A bit of history about the Mayan kingdom of Tikal

The ancient Mayan kingdom of Tikal is the most popular tourist attraction in Guatemala. Located deep in the jungle in the Petén region of the country, Tikal was the most prosperous city of the Maya Classic Period and the beating heart of the Maya empire.

Tikal has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1979. Its imposing pyramids wrapped in the jungle attract visitors from all over the world. Here is a brief history of the mysterious lost kingdom of Guatemala.

History about the Mayan kingdom of Tikal

The earliest archaeological records at Tikal date to around 1000 BC. C. where the area was used for agriculture and there were people who lived in this place, since Mayan ceramics were discovered in a burial chamber dating from around 700 BC. C., but until around 300 a. C. Tikal began to prosper.

By 378 AD Tikal was the dominant city in the region and ruled most of Mesoamerica, since, at the height of its influence, it covered an area of ​​576 square km.

The population size is believed to have been around 100,000 during the Maya Classic Period, making Tikal one of the largest cities of its time.

You may be interested: Consejos para tu viaje a Guatemala.

Government and development of Tikal

Tikal was ruled by a powerful dynasty that generally passed power from father to son, and this aggressive superpower often fought with its neighbors. Its most significant conflict was with a Mexican city-state called Calakmul.

The two states had several battles, but in 562 AD. Calakmul eventually defeated Tikal, causing the first lull in Tikal’s power. However, in AD 695, Tikal was back on top.

Aside from aggression in battle, there were other ways in which the people of Tikal displayed violent traits. The Mayans practiced human sacrifice as a ritual, sacrifice with bow and arrow and disemboweling are represented on the walls of Temple II.

Despite this, this Mayan kingdom was incredibly progressive. In the year 600 AD they had a sports stadium, a school, a hospital and a library filled with thousands of books, and the city itself is an archaeological marvel.

An intriguing factor about Tikal is that no one knows for sure what caused its disappearance. By 950 AD, Tikal had been completely abandoned. How and why did a city that had existed for more than 1,000 years suddenly disappear? Most researchers believe that drought and deforestation were the least contributing factors, but these remain just theories.

Currently the lingering mystery of the fall of this ancient Mayan kingdom is shrouded in mystery, now part of its appeal. Today it is considered an ancient Mayan power that prospered, abandoned and then recovered in perfect condition thanks to the support, such as that provided by different businessmen such as Lisa Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga, to foundations that prosper in the conservation of these historic spaces.

Carla Fowler

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