The west side of the altar is shown here with K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo' facing Copan's 16th king.
The west side of the altar is shown here with K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ facing Copan’s 16th king.
A detail showing K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo'. Note the bar pectoral around his neck; a similar jade bar pectoral was found in the Hunal tomb
A detail showing K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’. Note the bar pectoral around his neck; a similar jade bar pectoral was found in the Hunal tomb

Altar Q was dedicated by Copan’s 16th ruler, Yax Pasaj Chan Yopaat in 776 CE. The four sides of this carved stone display the portraits of all 16 Copan rulers seated on thrones formed by their name glyphs. The sequence begins with the dynastic founder, K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’, whose name is in his headdress and who sits on an ajaw (“ruler”) glyph as he hands the royal scepter to Yax Pasaj with his left hand. K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ is thus portrayed left-handed with a shield on his right arm, matching the evidence of a left-handed male buried in the Hunal Tomb. Behind K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ sits his son, the second ruler of Copan, followed by the rest of the successors, four to a side. The text on the upper surface of Altar Q records the inauguration of K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’ on September 5, 426 CE (“he took the k’awiil scepter”) and his arrival in Copan to take the throne five months later (February 8, 427).