This article belongs to the lore of Ajax.

Difference between revisions of "Paol'lunyu Dynasty"

 
(7 intermediate revisions by 2 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
<imgur thumb="yes" w="375" comment="Extend of the Paol'lunyu Dynasty in 370 BC.">DlFmDtt.png</imgur>
+
{{Featured_Article}}
The '''Paol’lunyu dynasty''' (''Papol’lunyu Nimbja'') is the first dynasty in traditional [[Mutul|Mutulese history]]. It is described in ancient historical chronicles such as the ''Codex of the Past'', the ''Almanac of the Ajawb'' and the ''Annals of Our History'', as well as many steles and mural painting in the ruins of its cities. According to tradition, the Paol’lunyu dynasty was established by the god {{wp|Chac}} who incarnated himself on earth to lead mankind. The Papol’lunyu was later succeeded by the Xook dynasty.
+
{{region_icon_Ajax}}
 +
[[File:Paol'lunyu Dynasty.PNG|250px|thumb|right|The Paol'lunyu Dynasty at its greatest extend, around the fourth century BCE]]
 +
The '''Paol’lunyu dynasty''' (''Papol’lunyu Nimbja'') is the first dynasty in traditional [[Mutul|Mutulese history]]. It is described in ancient historical chronicles recorded on stelae and murals found thourough its old territories, but essentially in the cities of [[Kaminyajunlyu]], it's capital, and [[Sakal Witz]]. Another famous source are the "''Annals of the White Mountain'', a collection of codices written by Sakal Witz' priesthood during the Chaan Dynasty and then preserved to this day. According to tradition, the Paol’lunyu dynasty was established by the god {{wp|Chaac|Chaak}} who incarnated himself on earth to lead mankind. The Papol’lunyu was later succeeded by the [[Chaan Dynasty]].
  
According to the traditional chronology, the Papol’lunyu ruled between 1105 (Long Count : 4.18.11.9.7 ) and 370 BC (Long Count : 6.19.3.3.1) on “ 4 Wayeb 9 Imix”, a “Unlucky day of the Crocodile” in popular mutulese divination. This give us a very detailed time period for the dynasy, down to the day,even if it’s authenticity can be put into question because of the religious significance behind the ending date.
+
According to the traditional chronology, the Papol’lunyu ruled between 1105 ({{wp|Mesoamerican Long Count calendar|LC}} : 4.18.11.9.7 ) and 370 BC ({{wp|Mesoamerican Long Count calendar|LC}} : 6.19.3.3.1) on “ 4 Wayeb 9 Imix”, a “Unlucky day of the Crocodile” in popular mutulese divination. This give us a very detailed time period for the dynasy, down to the day,even if it’s authenticity can be put into question because of the religious significance behind the ending date.
  
 
==Overview==
 
==Overview==
  
Contrary to the dynasties that would follow, the Papol’lunyu’s powers weren’t as extensive and the centralisation process had yet to begin. The dynasty is divided in two periods : the Intensive Period  which describe the original domain of the Mutul without it’s colonies, with the Yajawkab’ of :
+
Contrary to the dynasties that would follow, the Papol’lunyu’s powers weren’t as extensive and the centralisation process had yet to begin. The dynasty is divided in two periods : the Intensive Period  which describe the original domain of the Mutul without it’s colonies, with the {{wp|Ajaw|Yajawils}} of :
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
!width=25%|City <br>
 
!width=25%|City <br>
Line 27: Line 29:
 
|'''Hunjay ''' ||another important deposit of obsidians.
 
|'''Hunjay ''' ||another important deposit of obsidians.
 
|-
 
|-
|'''Nojol Witz''' ||a religious site that became quickly closely associated with the Papol’lunyu and the burrial site of the dynasty.
+
|'''Sakal Witz''' ||a religious site that became quickly closely associated with the Papol’lunyu and the burrial site of the dynasty.
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Tazumal''' ||Known for harboring the first sign of metallurgy in the Mutul.
 
