Located in the tropical rainforest of the Peten province in northern Guatemala, Tikal was one amongst the most important cities of the traditional Mayan civilization throughout its Classic period, that ran from around 200 A.D. to 850 A.D. Archaeologists estimate that, at its peak, Tikal’s population ranged from 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants. It absolutely was a religious, political and trade center due its favorable geographic location, being bounded by rivers on each the east and west.This Tikal Travel Guide helps you to get around the place easily.
Although Tikal reached its height throughout the Classic Period, some of the architecture at the site dates back to the fourth century B.C. At times, rulers of Tikal would get replaced by others, but the city continued to flourish. It absolutely was the dominant town within the region, and dominated over other small city-states. Because of the availability of the tombs of the past rulers also as different monuments and palaces to study, Tikal is one amongst the most effective understood of the large Mayan cities. Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, the Mayans abandoned the town around 900 A.D. Due to the growth of the jungle, archaeologists did not rediscover it until 1848. The portion of the city now excavated is quite impressive. Approximately 3000 sites have been uncovered and nearly 10,000 still need to be revealed.
At the center is the Great Plaza, a large area with a plaster-like floor. In time, other structures were built encompassing the Plaza. These embody the North Acropolis and the Central citadel. The North Acropolis holds seventy slabs of stone, referred as stelae, that stand a double row with altars set in front of them. . Some are engraved with pictures of rulers and hieroglyphs. The Central Acropolis encompasses 700 feet of long buildings with several rooms, usually referred to as palaces.
There are six temple pyramids, with the tallest one, Temple IV, standing 65 meters (212 feet) high. Visitors will scale it by using protruding roots and wooden ladders. Temple VI has an vast show of hieroglyphics that narrate the history of the town. Temple I and Temple II lie the east and west of the Great Plaza.
Water conservation was important to the Mayans at this site, and they engineered reservoir and culvert systems to help with the storage and usage of water. Another innovation used by the Mayans were sacbes, which were raised causeways paved with lime-based cement, connecting Tikal’s ceremonial nodes.
In addition to the towering temples and other unique architectural works, Tikal is well known for the carved inscriptions and exceptional polychrome ceramics found there.
The last recorded date on a monument in Tikal is 869 A.D., and historians believe that by 950 A.D. The town was abandoned. Scientists are not sure whether war, disease, famine or some other reason caused the Mayans to leave Tikal. However, they left a part of themselves behind within the ruins. The town and surrounding area is currently a protected national park, and guests are welcome to explore the ruins. A lot of is learned through seeing, touching and exploring this ancient town once inhabited by the Mayans.
Enjoy the trip with Tikal Travel Guide!