/tee kahl"/, n.
an ancient Mayan city occupied c200 B.C. to A.D. 900, an important center of Mayan civilization, situated in Petén in the jungles of northern Guatemala and the site of significant archaeological discoveries in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

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Ancient Maya city, northern Guatemala.

First occupied as a small village in a tropical rainforest (с 900–300 BC), it grew into an important ceremonial centre. It flourished с AD 600–900, when its great plazas, pyramids, and palaces were built and when Maya art flowered in monumental sculpture. At its height it was the largest urban centre in the southern Maya lowlands; the core city had a population of perhaps 10,000 residents with an outlying population of about 50,000. Its main structures covered about 1 sq mi (2.5 sq km). It was abandoned by the 10th century. Major excavation began in 1956; it is now a central part of Tikal National Park, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

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▪ archaeological site, Guatemala
city and ceremonial centre of the ancient Maya (pre-Columbian civilizations) civilization. The largest urban centre in the southern Maya lowlands, it stood 19 miles (30 km) north of Lake Petén Itzá in what is now the northern part of the region of Petén, Guatemala, in a tropical rainforest. Uaxactún, a smaller Maya city, was located about 12 miles (20 km) to the north. The Tikal ruins are the central attraction of Tikal National Park (World Heritage site), which was established in the 1950s and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

 Like many Maya centres of the southern lowlands, Tikal was first occupied as a small village in the Middle Formative Period (900–300 BC); subsequently, in the Late Formative Period (300 BC–AD 100), it became an important ceremonial centre with the construction of major pyramids and temples. Its heyday, however, came in the Late Classic Period (AD 600–900), with the planning and construction of its great plazas, pyramids, and palaces, the appearance of Maya hieroglyphic writing and complex systems of time-counting, and the flowering of Maya art as seen in monumental sculpture and vase painting. The numerous dedicatory stelae (stela) at the site date from the 3rd century AD until the close of the 9th century. Such stelae, usually bearing the carved features of a priest or other important person, are inscribed with hieroglyphs and dates.

 In the Early Classic Period (AD 100–600), Tikal was an important post in the great trading network that the contemporaneous central Mexican city of Teotihuacán had established in southern Mesoamerica. Tikal continued to flourish after the decline of Teotihuacán and probably extended its hegemony over a large part of the southern lowlands in the Late Classic Period. Between 600 and 800, Tikal reached its architectural and artistic peak, after which a decline set in, with depopulation and a general artistic deterioration. The last dated stela at the site is placed at 889. Small groups continued to live at the site for another century or so, but Tikal, along with the other Maya centres of the southern lowlands, was abandoned by the 10th century.

      The main structures of Tikal cover approximately 1 square mile (2.5 square km). Surveys in a larger area, encompassing at least 6 square miles (15.5 square km), have revealed outlying smaller structures that were residences. These, however, were not arranged in streets or in close-packed formation, as in the case of Teotihuacán, but were rather widely separated. It is estimated that at its height (c. 700) the core of Tikal had a population of about 10,000 persons but that the centre drew upon an outlying population of approximately 50,000.

  The site's major structures include five pyramidal temples and three large complexes, often called acropoles; these presumably were temples and palaces for the upper class. One such complex is composed of numerous buildings beneath which have been found richly prepared burial chambers. Pyramid I is topped by the Temple of the Jaguar and rises to 148 feet (45 metres). Just west of Pyramid I and facing it is Pyramid II, standing 138 feet (42 metres) above the jungle floor and supporting the Temple of the Masks. Pyramid III is 180 feet (55 metres) high. Near the Plaza of the Seven Temples stands Pyramid V (187 feet [57 metres]). The highest of the Tikal monuments is Pyramid IV (213 feet [65 metres]), which is the westernmost of the major ruins and also the site of the Temple of the Two-Headed Serpent. Pyramid IV is one of the tallest pre-Columbian structures in the Western Hemisphere.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tikal — es la más grande de las antiguas ciudades de los mayas. Está situada en la región de El Petén, en Guatemala. Tikal fue una de los principales centros culturales y poblacionales de la civilización maya. Prosperó principalmente durante el periodo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Tikal — (Акапулько де Хуарес,Мексика) Категория отеля: Адрес: Costera de Las Palmas, Playa Diamante …   Каталог отелей

  • Tikal — the Echidna Игровая серия Sonic the Hedgehog Первое появление Sonic Adventure Озвучание Элара Дистлер (игры, 1999) Белла Хадсон (аниме) Дополнительная информация …   Википедия

  • tikal — site archéologique du Guatemala (Petén) où des fouilles, entreprises en 1956, ont mis au jour les vestiges de la plus importante des villes mayas: temples pyramides, palais. tical ou tikal [tikal] n. m. ÉTYM. 1686, in Trévoux; mot portugais tical …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Tikal — (Tical), 1) Rechnungsmünze u. Gewicht in Birma u. Pegu, getheilt in 4 Mattis od. 8 Moos od. 16 Tubers od. Toques; 1 T. = 15,377 Gramm, 20 T. = 1 Mark fein Silber, 1 T. = 21 Sgr.; 2) Münze u. Gewicht in Siam, 17 auf die Vereinsmark feines Silber,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Tikal — Tikal, im franz. Vorderindien Probiergewicht zu 10 Toques von 100 Parties für Silber und von 128 für Gold; in Birma der engl. Name des Kyat oder Cheiat (s. d.); in Siam Gewicht und Silbermünze (s. Bat), jetzt mit 15,133 g Gewicht aus… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Tikal — (Tikul), Münze in Siam, s. Bat; Gewicht in Birma, s. Keiat …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Tikal — For other uses, see Tikal (disambiguation). Tikal National Park * UNESCO World Heritage Site …   Wikipedia

  • Tikal — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Tikal (homonymie). Parc National de Tikal * …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tikal — Der Große Platz von Tikal, die Nordakropolis und Tempel I Tikal ist eine antike Stadt der Maya in den Regenwäldern des Petén im nördlichen Guatemala. Sie war eine der bedeutendsten Städte der klassischen Maya Periode (3. bis 9. Jahrhundert) und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tikal — Parque Nacional Tikal1 Patrimonio de la Humanidad Unesco Templo II o Templo de las Máscaras y también denominado Templo de la Luna …   Wikipedia Español

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