|'''Tazumal''' ||Known for harboring the first sign of metallurgy in the Mutul.
Line 34: Line 36:
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Yajanite''' ||Another site that was one of the major center of population in the Mutul, before slowly being dominated by Izapak.
 
|'''Yajanite''' ||Another site that was one of the major center of population in the Mutul, before slowly being dominated by Izapak.
|-
 
|'''Iximpasil''' || Largest farmlands of the original Mutul, under Izapak direct supervision.
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
Line 65: Line 65:
 
{{wp|Manikin scepter}} of the city by its people, and thus he became its new ruler. In the [[Mutul|Mutulese]] official historiography, K'o is considered to be the avatar and mortal aspect of {{wp|Chaac|Chaak}} and the first [[Divine monarchy of the Mutul|K'uhul Ajaw]] from whom all other Divine Lords descend from.
 
{{wp|Manikin scepter}} of the city by its people, and thus he became its new ruler. In the [[Mutul|Mutulese]] official historiography, K'o is considered to be the avatar and mortal aspect of {{wp|Chaac|Chaak}} and the first [[Divine monarchy of the Mutul|K'uhul Ajaw]] from whom all other Divine Lords descend from.
  
===Expansion===
+
===Intensive period===
It’s between the years 1200 and 1100 BC that the newly installed Paol’lunyu House was called for help by the cities of [[Nikilaj|Izapak]] and [[Takalik]] who were at war, or revolting against, the cities of [[Ujuxte]] and [[Yajanite]]. In exchange of a tribute, Kaminyajunlyu came to their help and probably defeated these two old settlements. These events are described in murals of the Elders Caves in the necropole of Nojol Witz, and by the numerous steles and murals built in Kaminyajunlyu to celebrate the capture of the two {{wp|Ajaw|Ajaws}} of these cities, as well as the triumphs that followed.
+
====War against Ujuxte====
 +
 
 +
During the 12th century, [[Ujuxte]] was the dominant city of the Southern Hills, but its authority was more and more contested by the growing settlement and trade hub of [[Takalik]]. At the beginning of the century, the Lord of Takalik was captured and sacrificed by a cabal of aristocrats and their leader, [[K'utz Chiman]], proclaimed himself the new Ajaw of the city and rebelled against Ujuxte. For unknown reason, K'utz Chiman ended up calling the Ajaw of Kaminyajunlyu for help, and the latter answered positively, defeating Ujuxte at the battle of Abaj and capturing its Ajaw. Four years later, following the records found in Kaminyajunlyu's ruins, Takalik started to pay tribute to the "K'uhul Ajaw", officialy joining the [[Mutul]] as a vassal-state. In the following years, Takalik would continue its expansion, defeating and integrating all the vassals of Ujuxte to its territory, before obtaining the submission of Ujuxte's Ajaw himself. It's also during that period that Takalik expanded southward, gaining overlordship over [[Tazumal]] and its prized luxury goods made out of metal.
 +
 
 +
====War against Yajanite====
 +
 
 +
[[Izapak]] glyph emblem first appears in the historical records preserved by the priests of [[Sakal Witz]] and on stelae estimated to have been erected in the 12th century BCE. It seems to have been at war with the then-larger settlement of [[Yajanite]] and called the [[Paol'lunyu Dynasty|Kaminajunlyu]] for help. The following triumph of the two cities against Ujuxte is well documented. Izapak's king, the "''Lord of All Birds''" ({{wp|Mayan languages|Mtl}}:''Olas Muwan Ajaw''), is then said to have had a vision during the festivites of the Kaminajunlyu Ajaw being transfigured into {{wp|Chaac|Chaak}}, the god of rain and storm, and immediately pledged an oath of allegiance to him. The veracity of this story is heavily debated among historians, but the fact remains that [[Izapak]] came under the Paol'lunyu's grasp sometime during the 12th century, and then expanded to the point that it had gained authority over [[Yajanite]] and all its old vassals. It also became an important trade hub between the Mutul and the "westerners".
 +
 
