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The History Of Tikal’s Mayan Civilization

by on May.28, 2012, under Travel

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History per se is certainly never exact. Truly the only account we have now of history is the thing that remains by point of view. This is particularly true in the world of Mayan history, where the almost all detailed accounts of history are found from not skilled archaeologists, opinionated historians, erroneous translations, one-sided Spanish Conquistador scripts.

Apart from such scripts, historians and archaeologists, all they left us are eroding hieroglyphics which are not always decipherable, even by people who speak many Mayan dialects. Hence, the future account, just like any historical account of Mayan history, ought to be read with somewhat a constructive as well as curious skepticism. It is always best to seek the truth or something close to it.

The Classic Period

It was in the three regions of Mexico where the classic Maya culture developed. Essentially the most significant and also most complete urban developments took place in the lowlands in the “central region” of southern Guatemala. This region is actually covered by rich tropical rainforest; it is a drainage basin about 60 miles and 20 miles wide; the Mayas, in actual fact, are only 1 of 2 peoples to build an urban culture in a tropical rainforest.

The fact of the matter is that Tikal was the principal city in this region, though the spread of urbanization fully extended south to Honduras; the southernmost Mayan city was Copan in northern Honduras. In the Guatemalan highlands to the north, Mayan culture developed less fully. The highlands are certainly more warm and seem to have been the major suppliers of raw materials to the central locations. The Mayan development also took place in another major region which is the Yucatan Peninsula which comprises the eastern and souther portions of Mexico today. The Yucatan Peninsula is generally a dry region, though towns were built in this area, like Chichen Itza and Uxmal (pronounced “Oosh-mal”), almost all scholars assume that this was a culturally marginal area. Right after the desertion of the Classic Mayan towns and cities, the Yucatn peninsula had become the most important region of a new, synthetic culture recognized as Toltec-Mayan which was developed when Toltecs migrating from the north integrated with indigenous Maya peoples.


Tikal is actually the second largest ancient Mayan ruined cities of the Mayan world as the first one is Calakmul. Positioned in El Petn, Guatemala, where regions are known by departments as an alternative to states, Tikal has now become certainly one of Guatemla’s most popular tourist place. Near the cities of Flores and also Santa Elena Tikal is also on the list of best stored Mayan archaeological sites in Latin America along with Chichen Itza and also Machu pichu.

They said that the name Tikal was derived from the word, Ti-akal, a Mayan place name which means “At the Reservoir.Variations in Roman spelling aside, the name could just be a hybrid of the original Proto-Mayan word. The word, nevertheless, means several large as well as partly artificial water basins discovered close to the center of the ruins.


As among the primary cultural and also population centers in Maya civilization Tikal’s breathtaking architecture dates to the 4th century BC, when it reached its top through the Classic Period ca. 200 AD to 900 AD. Where, in accordance with some sources, the site focused the Maya region politically.It is actually debated whether or not the Maya of the region been able to get in touch with native population. Hieroglyphics located in Palenque and also Chichen Itza reveal that there was a blend of cultures between the Mixteca, Atzecs of Cental Mexico as well as the Maya of Chiapas, developing different subcultures of an early pacifist, or non-sacrifice practicing civilization.

There are evidences which tells that Tikal was conquered by Teotithuacan during the 4th century A.D.. Right after the end of the Late Classic Period, absolutely no new main monuments were constructed at Tikal and there’s evidence that elite palaces were burnt. Next came the gradual decline of population as well as the abandonment of the site by the end of the 10th century.

In contrast to the its Mayan cousin, Gran Acropolis Ednza in Campeche, Mexico, Tikal had no water apart from what was gathered from rainwater and kept in subterranean storage facilities known as chultuns. During the last century, there were archaeologists working in Tikal used the ancient underground facilities to store water for their own use. The lack of lakes, rivers and springs in the primary area of Tikal highlights a vast feat: creating a big city with just supplies of kept periodic rainfall.

With intensive agricultural techniques, Tikal prospered, which are much more advanced compared to slash & burn techniques initially theorized by archeologists. It was the reliance on seasonal rainfall that left Tikal prone to lenthy drought which also brought on the fall of the Classic Maya.

Many other hypotheses declare that Tikal was never an important power in the Mayan world, yet a subject of the empire civilization organized by El Caracol and Calakmul. And also various other sources point out that Tikal was a prominent influence in the southern Maya. We all do know, nonetheless, that Tikal was usually at war and inscriptions refer to alliances and clash with some other Maya states, which includes UaxactunTikal Temple Caracol, and Calakmul.Tikal was defeated by Caracol at the end of the Early Classic; it was Caracol who took the place of Tikal being the paramount center in the southern Maya lowlands. Apparently another defeat was experienced at the hands of Dos Pilas in the middle 7th century, with the possible seize and also sacrifice of Tikal’s ruler during the time.

Akin to the numerous archaeological sites in the Mayan World, just a fraction of the constructions in Tikal have been entirely excavated. With intense tourism in and out of Tikal virtually year-round and also poor funds excavations haven’t made important advances despite many years of archaeological work. Essentially the most dominant of the structures that have been excavated are Temples I – VI, each of which facilitates a temple structure on their summits. Most of these pyramids are more than 60 meters high (200 feet). They were numbered sequentially in the early survey of the site.

Onejungle.com has great informative articles on the Mayan History. The original article can be found here: History of Mayan Civilization Tikal .

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