There are a handful of important cities in Ahau, the boad game. Yaxchilán is one of the oldest known Maya cities; its history dates back to the Preclassic Period.
Yopaat B’alam I founded the city and became its ruler when Yaxchilián was still a relatively small site right next to the Usumacinta River, along the trade route to Palenque and Tikal. Eventually, Yaxchilán grew to be a particularly powerful Maya city-state, almost in constant rivalry with Piedras Negras.
Even today, the place is known for its temples, grand staircases, and carvings. The site of Yaxhcilán today contains impressive ruins, with palaces and temples bordering a large plaza upon a terrace above the Usumacinta River.
The city was divided into three major groups of buildings: the West, the Center, and the South Acropolis. Maybe the most striking part of the city is the enormous sculpture of a headless human figure located in the Center Acropolis among its many individual structures. It is most likely to depict Bird Jaguar IV since the structure was entirely dedicated to him.