 +
==Culture and Society==
 +
 
 +
===The K’uhul Ajaw===
 +
 
 +
The roles of the K’uhul Ajaw were quite diverses : he was the official head of the religion, performing many religious ceremonies none of the other Ajaw could do. He was the final arbiter in case of conflict between the lords and was the “highest judge” of the Mutul. He was responsible of trades and markets in his domain, maintaining roads, and especially controlling the water reserves of the central mountains and hills. Aqueducs, canals, dams, alongside other forms of irrigations systems, plus roads and warehouses, were built and maintained by the K’uhul Ajaw and his armies of scribes and inspectors who patrolled the lands. The Kaminyajulyu market, at the center of an important north-south axis, was one of the busiest market of the period, especially since merchants didn’t had to pay taxes to obtain the right to sell inside the walls of the city. At the high of their powers, Papol’lunyans K’uhul Ajaws were de facto the direct rulers of [[Kaminyajulyu]] and [[Sakal Witz]], and had a direct say in the politics and economy of all their vassals. But with time, this influence declined until the K'uhul Ajaw became mere figureheads and had only a purely ceremonial role outside of their own lands.
 +
 
 +
Another way the K’uhul Ajaw maintained his influence over his vassals was through his nomadic court. He regulary visited important Ajaws, such as the lords of [[Takalik]], [[Izapak]], or [[Oxwitik]]. Marriages were frequents, as well as youngs from the lords families being send to Kaminyajulyu to study and to serve as hostage in case of revolt. All of these strengthen the links between the cities.
  
Following this victorious campaign, the Paol’lunyu used their reputation to acquire the loyalty of Nojol Witz, Hunjay, Kakawkab’, and Tazumal. Then a successful campaign seems to have taken place against [[Oxwitik]], which saw the capture and sacrifice of its Ajaw and its replacement by one of his cousins, who then married into the Paol’lunyu family and payed tribute to the K’uhul Ajaw. Concluding the creation of the Mutul, [[Yaxk’an]] started to pay a tribute in jades to the K’uhul Ajaw in exchange for its protection, leading to the construction of [[Chak’pasil]].
+
During the Extensive Period, the K’uhul Ajaw started to loose power compared to the Marches of the kingdom. The Ajaws of Takalik, Izapak, Oxwitik, and [[Nakabe Revolt|Nakabe]] took for themselves many of the prerogatives reserved to the [[Divine Monarchy of the Mutul|K’uhul Ajaw]], who moved less and less away from the capital. This rise of these great vassals lead divisions among themselves. Oxwitik barely paied any respect to the K’uhul Ajaw, [[Izapak]] and Takalik multiplied the plots and intrigues against each others, while Nakabe strengthen its hold on the north, allying with the Barbarian Kingdoms of the K’ol and Yakalmek. This decentralisation of the Mutul would continue until the [[Nakabe Revolt]] and the Civil War that followed.
  
All of this is supposed to have happened between 1105 and 980.
+
===The Aristocracy===
  
==Situation==
+
Historians have sometime described the Paol'lunyu system as "feodal". The Dynasty ruled from Kaminyajunlyu over a number of vassal states, each ruled by their own dynasties of {{wp|Ajaw}}. Then, these Ajaws themselves ruled over their own vassals, generally bearing the title of ''Yajaw'', and so on until the {{wp|Batab}}, who ruled a single settlement. Of these vassals, the most well known lineages are the [[Izapak|Syhij]], the [[Takalik|Hunal]], the [[Oxwitik|Lak'uk]] and the [[Nakabe Revolt|Ka]], and the [[Chaan Dynasty|Chaan]]. All of these ruled over Ajawils and would play important roles during the Extensive Period and the following [[Nakabe Revolt]] that ended the Dynasty.
  
