Tikal Archaeological Remains

Tikal Archaeological Remains
Tikal Archaeological Remains

The one known as the Acropolis of Tikal is one of the most outstanding archaeological centers of the Mayan culture; Located in what is now Guatemala, in the Petén region, Tikal was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. It seems that the oldest remains found at the site tell us about a city that would be founded around to the 4th century BC but that it lived its time of greatest prosperity between the 3rd and 10th centuries AD. when the city was abandoned. The complexity of the remains found in Tikal tell us of a highly structured society, with a broad economic and, above all, cultural level.


We could say that Ambrosio Tut and Modesto Méndez were the first to rediscover the Mayan city in the mid-nineteenth century, but the truth is that in reality, the existence of the ancient city was well known among the inhabitants of the area and yet its remote location and the fact that it had been practically absorbed by the jungle meant that the area remained more or less unknown to the general public.

In Tikal, archaeologists have identified an area of ​​more than sixty square kilometers that would correspond to the housing area of ​​the city and that even today is not completely excavated. The city has an important sewage structure and water filtration system as well as multiple temples, squares or tombs. Most of the constructionsThey have been raised in limestone extracted from deposits near the city. Archaeologists have estimated that a city of such vast dimensions and with such complex building systems could accommodate a population of between ten thousand and ninety thousand people.

The center of the city was laid out in the Great Plaza on the periphery of which some of the most important buildings in the city were erected, such as the North Acropolis, an architectural complex dating from around 350 B.C. and that presents a funerary character as a multitude of temples dedicated to housing the lifeless body of the main rulers of the city. In just over one hectare of land, the acropolis had a total of sixteen funerary temples and some forty-three funerary stelae have been found in its vicinity.

In the archaeological complex of Tikal, where only a small part has been excavated today, some six very tall stepped pyramids stand out -some exceed sixty-five meters high- which have a small temple. According to studies carried out, the pyramids were built between the 7th and 9th centuries, however most of these constructions have been built on more primitive structures that have been used in the foundations of new constructions.

On the other hand, the multiple stelae found in Tikal are vertical limestone stones on whose surface low and medium reliefs have been carved with representations of the rulers of the city andinscriptions in Mayan language.

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