Temple 1, Tik’al

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Guatemala; 695 CE

Tik’al is the very image of a lost city. Even its name is lost. ‘Tik’al’ – the place of voices – has been attached to it in modern times, to suggest that it is haunted by its past. Deserted since the tenth century, the city is surrounded by jungle. There are the remnants of six great temples and thousands of houses that remain unexcavated beneath mounds of luxuriant vegetation. The tallest of the temples, Temple IV, is 64 metres (210 feet) high.

The city of Tik’al was produced by the Mayan civilization, which flourished in the area that is now the southern tip of Mexico and Guatemala – the land between the ...

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