Introduction to Tikal <ul><li>The ancient Maya city of Tikal is located deep in the heart of Guatemala`s El Peten rainforest. </li></ul><ul><li>Tikal was once the major cultural and population center of the Maya civilization </li></ul><ul><li>Today Tikal National Park is a sanctuary for the archaeological monuments, and for endangered wildlife such as ocelots, monkeys, toucans, parrots, and jaguars. </li></ul><ul><li>Tikal is one of the largest ancient Maya sites, covering 60 square miles </li></ul>Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tikal-Plaza-Mayor-Panorama.jpg
Location Tikal is located in modern day Guatemala Image source: http://www.famsi.org/maps/index.html
Tikal’s Beginnings <ul><li>Some of the earliest temples at Tikal date back to 4 th century BC </li></ul><ul><li>Tikal is the modern name for the site. Hieroglyphic inscriptions show that the ancient Maya called the site “Yax Mutal” </li></ul>A panorama time lapse at sunset overlooking the Great Plaza from the North Acropolis. Click here to watch the movie in an Internet browser
Tikal: A Cultural Center of the Maya <ul><li>Tikal’s location between two rivers allowed Tikal to become a great trade, religious, and political center that dominated the region at times during the Classic Period (200 AD to 850 AD.) </li></ul>Photo: Tara Todras-Whitehill for The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/12/16/travel/20071216_TIKAL_SLIDESHOW_index.html
Tikal at Its Peak <ul><li>Tikal reached its peak population of approximately 55,000 people around AD 700. </li></ul><ul><li>The city itself contained many different structures inside its boundaries. These structures included temples, pyramids, shrines, ball courts, ceremonial structures and resident areas. </li></ul>Photo: Tara Todras-Whitehill for The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/12/16/travel/20071216_TIKAL_SLIDESHOW_4.html
Tikal Abandoned <ul><li>Site abandoned by the end of the 10 the century </li></ul><ul><li>Possible reasons for the abandonment include overpopulation, environmental degradation, drought and the Maya's long history of warfare </li></ul><ul><li>After site abandonment Tikal was overgrown by the jungle </li></ul><ul><li>Tikal was largely forgotten, except as a legend about a lost city of the Maya </li></ul>Image credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/riodulcechisme/319658936/ The jungle grows very quickly and rapidly covers a building is no one tend to it.
Site Re-discovery <ul><li>Site was re-discovered in 1846 by a gum-collector named Ambrosio Tut </li></ul><ul><li>Ambrosio spotted Tikal’s temple roof combs rising out of the jungle </li></ul><ul><li>In 1956 The University of Pennsylvania began the first archaeological study and excavation of Tikal </li></ul><ul><li>Before the excavation, much of the site was covered by the jungle </li></ul>Temples I and II rising out of the jungle
Map of Tikal <ul><li>Map of the the site </li></ul>The site of Tikal is very large and is made of many different temples and areas Structures include: temples, ball courts, palaces, residential complexes and causeways.
Panorama of the Grand Plaza Panorama photograph of the Great Plaza and Central Acropolis Click here to play the panorama in an internet browser
Imagining the Past An artist’s drawing of what Tikal may have looked like. What do you think Tikal looked like in the 1500 years ago? Image source: http://www.authenticmaya.com/images/ancient-tikal.gif
Pyramids <ul><li>Tikal feature 6 large step pyramids, Temples I-VI </li></ul><ul><li>Temples served many purposes </li></ul><ul><li>-Platforms used in religious rituals </li></ul><ul><li>-Observatories </li></ul><ul><li>-Tombs for rulers </li></ul>Temples constantly built upon and renovated Whenever a new ruler came in to power, a new layer would be built on an existing pyramid Some rulers would also build pyramids for themselves, for their living family or as a tribute to their dead relatives Image source: http://www.authenticmaya.com/images/fig_21.jpg
Pyramid Features <ul><li>Temple at top of pyramid with very steep stairs leading to temple </li></ul><ul><li>Some pyramids also had a small burial chamber </li></ul><ul><li>During ceremonies priests would ascend the pyramid from the earth to the sky by means of staircases. They believed that this brought them closer to the gods. </li></ul><ul><li>Exterior decorated with elaborate stucco decorations and stone carving. </li></ul><ul><li>Exteriors also covered with white lime and red paint. </li></ul><ul><li>Interiors decorated with mural paintings. </li></ul>Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tikal_Temple1_2006_08_11.JPG
Technology <ul><li>Maya buildings were typically made from limestone </li></ul><ul><li>Stone was cut in quarries and then moved to the sites </li></ul><ul><li>Limestone in its bed is soft enough to be cut by stone tools. Limestone hardens in the sun. </li></ul><ul><li>Pyramids build without metal tools </li></ul>Maya pyramids have very steep steps
Maya Pyramids vs Egyptian Pyramids Built of small cut stones on a rubble core Served many functions-temple, tombs, platform for public ceremonies Often built on top of older, existing temples and pyramids Built of large blocks of cut stone Built as as a tomb for pharaohs Pharaohs would begin construction of their own pyramid at the beginning of their reign
Temple I Temple 1, or Temple of the Jaguar Temple I was built for the 26th ruler of Tikal, Jasaw. The building date is unknown as it is unclear if Jasaw built it for himself or if his son, Yik`in, constructed it in honor of his deceased father. Large carved piece of stone, or stelae often depicted historical events or religious stories
