Tikal Ruins Ancient Mayan Civilization in Guatemala

The name Tikal comes from the Maya Yucatec word ti ak'al which means "in the water hole". The name was apparently applied to one ancient reservoirs at the site by hunters and travelers in the region. This word is interpreted alternatively as "place of voices" in Maya Itza.




IPHEDIA.com - Tikal ruins the ancient city Maya Civilization, one largest archaeological sites and urban centers pre-Columbian Maya civilization found in the rainforests of Guatemala. It is located in the archaeological region Petén Basin, in what is now northern Guatemala.

The name Tikal comes from the Maya Yucatec word ti ak'al which means "in the water hole". The name was apparently applied to one ancient reservoirs at the site by hunters and travelers in the region. This word is alternatively interpreted as "place of voices" in the Maya Itza language.

Tikal, however, is not the ancient name for the site but rather the name it adopted after its discovery in the 1840s. The hieroglyphic inscriptions in its ruins refer to the ancient city as Yax Mutal or Yax Mutul, which means "First Mutal".

At that time, Tikal was the capital of a conquering nation which became one of the most powerful empires in ancient Maya times. Although the monumental architecture at this site dates back to the 4th century BC, it is known that Tikal reached its peak during the Classical Period around 200 to 900 BC.

During this time, the city dominated much of Maya territory politically, economically, and militarily, and interacted with areas throughout Mesoamerica, such as the large city of Teotihuacan in the distant Valley of Mexico.

There is evidence of Tikal being conquered by Teotihuacan in the 4th century AD. After end Late Classical Age, no new large monuments were built at Tikal and there is evidence that the elite palace was burned down. This was coupled with a gradual decline in population, culminating in the abandonment site in the late 10th century.

In its development, Tikal is best understood by researchers among the major lowland Maya cities, with the existence of a long list of dynastic rulers, the discovery tombs of many of the rulers on this list based on an investigation of their monuments, temples and palaces.

The Tikal project recorded more than 200 monuments at the site. In 1979, the Guatemalan government began a further archaeological project at Tikal, which continued until 1984.

In 1979 this site was declared part Guatemala Tikal National Park and declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Today, Tikal is a major tourist attraction surrounded by its own national park. A site museum completed in 1964 has been built that tourists can visit at Tikal. (as/ip)

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