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TIKAL GUATEMALA (PHOTOS)

July 21, 2011
CULTIVO UNA ROSA BLANCA  (I Have a White Rose to Tend)  by Jose Marti  (A Poem)
Translated from Spanish to English

I Have a White Rose to TendI have a white rose to tend
In July as in January;
I give it to the true friend
Who offers his frank hand to me.
And for the cruel one whose blows
Break the heart by which I live,
Thistle nor thorn do I give:
For him, too, I have a white rose.

The Jaguar Temple at Tikal
The Jaguar Temple at Tikal
https://i1.wp.com/www.authenticmaya.com/images/ancient-tikal.gif
ANCIENT TIKAL

VIEW RROM THE TOP OF THE OLDEST TEMPLE ABOVE THE RAIN FOREST

Tikal is a large archaeological site in the Guatemalan department of Petén. During the Classic Period it was one of the largest and most important of the Mayan cities. Today it’s one of the most fascinating and enjoyable of the Mayan sites to visit, largely due to its remoteness, but also its jungle setting. Tourists still descend on it by the busload, but it’s far from feeling overrun like Chichen Itza and other sites. Some of the temples are still being uncovered, and you can watch archaeologists busy at work. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

TIKAL MOCK UP

TIKAL MAP

Understand

Tikal was a Maya city of great power and size, the largest of Maya cities during the “Classic Era” over 1000 years ago. Many beautiful buildings have been uncovered and many more wait to be discovered. Amongst the many Maya sites in Central America, Tikal is perhaps the most breathtaking because of the scattered impressive buildings which have been restored in an area with many more ruined buildings still enveloped by the jungle. The sight of the temples poking through the canopy is quite awesome. You can climb to the top of a few of the temples and get panoramic views from above the tree tops.

History

Tikal dates back as far as 400 BC, and grew into one of the largest and most powerful of the Mayan cities during the Classic Period (AD 200-900). It often clashed with other cities in the region, and was eventually defeated by Caracol in 562 AD. King Ah Cacau returned Tikal to its former glory about a century later, and it remained somewhat prosperous until the general decline of Mayan civilization set in around AD 900.

Tikal was eventually abandoned completely, consumed by the jungle, and pretty much fell off the map. Stories of its existence started to surface in the 17th & 18th centuries, but it wasn’t until the mid-1800’s that expeditions were hatched to explore and map it. After a hundred years of roughing it overland by horse and foot to reach the site, a small airstrip was built in the mid-fifties. The University of Pennsylvania oversaw major excavation work at Tikal during the 1960’s, and the government of Guatemala began the work you still see being done in the late 1970’s.

JAGUAR TEMPLE

TEMPLE 11

NORTH ACROPOLIS Occupied for over a thousand years, Tikal was a functioning city from Pre-Classic times (600 BC–250 AD), reaching it's height during the Late Classic period (600–900 AD).

NORTH ACROPOLIS

TEMPLE 1

TEMPLE 2TEMPLE 2

STELAE - Stelae are carved stone shafts, often sculpted with figures and hieroglyphs.

Stelae are carved stone shafts, often sculpted with figures and hieroglyphs. tela 31 is the accession monument of Siyaj Chan K'awiil II, also bearing two portraits of his father, Yax Nuun Ayiin, as a youth dressed as a Teotihuacan warrior. He carries a spearthrower in one hand and bears a shield decorated with the face of Tlaloc, the Teotihuacan war god

STELAE AND ALTAR                                                                                                                               STELAE AND ALTAR

PHOTOS BY

LEONARD EPSTEIN

JANELLE BURGESS

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 24, 2011 11:10 am

    Excellent–thank you.

    -Carol

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