Temple II <ul><li>Temple II is dedicated to King Jasa’s wife, Lady Twelve Macaw (died 704 A.D.) </li></ul><ul><li>Lady Twelve Macaw is buried inside this temple. </li></ul>Temple II, or Temple of the Moon Built in the eighth-century Tikal ruler Jasaw Chan K`awiil
Temple II- Temple of the Masks <ul><li>Temple II is also known as Temple of the Masks </li></ul><ul><li>The roof comb of Temple II, while damaged by weather, has many carved stone masks. </li></ul><ul><li>Roof combs are decorative structure that sit on top of a building </li></ul><ul><li>Roof combs acts as billboards projecting political and religious messages to the people </li></ul>Most of the Maya population could not read. Stone carvings of gods and rulers helped explain to people their religious ideas
Temple IV <ul><li>Temple IV is the tallest structure at Tikal. </li></ul><ul><li>Temples IV is 70 meters in height and is the second tallest structure built by the Maya. </li></ul><ul><li>Built by Yik`in Chan Kawil, son of Jasaw, in the mid-8th century. </li></ul><ul><li>Temple contains a tomb, however, archaeologists have not identified the owner of the tomb </li></ul>Temple IV is currently undergoing restoration. It has not been fully excavated. In this picture you can see the jungle still covering part of the temple
The Central Acropolis <ul><li>The Central Acropolis </li></ul>Central Acropolis The Central Acropolis, on the right Temple II, on the left Most of its buildings are of the so-called palace type, probably used for daily functions of the royal court. Click here to open a panorama of the Central Acropolis in an Internet browser
The North Acropolis <ul><li>The North Acropolis was the focus of the city's religious architecture and the preferred place of burial for rulers </li></ul><ul><li>Dozens of tombs dating to the Pre-classic period. </li></ul>
Ball courts <ul><li>Tikal has five ball courts. </li></ul><ul><li>Ball games played as a a sacred ritual and had an important role in Maya religion and culture. </li></ul>Ball courts are often located in or adjacent to important ceremonial and monumental areas. All but the smallest of Maya cities had ball courts.
Ball Games <ul><li>Ballgames played as an important ritual ceremony </li></ul><ul><li>Exact rules of the game are unknown, but some rules have been learned from images of the ballgame on carved stone and painted on pottery </li></ul><ul><li>Game played with a heavy solid rubber ball </li></ul><ul><li>Object of the game was probably to keep the ball in play using hips and forearms </li></ul><ul><li>Courts had stone rings which may have been used as goals </li></ul>Image credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Maya_Vase_Ballplayer.png A Maya vase shows a ball player dressed for the game.
Tikal Today: The Modern Maya People <ul><li>The Maya are still a thriving culture living in Mexico </li></ul><ul><li>The Maya people of Guatemala hold a Maya festival every year as an anti-Columbus Day to remind the world that their culture is still alive </li></ul>Photo: Tara Todras-Whitehill for The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/12/16/travel/20071216_TIKAL_SLIDESHOW_2.html
Tikal’s Mysteries <ul><li>Archaeologists still have much more to learn about Tikal and the ancient Maya </li></ul><ul><li>Some parts of Tikal are still un-excavated </li></ul>Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/riodulcechisme/319659318/
Damage to Tikal from Nature and People <ul><li>Rain, humidity, plants and people can cause damage to Tikal, even when archaeologists try to preserve the site. </li></ul><ul><li>Weathering is decomposition of rocks and material from contact with the Earth’s atmosphere. </li></ul><ul><li>Tikal receives 120,000 visitors a year </li></ul><ul><li>Visitors can unintentionally cause damage to site by walking and touching the buildings </li></ul>Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/riodulcechisme/319658574/
Archaeology Today: Laser Scanning <ul><li>New archaeology techniques can help record ancient sites that may be damaged by weathering over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Laser scanners use lasers and computers to record the measurements of sites. </li></ul><ul><li>These records are very precise and can help archaeologists learn about the site even if it gets damaged. </li></ul><ul><li>Laser scanners are much more accurate than older methods of drawings In 2005 UC Berkeley and CyArk used laser scanners and other digital technology to record Tikal and archive the data on the web for public use </li></ul><ul><li>Pictures and laser scan records for free on http://www.cyark.org </li></ul>
Laser Archaeology Movie <ul><li>Click here to watch a video about how UC Berkeley and CyArk use lasers to make 3-D digital models for persevering Tikal </li></ul>
3-D Tour of Grand Plaza <ul><li>3-D tour of the Grand Plaza </li></ul>Movie: 3-D Tour of the Grand Plaza made using laser scanners Click here to play the video in an Internet browser
3-D Models of Tikal <ul><li>Laser scanners can make 3-D models of archaeology sites and artifacts. </li></ul><ul><li>These models can help archaeologists learn even more about the site. </li></ul><ul><li>3-D models also are a record of a site in case the site is destroyed. </li></ul><ul><li>Tikal has been digitally recorded by CyArk using laser scanners and other methods so future generations can learn about this amazing site. </li></ul>
Image Credits <ul><li>Unless otherwise noted, all images and movies have been used with permission from http://www.cyark.org </li></ul>