Digital Heritage



Lintel 15 of Yaxchilán Structure 21

Carved from limestone, this lintel was once part of a three lintel series from Structure 21 illustrating the accession rituals of Lord Bird Jaguar IV (Yaxun B’alam IV). It was originally set above the left southeast doorway of the central chamber of Structure 21, but the structure had collapsed before its rediscovery. 

In this scene, one of Bird Jaguar IV’s wives, Lady Wak Tuun of the Ik’ polity, is in the final stages of a blood letting ceremony wherein paper she has ritually bled onto has been set on fire. The resulting smoke has ushered forth a deity aspect of the waterlily serpent, itself the nagual of the lightning deity, K’awiil.. The lintel is thought to have been created between 755-770 CE. 


Lintel 16 of Yaxchilán Structure 21

Carved from limestone, this scene was once the lintel f Yaxchilán’s Structure 21. It depicts the ruler Bird Jaguar IV (Yaxun B’alam IV) standing above a recent captive, a prominent sublord ( sajal ) from Pay Lakam Chahk in the year 752 CE. It is uncertain if the captive is being depicted as beaten and bloody, of if a blood letting ceremony is being depicted. Bird Jaguar IV was one of Yaxchilán’s most prolific builders, constructing or remodelling at least a dozen major structures during his reign. The lintel is thought to have been created between 755-770 CE. 


Lintel 17 of Yaxchilán Structure 21

Carved from limestone, this lintel was once part of a three lintel series from Structure 21 illustrating the accession rituals of Lord Bird Jaguar IV (Yaxun B’alam IV). It was originally set above the southeast doorway of Structure 21’s central room, but the structure had collapsed before its rediscovery. 

In this scene, Bird Jaguar IV sits opposite one of his wives, Lady Mut Bahlam of Hiix Witz, while she performs a blood sacrifice by drawing a rope through her tongue. The lintel is thought to have been created between 755-770 CE.


Lintel 25 of Yaxchilán Structure 23

Carved from limestone, this scene was once the lintel above the central doorway of Yaxchilán’s palace structure (structure 23). It depicts the wife of Shield Jaguar II (Itzamnaaj B’alam II), known as Lady K’abal Xook, having a vision of a serpent during a blood letting ceremony. Out of the serpent’s mouth, a warrior with a shield and spear faces her. This lintel is associated with two others (Lintel 24 and 26) from the same palace, which cumulatively appear to tell a narrative of Lady Xook. An inscription on the lintel gives the date October 20, 681 AD, the date of Shield Jaguar II’s ascension to the throne. Though the actual creation of the work may have been later, near 725 AD.


The Grave of Ernest Shackleton

One of the greatest explorers of the 20th century, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (known as “The Boss” by his crew) was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. 

Though a legendary explorer, it was not his successful expeditions that made him a legend, but the successful recovery of his failed 1914-17 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (Endurance) without a single loss of life that cemented his legacy. 

Shackleton died of a heart attack on January 5, 1922 at the age of 47, he was buried on South Georgia . Endurance crewmember Alexander Macklin, wrote: “I think this is as ‘the Boss’ would have had it himself, standing lonely in an island far from civilisation, surrounded by stormy tempestuous seas, & in the vicinity of one of his greatest exploits.”

Special thanks to Lindblad Expeditions in making this possible.