tikal Temples tour

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About Tikal Mayan Site

At the dawn of the Maya Classic era, Tikal was once the most important city in the Maya region. It is located in the Petén area of Guatemala and one hour and a half drive from Belize’s Western Border. In 378, the ruling Tikal dynasty was replaced by representatives of the mighty northern city of Teotihuacan: it is unclear if the takeover was military or political. Other than a change in the royal family, this does not seem to have altered Tikal’s rise to prominence.

Soon Tikal was the dominant city in the region, controlling several other smaller city-states. Warfare was common, and sometime in the late sixth century, Tikal was defeated by Calakmul, Caracol, or a combination of the two, causing a gap in the city’s prominence and historical records. Tikal bounced back, however, once again becoming a great power.

Population estimates for Tikal at its peak vary: one estimate is that of respected researcher William Haviland, who in 1965 estimated a population of 11,000 in the city center and 40,000 in the surrounding areas.

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