traditional name of unknown meaning, according to
William R. Coe. "Place where Spirit Voices are
Heard" according to Teobert Maler.
reading list for publications
is often referred to as the mother of all Maya sites
because it is the largest known Maya center. It was
virtually abandoned and was not officially found and
reported again until 1848 the Guatemalan government
According to William Coe the site center has
more then 3,000 separate constructions including
temples – five of them more than 125 feet tall –
palaces, and shrines.
Over 200 stone monuments consisting of stelea
and alters, both carved and plain, were found in the
As many as 10,000 earlier constructions may lie
beneath the already identified buildings.
The earliest building at Tikal dates to about
300 BC although occupation has been found to occur
far it is believed that Tikal was ruled by a single
dynasty throughout its history.
According to L. Schele and D. Freidel there
were 39 successive rulers of Tikal.
The site reached its peak in the Late Classic
period when there may have been up to 100,000 or more
Maya residing in or near the site center.
Numerous polities record the site of Tikal in
their monuments and vice versa including Caracol,
Uaxactun, Naranjo, and Calakmul.