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At this time, Tikal participated in the widespread Chikanel culture that dominated the Central and Northern Maya areas at this time – a region that included the entire Yucatan Peninsula including northern and eastern Guatemala and all of Belize.
Two temples dating to Late Chikanel times had masonry-walled superstructures that may have been corbel-vaulted, although this has not been proven.
It is located in the archaeological 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.
Tikal is the best understood of any of the large lowland Maya cities, with a long dynastic ruler list, the discovery of the tombs of many of the rulers on this list and the investigation of their monuments, temples and palaces.
The name Tikal may be derived from ti ak'al in the Yucatec Maya language; it is said to be a relatively modern name meaning "at the waterhole".
However, some archaeologists, such as David Webster, believe these figures to be far too high.
For centuries this city was completely covered under jungle.One of these had elaborate paintings on the outer walls showing human figures against a scrollwork background, painted in yellow, black, pink and red.At the end of the Late Preclassic, the Izapan style art and architecture from the Pacific Coast began to influence Tikal, as demonstrated by a broken sculpture from the acropolis and early murals at the city.Today, tourism to the site may help protect the rainforest.It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization.
Ambrosio Tut, a gum-sapper, reported the ruins to La Gaceta, a Guatemalan newspaper, which named the site Tikal.