On This Day In History: Powerful Warlord And Emissary Of Spear-Thrower-Owl Arrived At Tikal – On Jan 8, 378 AD

On January 8, 378 AD, a warlord Siyaj K’ak’ conquered Waka (El Perú), now known as a pre-Columbian Maya archeological site occupied during periods about 500 BC to 800 AD).

The site was the capital of a Maya city-state and is located near the banks of the San Pedro River in the Department of Petén of northern Guatemala. The site is located 60 km (37 mi) west of Tikal.

On several monuments at Tikal and Uaxactun, there is recorded that a man named Siyaj K’ak’ (aka ‘Born of Fire’), the emissary of Spear-Thrower-Owl, arrived at Tikal.

Immediately after the arrival of Siyaj K’ak’, Tikal’s fourteenth ruler – died. It suggests a violent takeover.

Siyaj K’ak’ (or ‘ Fire is Born’) was a prominent political figure (a general) mentioned in the glyphs of Maya civilization monuments dated to 250-800 AD. These can be found mainly at Tikal, which Siyaj conquered on January 16, 378, as well as Uaxactun and the city of Copan. His conquer of Tikal enlarged the domain of King Spearthrower Owl of Teotihuacán.

In 378 and 379, Siyah K’ak’ supervised the replacing of the kings of important Maya states such as Tikal and Uaxactun with new rulers, some of them relatives of the Teotihuacan emperor, Spear-Thrower Owl.

The name of Siyah K’ak’ is mentioned on monuments from many ancient cities of the central Maya lowlands, including distant Copan in Honduras .

Siyaj K’ak’ – usually portrayed wearing Teotihuacano battle dress – was a powerful warlord from Petén (modern Guatemala) during the fourth century. He acted as overlord to such kings as Yax Nuun Ayiin I (aka “Curl Nose”) of Tikal.

The appearance of Siyah K’ak’ marks the beginning of a strong cultural influx from the Valley of Mexico, although whether this was accomplished via peaceful interaction or military invasion and other violent activities, is still debated.

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