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Mayan Zoomorphic Altar of Copan (CPN 8)

To have a better understanding of this altar, it is necessary to comment that it is the altar of Copán Stela D, the last stela commanded by the government of Waxaklajuun Ub’aah K’awiil and commemorates the date of July 24, 736 AD. As a curious fact, Stela D and its Altar are the only monuments in the Great Plaza that are oriented to the South.

The southern face of the altar (the one that the spectator would see) presents a emaciated zoomorphic being with menacing teeth and fangs. On the sides you can see their speckled feline-like legs with the tibia exposed with two claws on each one and they wear anklets decorated with two bulging eyes (?) like jewels. The creature’s defiant eyes bear the KIN logogram.

On the north face (facing the ruler) a personified hill (WITZ) is represented with the TUUN signs on eyebrows, nose, cheeks and eyes, indicating its earthiness. Unlike the other being, the legs have a claw and on the anklets it shows the logogram AK’AB of darkness and night.