The Paol’lunyu Mutul can be desribed as a vast circle centered around the city of Kaminyajulyu. The Nek’ajal highlands surrounding the capital, is source of most of the luxury goods and precious stones that are traded all around the Divine Kingdom : Jade, obsidian, mirrors, textile… the extensive programs of public construction and territorial development made by the Paol’lunyu dynasty transformed the rivers into highways, with roads on all sides, with artificials canals to make transports of goods easier, while aqueducs, water towers, wells, brought water from the sources to the settlements, and to the fields. The control of water was an important part of the K’uhul Ajaw’s image and the gestion of the water reserves was one of its priority, especially when,at the height of the Dynasty, human density in the region reached  more than 500 hab/km².
+
===Agriculture===
  
To the direct south of the Nek’ajal highlands lies an important region, dominated by the city of Takalik Abak, which profited from the Royal water services. irrigations and taxes paid in maintenance of the hydric system allowed for the extensive culture of maize, beans, and cotton once the lands had been cleared from the always nearby forests, who where in some occasion maintained for hunting and wood production. Other important culture was the cacao, especially around the city of Kakawkab’, and further south at the very edge of the civilized zone controlled by the Mutul, the site of Tazumal became the center of metallurgy, producing mainly luxury goods with close to no purpose if not for their artistic or religious values, while the nearby settlement of Hunjay produced potteries and exploited a few obsidian mines.
+
Permanent {{wp|raised fields}}, {{wp|terrace|terracing}}, intensive gardening, forest gardens, and managed fallows were crucial in supporting the large populations of the period. Evidence of these different agricultural systems persist today: raised fields connected by canals can be seen on aerial photographs. Pollen records in lake sediments suggest that maize, {{wp|Cassava|manioc}}, {{wp|sunflower seeds}}, cotton, and other crops have been cultivated in association with deforestation since at least 2500 BC.
  
To the south-west, between the Nek’ajal Highlands and the Chi’kin Mountains, the large Yatij Valley was the “breadbasket” of the Mutul, producing maize and beans in enormous quantities among other sources of food. Izapak and Iximpasil where two of the most important cities in the region, the former being a protector of the latter againt the Chi’kinob tribes.
+
The basic staples of the Maya diet were maize, beans, and squashes. These were supplemented with a wide variety of other plants either cultivated in gardens or gathered in forest. Cotton was spun, dyed, and woven into valuable textiles in order to be traded. Already, {{wp|chocolate}} was being produced in the form of a beverage highly sought after by the elite.
  
To the east of the capital, Oxwikab was a fortress-city placed at the edge of the Highlands, to loom over the Cornogaya river valley and the Lenca kingdoms settled around it, and to protect the Mutul against the risk they represented. Around the year 700 BC, Oxwikab will launched a serie of successful campaigns against the Lenca, conquering their cities and forcing them to flee further eastward or selling them as slaves, while Mutli colons took over their main cities. The Oxwikab Yajawb re-organized the region into their private breadbasket, without much resistance from the Paol’lunyu dynasty, one of the first sign of their decline.
+
===Trade===
  
The region north serves as a transition between the volcanic highlands and the Karstic Xuman Peninsula, where rivers are unable to run because of the nature of the ground. This large half-circle at the base of the Peninsula was home of the K’ol tribes whom, despite their quick “Mutulalization” were still threats to the Divine Kingdom. As such the K’uhul Ajawb decided to colonize it and to vassalize the K’ol people. This lead to the instralation of the city of Nakabe that, while successful in protecting the core of the Mutul, started to rule over the region with little to no concern with the Paol’lunyu.
+
Trade was a key component of the Paol'lunyu Dynasty and the Ajaw derived their legitimacy from their capacity to protect trade in the areas they controlled. But generally, the most important Ajaws were those who controlled access to a vital ressource. With Kaminyajunlyu's control over important {{wp|obsidian}} mines, its rulers were in the perfect position to impose themselves as hegemons over the other city-states.
  
And to the north-west was the most dangerous rival of the Mutul. Located on the Xanaj Plateau, the Yakalmek quickly built a small but important kingdom as they dominated the trade road linking the Mutul with the Oman bay and the Oman culture. Wars between the two entities were regular, and only calmed down when the Nakabe Yajaw and the Yakal Ajaw allied, even if plots and schemes continued from both sides, playing a major role in the future Nakabe Revolt.
+
The Paol'lunyu people engaged in long distance trade across their Mutal and beyond. Long distance trade of both luxury and utilitarian goods was controlled by the Ajaws and their lineages, making {{wp|wholesaling}} a profession reserved to the high aristocracy and the elite, while {{wp|retail|retailer}} were typically commoners and thus dependent on their lords for their livelihood.
  
