Ancient Maya Art – Architecture I

ArS Artistic Adventure of Mankind

View of the main plaza at Tikal (Petén Basin, department of El Petén, northern Guatemala). Tikal was one of the largest urban centers of the Maya civilization. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 to 900 AD.

The Tikal Temple I, also known as “Temple of the Great Jaguar”. The structure is typical of the Petén-styled architecture featuring limestone stepped pyramids. The building dates ca. 732 AD. At the top of the stepped pyramid, the temple is surmounted by a characteristic roof comb, an architectural feature distinctive of the Maya civilization.

The great mass of the Mayan population lived in small and dispersed communities (towns, villages, hamlets), mainly dedicated to work the land. The ceremonial centers were inhabited by the noble class (royalty and priests), civil servants of the complicated civil and…

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