We specifically took a trip into Guatemala to visit Tikal and it didn’t disappoint. Temple V is one of the major pyramids of this historic site. Built around 700 AD and standing nearly 200 feet tall the temple likely served as the resting place for a yet to be identified ruler.
Tikal founded somewhere around 900 BC rose to power between the years of 200 to 900 AD and stood as the most powerful city in the Mayan empire controlling most of the region remotely. Unfortunately, the success of the city was also likely a major contributor to its demise as the city swelled in population to over 120,000 but sharply declined after 900 AD as the city likely ran out of resources to continue to support the bulging population. Ultimately, Tikal was abandoned and the reason still to this day is unknown as there is no written inscriptions dating after 910 AD. Many have speculated the reasons why but one of the key reasons is a failure of the civilization to adapt to changing ecological circumstances and they just simply used up all of the lands resources without after adjusting consumption.
Temple V – Tikal Guatemala
Ultimately, the sacred temple (like all the others) was overrun with squatters who left household rubbish and stripped valuables from the once immaculate palaces. They too abandoned the city though at some point and the structures would sit untouched for hundreds of years as the jungle grew around it and buried much of the city. In fact, when they began the excavation of Temple V in the 1950s it was almost completely buried by the jungle. It is hard to imagine a world power city being abandoned in the fashion that Tikal was.