==The K’uhul Ajaw==
+
Because of the lack of pack animals, all trade goods had to be carried on the backs of porters when going overland. Whenever possible, roads followed rivers or artificial canals so that traders could transport some of their goods with {{wp|canoe}} dragged from the shore. The maintenance of these causaways and canals was considered the most important task of a lord. Trade goods carried included cacao, obsidian, ceramics, textiles, food and drink for the crew, and copper bells and axes.
  
The roles of the K’uhul Ajaw were quite diverses : he was the official head of the religion, performing many religious ceremonies none of the other Ajaw could do. He was the final arbiter in case of conflict between Ajawb and was the “highest judge” of the Mutul. Because of the central position of Kaminyajulyu, he was responsible of trades and markets in his domain, maintaining roads, and especially controlling the water reserves of the central mountains and hills. Aqueducs, canals, dams, and all form of irrigations systems, plus roads, mills, and grain warehouses, were built and maintained by the K’uhul Ajawb and his army of scribes and inspectors who patrolled the lands. The Kaminyajulyu market, at the center of an important north-south axis, was one of the most important market of the period, especially since merchants didn’t had to pay taxes to obtain the right to sell inside the walls of the city. At the high of their powers, Papol’lunians K’uhul Ajowb were de facto the direct rulers of Kaminyajulyu and Nojol Witz, and had a direct say in the politics of Tazumal, Yaxk’an, and Kakawkab’. However, they never had much control over the other settlements, who were linked to Kaminyajulyu through trades and tributaries networks.
+
===Millitary===
  
Another way the K’uhul Ajaw maintained his influence over his vassals was through his nomadic court. He regulary visited important Yajawb, such as the lords of Takalik Abak, Izapak, or Oxwitik. Marriages were frequents, as well as youngs from the lords families being send to Kaminyajulyu to study and to serve as hostage in case of revolt. All of these strengthen the links between the cities.
+
Paol'lunyu rulers, both the [[Divine Monarchy of the Mutul|K'uhul Ajaw]] and the {{wp|Ajaw|Ajaws}}, were expected to be distinguished war leaders, with one of the main attribute of their function being a belt carrying their {{wp|Human trophy taking in Mesoamerica|trophy heads}}. They led their own armies which, in the strongest or more warlikes states like [[Nakabe|Nakabe Revolt]] and [[Oxwitik]], had a core component of permanent professional soldiers. Troops were often recruited and led by the merchant-aristocrats, giving birth in the poor stratas of the Paol'lunyu society to a category of men known as the soldier-porters, paid to carry weapons or trade-goods depending on whether it was a period of war or peace.
  
During the Extensive Period, the K’uhul Ajaw started to loose power compared to the Marches of the kingdom. The Yajawb of Takalik Abak, Izapak, Oxwitik, and Nakabe took for themselves many of the prerogatives reserved to the K’uhul Ajaw, who moved less and less away from the capital. This rise of the great vassals lead to a division between them, as Oxwitik barely pay any respect to the K’uhul Ajaw, Izapak and Takalik multiplies the plots against each other, and Nakabe strengthen its hold on the north, allying with the Barbarian Kingdoms of the K’ol and Yakalmek. This path of decentralisation of the Mutul will continue until the Nakabe Revolt and the Civil War that followed.
+
Warfare among vassals polities of the Paol'lunyu was at first rare and limited to small skirmishes between traders parties. But with the Extensive Period and the dwindling of the K'uhul Ajaw's authority, wars for the control of trade roads and markets, or to secure both captives and tributes, became more common. But the most important conflicts the Dynasty had were with other neighboring cultures, generally considered to be "barbarians". These were the {{wp|Lencas people}} or the [[Kachi Kingdom]], for example. These wars could be much more bloodier and intensive warfares could be carried out in order to completely eliminate an ennemy state.
  
