Tikal Temple VI

Last updated
The summit of Temple VI Tikal, Temple VI.jpg
The summit of Temple VI

Tikal Temple VI (also known as the Temple of the Inscriptions and Structure 6F-27) [1] is a Mesoamerican pyramid in the ruins of the major Maya city of Tikal, in the Petén department of northern Guatemala. Temple VI is located at the southeastern end of the Mendez Causeway, which links the temple plaza with the site core. [2] The temple faces west onto a walled plaza. [3] The existence of the temple was first reported in 1951 by Antonio Ortiz on behalf of the Instituto de Antropología e Historia (IDAEH - "Institute of Anthropology and History"). [4] The roof comb of the temple is inscribed on its sides and back with a lengthy hieroglyphic text. [5] The pyramid's summit superstructure contains two chambers, [3] and the highest surviving portion of the temple's roof comb stands 12 metres (40 ft) high. [6] The pyramid superstructure is accessed via three west-facing doorways. [7] The triple doorway and interior layout of the chambers suggest that Temple VI was in fact a palace-type structure rather than a temple. [8]


Hieroglyphic inscription

The text contains a history of Tikal stretching back into the Preclassic period. [5] The earliest date in the text equates to 1139 BC; it records either a mythical foundation event or, perhaps, a distantly remembered historical event of importance. [9]


Stela 21 was erected at the foot of Temple VI. It records the succession of king Yik'in Chan K'awiil in AD 734. [10] When found the stela had fallen from its original position and was re-erected during restoration work. [3] Only the bottom section of the stela survives. [6] Some text survives on the left hand side of the front of the monument; it is of excellent quality workmanship and records a date in AD 736. A part of the stela was reused and fashioned into a metate that was found by locals 0.3 kilometres (0.19 mi) northwest of the temple. [3]

Altar 9 is paired with Stela 21 at the foot of the pyramid steps. [3] The altar is badly damaged and is missing large fragments. [3] The upper face of the altar was sculpted with the image of a face-down bound captive. [11]


  1. Sharer and Traxler 2006, p.403. Coe 1967, 1988, p.87.
  2. Sharer and Traxler 2006, p.306.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Coe 1967, 1988, p.87.
  4. Coe 1967, 1988, p.87. Muñoz Cosme and Quintana Samayoa 1996, p.302.
  5. 1 2 Sharer and Traxler 2006, p.304.
  6. 1 2 Kelly 1996, p.139.
  7. Coe 1967, 1988, p.87. Maldonado and Hernández 1998, p.33.
  8. Maldonado and Hernández 1998, p.33.
  9. Sharer and Traxler 2006, p.403.
  10. Sharer and Traxler 2006, pp.304, 400.
  11. Coe 1967, 1988, .pp.87-88.

Related Research Articles

Copán Archaeological site of the Maya civilization

Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. This ancient Maya city mirrors the beauty of the physical landscape in which it flourished—a fertile, well-watered mountain valley in western Honduras at an elevation of 600 meters above mean sea level. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The city was in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region, on the frontier with the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region, and was almost surrounded by non-Maya peoples.

Tikal Ruins of major ancient Maya city

Tikal is the ruin of an ancient city, which was likely to have been called Yax Mutal, found in a rainforest in Guatemala. It is one of the largest archeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala's Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Seibal Archaeological site of the Maya civilization

Seibal, known as El Ceibal in Spanish, is a Classic Period archaeological site of the Maya civilization located in the northern Petén Department of Guatemala, about 100 km SW of Tikal. It was the largest city in the Pasión River region.


Sayil is a Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Yucatán, in the southwest of the state, south of Uxmal. It was incorporated together with Uxmal as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Tikal Temple I

Tikal Temple I is the designation given to one of the major structures at Tikal, one of the largest cities and archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Mesoamerica. It is located in the Petén Basin region of northern Guatemala. It also is known as the Temple of the Great Jaguar because of a lintel that represents a king sitting upon a jaguar throne. An alternative name is the Temple of Ah Cacao, after the ruler buried in the temple. Temple I is a typically Petén-styled limestone stepped pyramid structure that is dated to approximately 732 AD.


