Temple I , Tikal

Temple I, Tikal, from the top of the roof comb of Temple II, looking toward the east horizon.

Originally all surfaces were covered with polished, white plaster. Above the doorway and in the roofcomb, sculptural details were painted in polychrome. The plaza floor surface was also polished white plaster.

Total height is 145 feet (44.2 meters). An Early Classic structure on the same site was demolished; the tomb of ruler Jasaw Chan K'awiil was placed roughly at plaza level; and then Temple I was built over it, probably after 731, the last date recorded (on human bones) in the tomb. Jasaw's death date is not known but probably preceded 734 when his son, Yik'in Chan K'awiil took office. Construction of Temple I may have taken place in the years between 731 and 734.

photo: HSL The distant eastern horizon is actually much more horizontal than it appears in this photo.

The architecture of Temple I provides numerous details.

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