[[Category:Ajax]]
 
 
[[category:Mutul]]
 
[[category:Mutul]]

Latest revision as of 05:24, 8 February 2020

The Paol'lunyu Dynasty at its greatest extend, around the fourth century BCE

The Paol’lunyu dynasty (Papol’lunyu Nimbja) is the first dynasty in traditional Mutulese history. It is described in ancient historical chronicles recorded on stelae and murals found thourough its old territories, but essentially in the cities of Kaminyajunlyu, it's capital, and Sakal Witz. Another famous source are the "Annals of the White Mountain, a collection of codices written by Sakal Witz' priesthood during the Chaan Dynasty and then preserved to this day. According to tradition, the Paol’lunyu dynasty was established by the god Chaak who incarnated himself on earth to lead mankind. The Papol’lunyu was later succeeded by the Chaan Dynasty.

According to the traditional chronology, the Papol’lunyu ruled between 1105 (LC : 4.18.11.9.7 ) and 370 BC (LC : 6.19.3.3.1) on “ 4 Wayeb 9 Imix”, a “Unlucky day of the Crocodile” in popular mutulese divination. This give us a very detailed time period for the dynasy, down to the day,even if it’s authenticity can be put into question because of the religious significance behind the ending date.

Overview

Contrary to the dynasties that would follow, the Papol’lunyu’s powers weren’t as extensive and the centralisation process had yet to begin. The dynasty is divided in two periods : the Intensive Period which describe the original domain of the Mutul without it’s colonies, with the Yajawils of :

City
Description
Kaminyajunlyu The religious capital and home of the Paol’lunyu
Takalik Abak An important city almost equal in might to Kaminyajunlyu, capital of the Southern March.
Izapak Another important site, rival of Takalik Abak and capital of the Western March.
Oxwitik Capital of the Eastern March.
Yaxk’an Famous for its jades deposits.
Kakawkab’ a city that became famous for its production of cacao.
Chak’pasil Red Door, an important garrison securing the north-east border of the first Mutul, and with important obsidians mines. Directly protected Yaxk'an.
Hunjay another important deposit of obsidians.
Sakal Witz a religious site that became quickly closely associated with the Papol’lunyu and the burrial site of the dynasty.
Tazumal Known for harboring the first sign of metallurgy in the Mutul.
Ujuxte an important site that seemed to have lost power in favour of Takalik Abak for unknown reasons.
Yajanite Another site that was one of the major center of population in the Mutul, before slowly being dominated by Izapak.

During the second half, called the Extensive Period, new cities will joined or were built to the north of Kaminyajulyu :

City
Description
Nakabe founded by a House of Mutli aristocrats with the task of securing the northern border of the Mutul Capital of the Northern March.
Akol An important K’ol settlement that was heavily influenced by the Mutul’s culture, until it swore fealty to the Papol’lunyu dynasty, even if it was de facto controlled by Nakabe.
Yux A Mutli colony tasked with defending the north-west border against the Yakalmek.
Yarumela An ethnically Lenca city that was conquered during the transition between the intensive and extensive periods. Contrary to other major settlements, it was paying a tribute to Oxwitik and not to the Papol’lunyu Dynasty.
Ek’pasil An important garrison built to reinforce the northern and north-east border. Became an important regional market.

Origins

The twelve original city-states of what will become the First Mutul, with Kaminyajunlyu in the middle

The First Dynasty was established in the central highlands, considered the homeland of the Mutli culture. Agricultural settlements appeared around 3000 BC in the valleys and around the rivers of these mountains and hills, and soon expanded to the plains and jungles to the south. The oldest settlements in the region are, among many nameless villages and small cities, Ujuxte, Iximpasil, Nojol Witz, and Hunjay. Kaminyajunlyu first developed as an important site for the exploitation of obsidian

