Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Tikal Temple V Gets a Facelift Volume 54 Number 3, May/June 2001
by Angela M.H. Schuster

[image] Tikal Temple V, background left, Tikal Temple II, foreground right. (Keoki Flagg) [LARGER IMAGE]

Visitors to the Maya site of Tikal in the Petén region of Guatemala will notice bright yellow tarps gracing the face of Temple V. Built sometime between A.D. 600 and 700, the 190-foot-high pyramid is the second tallest of the site's monumental buildings. Beneath the tarps, excavations carried out by Oswaldo Gomez of Guatemala's Instituto de Antropología e Historía (IDAEH) revealed a royal tomb containing the remains of a man and several ceramic incense burners. Conservators are now reconstructing the temple's staircase so that visitors to the site will be able to scale the pyramid. Until the restoration, what had been an elegant staircase in antiquity was little more than a mound of rubble. The reconstruction is part of a ten-year campaign undertaken by a team led by Juan Antonio Valdés, director of IDAEH.

© 2001 by the Archaeological Institute of America