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Tikal(tēkäl`), ruined city of the Classic Period of the MayaMaya
, indigenous people of S Mexico and Central America, occupying an area comprising the Yucatán peninsula and much of the present state of Chiapas in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, parts of El Salvador, and extreme western Honduras.
..... Click the link for more information. , N central Petén, Guatemala. The largest and possibly the oldest of the Maya cities, Tikal consists of nine groups of courts and plazas built on hilly land above surrounding swamps (which may have been lakes in former times) and interconnected by bridges and causeways. The main civic and religious center of the city covers about 500 acres (200 hectares). Temples and palaces rise above the plazas. The design of the buildings is for the most part monumental and static and utilizes harmonious combinations of solid masses. The tallest structure, a temple, is 229 ft (70 m) high. With a backdrop of lush tropical vegetation the abandoned city is an impressive sight.
the conventional name of one of the largest city-states of the ancient Maya, in what is now Guatemala. Tikal existed from the sixth century B.C. to the ninth century A.D. Archaeological excavations of its ruins have been conducted by scholars of the USA and Guatemala since the early 20th century.
Discoveries at the Tikal site include hundreds of temples (the main temple reaching a height of 71 m) and palaces of the aristocracy, including one five-storey structure. Other finds include stelae with reliefs and inscriptions, altars, carved wooden lintels in the temples, and remarkable works of applied art. The most important monuments of Tikal have been partially restored.
REFERENCESKinzhalov, R. V. Kul’tura drevnikh maiia. Leningrad, 1971.
Coe, W. R. Tikal. Philadelphia .
Tikal Reports, nos. 1–11. [Philadelphia] 1956–61. (Pennsylvania University; the University Museum.)