Tikal, The Maya City TikalAncient City of the Maya
Introduction • The ancient Maya city of Tikal is located deep in the heart of Guatemala`s El Peten rainforest. • Tikal was once the major cultural and population center of the Maya civilization • Today Tikal National Park is a sanctuary for the archaeological monuments, and for endangered wildlife such as ocelots, monkeys, toucans, parrots, and jaguars. • Tikal is one of the largest ancient Maya sites, covering 60 square miles
Location Tikal is located in modern day Guatemala
Some of the earliest temples at Tikal date back to 4th century BC • Tikal is the modern name for the site. Hieroglyphic inscriptions show that the ancient Maya called the site “Yax Mutal” A panorama time lapse at sunset overlooking the Great Plaza from the North Acropolis.
Location • Tikal’s location between two rivers allowed Tikal to become a great trade, religious, and political center that dominated the region at times during the Classic Period (200 AD to 850 AD.) • Tikal reached its peak population of approximately 55,000 people around AD 700. • The city itself contained many different structures inside its boundaries. These structures included temples, pyramids, shrines, ball courts, cermonial structures and resident areas.
Tikal Abandoned • Site abandoned by the end of the 10 the century • Possible reasons for the abandonment include overpopulation, environmental degradation, drought and the Maya's long history of warfare • After site abandonment Tikal was overgrown by the jungle • Tikal was largely forgotten, except as a legend about a lost city of the Maya
Site Re-discovery • Site was re-discovered in 1846 by a gum-collector named Ambrosio Tut • Ambrosio spotted Tikal’s temple roof combs rising out of the jungle • The discovery of the site was published in the 1853 by the Berlin Academy of Science • Many expeditions to study the site soon followed Temples I and II rising out of the jungle
First Archaeological Study of Tikal • In 1956 The University of Pennsylvania began the first archaeological study and excavation of Tikal • Before the excavation, much of the site was covered by the jungle • Archaeologist created a map of Tikal’s 4,000 structures • Structures include: temples, ball courts, palaces, residential complexes and causeways.
Map of Tikal • Map of the the site
Panorama of the grand Plaza Panorama photograph of the Great Plaza and Central Acropolis
Pyramids • Tikal feature 6 large step pyramids, Temples I-VI • Some of the pyramids are over 60 meters (200 feet) tall Temples served many purposes -Platforms used in religious rituals -Observatories -Tombs for rulers Temples constantly added to Whenever a new ruler came in to power, he would build a new layer on an existing pyramid or built a new pyramid
Maya Pyramids vs Egyptian Pyramids Built of small cut stones on a rubble core Served many functions-temple, tombs, platform for public ceremonies Often built on top of older, existing temples and pyramids Built of large blocks of cut stone Built as as a tomb for pharaohs
Technology • Maya buildings were typically made from limestone • Stone was cut in quarries and then moved to the sites • Limestone in its bed is soft enough to be cut by stone tools. Limestone hardens in the sun. • Pyramids build without metal tools, pulleys or wheels Maya pyramids have very steep steps
3-D Tour of Grand Plaza • 3-D tour of the Grand Plaza Movie: 3-D Tour of the Grand Plaza
Temple I Large carved piece of stone, or stelae often depicted historical events or religious stories Temple 1, or Temple of the Jaguar Temple I was built for the 26th ruler of Tikal, Jasaw. The building date is unknown as it is unclear if Jasaw built it for himself or if his son, Yik`in, constructed it in honor of his deceased father.
Temple II Temple II, or Temple of the Moon Built in the eighth-century Tikal ruler Jasaw Chan K`awiil Temple II is dedicated to King Jasa’s wife, Lady Twelve Macaw (died 704 A.D.) Lady Twelve Macaw is buried inside this temple.
Temple IV is the tallest structure at Tikal. • Temples IV is 70 meters in height and is the second tallest structure built by the Maya. • Built by Yik`in Chan Kawil, son of Jasaw, in the mid-8th century. • Temple contains a tomb, however, archaeologists have not identified the owner of the tomb Temple IV is currently undergoing restoration. It has not been fully excavated. In this picture you can see the jungle still covering part of the temple
The Central Acropolis • The Central Acropolis Central Acropolis The Central Acropolis, on the right Temple II to the left Most of its buildings are of the so-called palace type, probably used for daily functions of the royal court.
The North Acropolis • The North Acropolis was the focus of the city`s religious architecture and the preferred place of burial for rulers • Dozens of tombs dating back well into the Preclassic period.
Maya architectural features Roof Comb Decorative structure that sit on top of a building Roofcombs were elaborately decorated with images important to the Maya people Roof combs acts as billboards projecting poltical and religious messages to the people The roof comb of Temple II, also known as the Temple of the Mask has a very large roof comb. The roof comb still contain traces of the oringal jaguars, mask etc
Ball courts Tikal has five ball courts. Ball games played as a a sacred ritual and had an important role in Maya religion and culture Ball courts are often located in or adjacent to important ceremonial and monumental areas.
Ballgames played as an important ritual ceremony • Exact rules of the game are unknown, but some rules have been learned from images of the ballgame on carved stone and painted on pottery • Game played with a heavy solid rubber ball • Object of the game was probably to keep the ball in play using hips and forearms • Courts had stone rings which may have been used as goals