Dos Pilas

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{city, large, area}
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By the 8th century AD, Dos Pilas was powerful enough to attack the much larger city of Seibal on the Pasión River. In AD. 735 the Lord of Dos Pilas (Ruler 3, "Master of Sun Jaguar") attacked the city, capturing Yich'aak B'alam, its king. The captive king was not executed but rather became a vassal under the lord of Dos Pilas.[6][21] At about this time, the nearby site at Aguateca became a twin capital of the Dos Pilas kingdom, with victory monuments being erected simultaneously in both cities.[6]

In AD 743 K'awiil Chan Kinich, the 4th ruler of Dos Pilas, went to war against the sites of Ahkul and El Chorro. Two years later, in AD. 745, he went to war against the distant cities of Yaxchilán, on the Usumacinta River, and Motul de San José on Lake Petén Itzá. The capture of the lords of both cities, and also the lord of El Chorro, is depicted on Hieroglyphic Stairway 3.[6]

Dos Pilas continued to exert control over Seibal even after the death of "Master of Sun Jaguar", with his successor K'awiil Chan Kinich presiding over rituals performed at the vassal site in AD. 745–7.[16]

Collapse and abandonment

Ongoing conflict in the Maya region soon destabilised the whole area following the defeat of Dos Pilas' patron Calakmul and in 761 the city was dramatically abandoned after Tamarindito and other Petexbatún centres rebelled against their Dos Pilas overlord.[22] A hieroglyphic stairway at Tamarindito mentions the enforced flight of K'awiil Chan K'inich, who was never mentioned again. The Dos Pilas royal family probably transported itself to the more defensible Aguateca, which lies only 10 km to the southeast.[16][23] The entire Petexbatún region was engulfed by warfare in the late eight century AD. until almost all the settlements of the former Dos Pilas kingdom were abandoned.[24] The monuments of Ixlú in the central Petén lakes region bear some hieroglyphic texts that closely resemble texts from Dos Pilas, suggesting that the lords of Ixlú may have been refugees from the collapse of the Petexbatún region.[25]

A small group of refugees occupied Dos Pilas after its abandonment, throwing up hastily built defensive walls constructed from stone stripped from the deserted temples and palaces.[23][26] These palisaded walls formed concentric patterns with no regard for the pre-existing architecture at the site.[27] This village was overrun and itself abandoned in the early years of the ninth century AD, at which point the history of Dos Pilas as a settlement ends.[23]

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