The Lost City of Tikal

Tikal is the largest of the ancient ruined cities of the Maya civilization. If you ever visit Guatemala don’t miss the chance to visit the ancient ruins at Tikal.

Tikal was one of the major cultural and population centers of the Maya civilization. The oldest monumental architecture at the site dates to the 4th century BC. The best time of Tikal was during the Classic Period, from 200 AD to 900 AD. In this period, Tikal was in charge of the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily. This is because it was linked with areas throughout Mesoamerica, such as central Mexican, the center of Teotihuacan. After the end of the Late Classic Period, no new major monuments were built. Some palaces were burned and the population declined. The site was abandoned by the end of the 10th century.

The ruins are on lowland rainforest, but Tikal had no water other than what was collected from rainwater and stored underground. Archaeologists working in Tikal during the last century used the underground facilities to store water for their own use. The absence of springs, rivers, and lakes nearby is unusual for a major city. However, Tikal did well with intensive agricultural techniques. These were more advanced than the slash & burn methods originally theorized by archeologists. The reliance on seasonal rainfall made Tikal open to drought. This is now thought to play a major part in the Classic Maya Collapse.

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