Founding Myth

In the "Annals of the White Mountain", the anonymous chronicler details how the king of Sakal Witz, during a hunt, killed a Terror Bird who carried a snake's enormous egg. The king took the egg with him, and from it emerged a young boy with a bow and an axe. He named him K'o and he grew to become the most honorable and beloved prince of the kingdom. Once he reached adulthood, Prince K'o heard of Kaminyajunlyu and its tyrannic king. K'o pleaded to his father to let him free the city, but the latter was only convinced after he had a vision of Triumphant Chaak performing a human sacrifice. After he defeated and killed Kaminyajunlyu's Ajaw, K'o was offered the Manikin scepter of the city by its people, and thus he became its new ruler. In the Mutulese official historiography, K'o is considered to be the avatar and mortal aspect of Chaak and the first K'uhul Ajaw from whom all other Divine Lords descend from.

Intensive period

War against Ujuxte

During the 12th century, Ujuxte was the dominant city of the Southern Hills, but its authority was more and more contested by the growing settlement and trade hub of Takalik. At the beginning of the century, the Lord of Takalik was captured and sacrificed by a cabal of aristocrats and their leader, K'utz Chiman, proclaimed himself the new Ajaw of the city and rebelled against Ujuxte. For unknown reason, K'utz Chiman ended up calling the Ajaw of Kaminyajunlyu for help, and the latter answered positively, defeating Ujuxte at the battle of Abaj and capturing its Ajaw. Four years later, following the records found in Kaminyajunlyu's ruins, Takalik started to pay tribute to the "K'uhul Ajaw", officialy joining the Mutul as a vassal-state. In the following years, Takalik would continue its expansion, defeating and integrating all the vassals of Ujuxte to its territory, before obtaining the submission of Ujuxte's Ajaw himself. It's also during that period that Takalik expanded southward, gaining overlordship over Tazumal and its prized luxury goods made out of metal.

War against Yajanite

Izapak glyph emblem first appears in the historical records preserved by the priests of Sakal Witz and on stelae estimated to have been erected in the 12th century BCE. It seems to have been at war with the then-larger settlement of Yajanite and called the Kaminajunlyu for help. The following triumph of the two cities against Ujuxte is well documented. Izapak's king, the "Lord of All Birds" (Mtl:Olas Muwan Ajaw), is then said to have had a vision during the festivites of the Kaminajunlyu Ajaw being transfigured into Chaak, the god of rain and storm, and immediately pledged an oath of allegiance to him. The veracity of this story is heavily debated among historians, but the fact remains that Izapak came under the Paol'lunyu's grasp sometime during the 12th century, and then expanded to the point that it had gained authority over Yajanite and all its old vassals. It also became an important trade hub between the Mutul and the "westerners".

Culture and Society

The K’uhul Ajaw

The roles of the K’uhul Ajaw were quite diverses : he was the official head of the religion, performing many religious ceremonies none of the other Ajaw could do. He was the final arbiter in case of conflict between the lords and was the “highest judge” of the Mutul. He was responsible of trades and markets in his domain, maintaining roads, and especially controlling the water reserves of the central mountains and hills. Aqueducs, canals, dams, alongside other forms of irrigations systems, plus roads and warehouses, were built and maintained by the K’uhul Ajaw and his armies of scribes and inspectors who patrolled the lands. The Kaminyajulyu market, at the center of an important north-south axis, was one of the busiest market of the period, especially since merchants didn’t had to pay taxes to obtain the right to sell inside the walls of the city. At the high of their powers, Papol’lunyans K’uhul Ajaws were de facto the direct rulers of Kaminyajulyu and Sakal Witz, and had a direct say in the politics and economy of all their vassals. But with time, this influence declined until the K'uhul Ajaw became mere figureheads and had only a purely ceremonial role outside of their own lands.

Another way the K’uhul Ajaw maintained his influence over his vassals was through his nomadic court. He regulary visited important Ajaws, such as the lords of Takalik, Izapak, or Oxwitik. Marriages were frequents, as well as youngs from the lords families being send to Kaminyajulyu to study and to serve as hostage in case of revolt. All of these strengthen the links between the cities.

