The premier national park in Guatemala, the Tikal National Park has a site that is the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Monument. Tikal, a big Mayan city encircled by immaculate Tropical Forests started being inhabited between 800 B.C.-900A.D.
Rio Azul donned a crucial role in the Tikal’s expansion and was its significant ally against its bitter rival, Calakmul.
However, by A.D. 530, the unexpected happened with Calakmul attacking Rio Azul. In the Late Classic period, Tikal got back its past grandeur and Rio Azul’s populace grew yet again with new monuments being built. Though Tikal spans 112 sq.kms of which, a mere 16 sq.kms has been recorded and as many as 4000 structures been found till date.
The Tomb 1 that was bore the ravages of the looters has intricately woven mat designs at the entrance that was an indicator of royalty. There was believed to be the presence of an eight inch high fuschite mask inlaid with shell and painted with cinnabar, bearing a glyph on its back referring to Rio Azul was believed to be the underworld deity of the Palenque triad that had been robbed.
Unearthed Tombs 19 and 23 depicted remnants of high standing nobles from central Mexico flanked by symbols of high status like pottery with effigy lids, plates, jade beads having carvings of miniature face and skulls, specially woven cloth mattress, eccentrically shaped cherts. Tombs 19 and 23 were situated beneath platforms that bordered a central temple built over Tomb1.There were nine similarly lidded tripod vessels in Tomb 23 and six of them in Tomb 19 were each embellished with a wide mouthed head donning ear flares that depicted the influence of Teotihuacan that is located 600miles northwest of Tikal, near present day Mexico. A miniature rectangular jade that looked like a gritted fist was discovered in a carcass’s mouth in Tomb 23.