Ixlu is a small Maya archaeological site that dates to the Classic and Postclassic Periods. It is located on the isthmus between the Petén Itzá and Salpetén lakes, in the northern Petén Department of Guatemala. The site was an important port with access to Lake Petén Itzá via the Ixlu River. The site has been identified as Saklamakhal, also spelt Saclemacal, a capital of the Kowoj Maya.

Yaxha Archeological site

Yaxha is a Mesoamerican archaeological site in the northeast of the Petén Basin region, and a former ceremonial centre and city of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Yaxha was the third largest city in the region and experienced its maximum power during the Early Classic period.

Yikʼin Chan Kʼawiil Ajaw

Yikʼin Chan Kʼawiil also known as Ruler B, Yaxkin Caan Chac and Sun Sky Rain,, was an ajaw of the Maya city of Tikal. He took the throne on December 8, 734.

Tikal Temple V

Tikal Temple V is the name given by archaeologists to one of the major pyramids at Tikal. Tikal is one of the most important archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization and is located in the Petén Department of northern Guatemala.

Triadic pyramid Style in Mayan architecture

Triadic pyramids were an innovation of the Preclassic Maya civilization consisting of a dominant structure flanked by two smaller inward-facing buildings, all mounted upon a single basal platform. The largest known triadic pyramid was built at El Mirador in the Petén Basin of Guatemala; it covers an area six times as large as that covered by Tikal Temple IV, which is the largest pyramid at that city. The three superstructures all have stairways leading up from the central plaza on top of the basal platform. Triadic pyramid structures are found at early cities in the Maya lowlands.

Tikal Temple II

Tikal Temple II is a Mesoamerican pyramid at the Maya archaeological site of Tikal in the Petén Department of northern Guatemala. The temple was built in the Late Classic Period in a style reminiscent of the Early Classic. Temple II is located on the west side of the Great Plaza, opposite Temple I. Temple II was built by the king Jasaw Chan K'awiil I in honour of his wife, Lady Kalajuun Une' Mo'. Temple II had a single wooden sculpted lintel that bears the portrait of a royal woman who may have been the wife of Jasaw Chan K'awiil I, who was entombed beneath Temple I. Lady Kalajuun Une' Mo', whose name means "Twelve Macaw Tails", was also important for being the mother of Jasaw Chan K'awill I's heir. In fact her son Yik'in Chan K'awiil oversaw the completion of Temple II when he became king.

Maya stelae Intricately carved stone slabs made by the Pre-Columbian Maya

Maya stelae are monuments that were fashioned by the Maya civilization of ancient Mesoamerica. They consist of tall, sculpted stone shafts and are often associated with low circular stones referred to as altars, although their actual function is uncertain. Many stelae were sculpted in low relief, although plain monuments are found throughout the Maya region. The sculpting of these monuments spread throughout the Maya area during the Classic Period, and these pairings of sculpted stelae and circular altars are considered a hallmark of Classic Maya civilization. The earliest dated stela to have been found in situ in the Maya lowlands was recovered from the great city of Tikal in Guatemala. During the Classic Period almost every Maya kingdom in the southern lowlands raised stelae in its ceremonial centre.

Tikal Temple IV

Tikal Temple IV is a Mesoamerican pyramid in the ruins of the ancient Maya city of Tikal in modern Guatemala. It was one of the tallest and most voluminous buildings in the Maya world. The pyramid was built around 741 AD. Temple IV is located at the western edge of the site core. Two causeways meet at the temple; the Tozzer Causeway runs east to the Great Plaza, while the Maudslay Causeway runs northeast to the Northern Zone. Temple IV is the second tallest pre-Columbian structure still standing in the New World, just after the Great Pyramid of Toniná in Chiapas, Mexico, although Teotihuacan's Pyramid of the Sun may once have been taller.

