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Tikal Fun Facts
The ruins of Tikal are teeming with a rich history that paints a vibrant picture of life in a city booming centuries ago. Parts of this mighty city remain standing to this day, remaining an unwavering testament to the influential role of Tikal in the Mayan Empire. The standing structures and intriguing history make these ruins a popular destination.
Here are a few Tikal facts that paint a picture of its former glory.
1. It dates back to 1000 B.C.
Archaeologists have found evidence that suggests Tikal’s origins date back to 1000 B.C. They have discovered various ceramics that date as far back as 700 B.C. Unfortunately, pinpointing the origin of this city is difficult, but many historians believe the city dates back to 700 B.C. or earlier.
2. Tikal was the Mayan capital.
Tikal, or Yax Mutal, played a pivotal role in Mayan civilization. It was the capital of one of the most influential and powerful kingdoms of the Mayan Empire. Hieroglyphic records imply this city was the seat of Mayan Ruler Yax Ehb Xook, a powerful ruler over the surrounding lowland region. The name of the city was derived from this ruler in his honor.
This pre-Columbian center was a political, economic, and military power hub, leaving evidence of its power and size in the buildings that still exist today.
3. Its structures are still standing.
Mayans used limestone to construct the structures in the city of Tikal. This material has withstood the test of time, and several of the buildings are still standing tall today. Its buildings include small pyramids, towers, sprawling royal palaces, plazas, ball courts, and stone monuments called stelae.
4. Its demise remains a mystery.
The foggy story of its demise is one of the most intriguing facts about Tikal. While historians have pieced together various tidbits from Mayan history, the exact demise of Tikal is unknown. Like much of the Mayan empire, the city began to collapse by around 900 A.D., likely due to decades of incessant warfare that started to wear on the city and its inhabitants.
Historians believe other factors played into the demise of this great city, including epidemic disease outbreaks and various droughts decimating crops and causing starvation. The demise of this city and the Mayan empire is known as the collapse of Classic Maya.
5. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Tikal ruins are part of Tikal National Park, located in Northern Guatemala’s Peten Province. This area is overrun by thick, lust forestation and is commonly referred to as the Maya Forest. The park is part of the exponentially larger Maya Biosphere Reserve, which exceeds two million hectares.
The ruins of Tikal are nestled in this park, surrounded by thick vegetation in the heart of the jungle. Today, Tikal National Park is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Book a Tikal Adventure With Caravan Today!
After learning about fascinating, fun Tikal, Guatemala facts, you might be ecstatic about traveling there. After all, Tikal is teeming with exciting opportunities, from strolling through ancient plazas once teeming with people to learning about the area’s rich history. If you’re ready to dive in and explore the ruins of Tikal, our guided tour might be the perfect way to do it. We handle the small details for you so you can focus on enjoying your trip!
Ready to explore Guatemala and Tikal? Call us at 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-800-312-321-9800 to book a trip today!
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Why Travel with Caravan?
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