During the Extensive Period, the K’uhul Ajaw started to loose power compared to the Marches of the kingdom. The Ajaws of Takalik, Izapak, Oxwitik, and Nakabe took for themselves many of the prerogatives reserved to the K’uhul Ajaw, who moved less and less away from the capital. This rise of these great vassals lead divisions among themselves. Oxwitik barely paied any respect to the K’uhul Ajaw, Izapak and Takalik multiplied the plots and intrigues against each others, while Nakabe strengthen its hold on the north, allying with the Barbarian Kingdoms of the K’ol and Yakalmek. This decentralisation of the Mutul would continue until the Nakabe Revolt and the Civil War that followed.

The Aristocracy

Historians have sometime described the Paol'lunyu system as "feodal". The Dynasty ruled from Kaminyajunlyu over a number of vassal states, each ruled by their own dynasties of Ajaw. Then, these Ajaws themselves ruled over their own vassals, generally bearing the title of Yajaw, and so on until the Batab, who ruled a single settlement. Of these vassals, the most well known lineages are the Syhij, the Hunal, the Lak'uk and the Ka, and the Chaan. All of these ruled over Ajawils and would play important roles during the Extensive Period and the following Nakabe Revolt that ended the Dynasty.

Agriculture

Permanent raised fields, terracing, intensive gardening, forest gardens, and managed fallows were crucial in supporting the large populations of the period. Evidence of these different agricultural systems persist today: raised fields connected by canals can be seen on aerial photographs. Pollen records in lake sediments suggest that maize, manioc, sunflower seeds, cotton, and other crops have been cultivated in association with deforestation since at least 2500 BC.

The basic staples of the Maya diet were maize, beans, and squashes. These were supplemented with a wide variety of other plants either cultivated in gardens or gathered in forest. Cotton was spun, dyed, and woven into valuable textiles in order to be traded. Already, chocolate was being produced in the form of a beverage highly sought after by the elite.

Trade

Trade was a key component of the Paol'lunyu Dynasty and the Ajaw derived their legitimacy from their capacity to protect trade in the areas they controlled. But generally, the most important Ajaws were those who controlled access to a vital ressource. With Kaminyajunlyu's control over important obsidian mines, its rulers were in the perfect position to impose themselves as hegemons over the other city-states.

The Paol'lunyu people engaged in long distance trade across their Mutal and beyond. Long distance trade of both luxury and utilitarian goods was controlled by the Ajaws and their lineages, making wholesaling a profession reserved to the high aristocracy and the elite, while retailer were typically commoners and thus dependent on their lords for their livelihood.

Because of the lack of pack animals, all trade goods had to be carried on the backs of porters when going overland. Whenever possible, roads followed rivers or artificial canals so that traders could transport some of their goods with canoe dragged from the shore. The maintenance of these causaways and canals was considered the most important task of a lord. Trade goods carried included cacao, obsidian, ceramics, textiles, food and drink for the crew, and copper bells and axes.

Millitary

Paol'lunyu rulers, both the K'uhul Ajaw and the Ajaws, were expected to be distinguished war leaders, with one of the main attribute of their function being a belt carrying their trophy heads. They led their own armies which, in the strongest or more warlikes states like Nakabe Revolt and Oxwitik, had a core component of permanent professional soldiers. Troops were often recruited and led by the merchant-aristocrats, giving birth in the poor stratas of the Paol'lunyu society to a category of men known as the soldier-porters, paid to carry weapons or trade-goods depending on whether it was a period of war or peace.

Warfare among vassals polities of the Paol'lunyu was at first rare and limited to small skirmishes between traders parties. But with the Extensive Period and the dwindling of the K'uhul Ajaw's authority, wars for the control of trade roads and markets, or to secure both captives and tributes, became more common. But the most important conflicts the Dynasty had were with other neighboring cultures, generally considered to be "barbarians". These were the Lencas people or the Kachi Kingdom, for example. These wars could be much more bloodier and intensive warfares could be carried out in order to completely eliminate an ennemy state.