A Window Into The Past

photo of the week for Wednesday, 2013, July 17
Photographer: Rick Smith

This is part of the magnificent ruins protected in Tikal National Park, Guatemala. The site is located in an area of Guatemala known as the Peten, and Tikal is approximately 2 hours west of the Guatemala-Belize border.

The structures in Tikal were built by the ancestors of the present-day Mayans who still live in parts of Honduras, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. These early Mayans left other sites that are now world-famous tourist destinations, including Copan in Honduras and Chichen Itza in Mexico.

Much like the case of places in the U.S.’s Southwest such as Mesa Verde and Chaco, these Mayan places were abandoned sometime in the 900s AD, probably due to several factors, including increasing pressures from enemies, exhaustion of resources, and the inability of the sites to feed their growing populations.

On the Web: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/64
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