Tikal Temple III

Tikal Temple III, also known as the Temple of the Jaguar Priest, was one of the principal temple pyramids at the ancient Maya city of Tikal, in the Petén Department of modern Guatemala. The temple stands approximately 55 metres (180 ft) tall. The summit shrine of Temple III differs from those of the other major temples at Tikal in that it only possesses two rooms instead of the usual three. The pyramid was built in the Late Classic Period, and has been dated to 810 AD using the hieroglyphic text on Stela 24, which was raised at the base of its access stairway. Stela 24 is paired with the damaged Altar 6, in a typical stela-altar pair.

Plaza of the Seven Temples

The Plaza of the Seven Temples is an architectural complex in the ruins of the Maya city of Tikal, in the Petén Department of northern Guatemala. It is to the south of Temple III and to the west of the South Acropolis; it is 300 metres (980 ft) to the southwest of the Great Plaza. The Plaza of the Seven Temples is situated directly to the east of the Mundo Perdido Complex and takes its name from a row of seven small temples dating to the Late Classic Period. The plaza has a surface area of approximately 25,000 square metres (270,000 sq ft), making it one of the three largest plazas in the city.

Twin-pyramid complex

A twin-pyramid complex or twin-pyramid group was an architectural innovation of the Maya civilization of ancient Mesoamerica. Twin-pyramid complexes were regularly built at the great city of Tikal in the central Petén Basin of Guatemala to celebrate the end of the 20-year kʼatun cycle of the Maya Long Count Calendar. A twin-pyramid complex has been identified at Yaxha, a large city that was 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the southeast of Tikal. Another has been mapped at Ixlu, and Zacpeten appears also to possess at least one twin-pyramid complex and possibly two. These examples outside of Tikal itself indicate that their cities were closely linked to Tikal politically.

Mundo Perdido, Tikal Architectural complexes in, Tikal Guatemala

The Mundo Perdido is the largest ceremonial complex dating from the Preclassic period at the ancient Maya city of Tikal, in the Petén Department of northern Guatemala. The complex was organised as a large E-Group astronomical complex consisting of a pyramid aligned with a platform to the east that supported three temples. The Mundo Perdido complex was rebuilt many times over the course of its history. By AD 250–300 its architectural style was influenced by the great metropolis of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico, including the use of the talud-tablero form. During the Early Classic period the Mundo Perdido became one of the twin foci of the city, the other being the North Acropolis. From AD 250 to 378 it may have served as the royal necropolis. The Mundo Perdido complex was given its name by the archaeologists of the University of Pennsylvania.

Tikal Temple 33 Dismantled Maya pyramid

Tikal Temple 33 was a 33-metre-high (108 ft) ancient Maya funerary pyramid located in the North Acropolis of the great Maya city of Tikal. The pyramid was centrally situated in the front row of structures facing onto the Great Plaza, between Temples 32 and 34 and in front of the Northern Platform. Temple 33 is one of the most thoroughly explored temples in the entire Maya area. The earliest version was a low funerary shrine over the tomb of king Siyaj Chan K'awiil II, which was sealed in AD 457. Temple 33 underwent three consecutive phases of construction, during which the king's funerary shrine was remodelled and one of his stelae was interred above his tomb. In the mid-1960s, archaeologists completely dismantled the final version of the large pyramid, uncovering the earlier phases of construction.

North Acropolis, Tikal Ancient site in Guatemala

The North Acropolis of the ancient Maya city of Tikal in Guatemala is an architectural complex that served as a royal necropolis and was a centre for funerary activity for over 1300 years. The acropolis is located near the centre of the city and is one of the most studied of Maya architectural complexes. Excavations were carried out from 1957 to 1969 by the University of Pennsylvania, directed by Edwin M. Shook and William Coe.

San Clemente, El Petén

San Clemente is a ruin of the ancient Maya civilization in Guatemala. Its main period of occupation dates to the Classic period of Mesoamerican chronology. The ruins were first described in the late 19th century, before being visited by a number of investigators in the early part of the 20th century.