upper two glyphs marked “C” in the accompanying image, below). This Calendar Round turns out to fall on the Long Count, the one K’atun anniversary of the accession of the important Tonina ruler K’inich Baaknal Chahk. Another stucco glyph in the MNAH case reads tzutz-uy, “it ends,” which may well have accompanied this date, preceding “the first K’atun,” written with yet another glyph now at the Tonina museum.

Two other stuccoes on display at the MNAH (A and B) are “on 13 Ajaw” and part of a Distance Number “3.12.” Together, the various peices are enough to suggest that the following two dates were recorded in the original inscription, now partially reconstructable, as shown in the image below (extant elements are in italics): 13 Ajaw 18 Pax (Period Ending)

+ 1.3.12 3 Eb End of Pop (anniversary)

The inscription surely included a number of other dates as well, among them one probably referring to the building’s dedication, as indicated by y-otoot, “his/her house…” I’m reasonably sure other fits and connections will be possible, once we check images of other loose glyphs from the text.

Reconstructed elements: