Tikal is the ruin of an old city, which would perhaps be called Yax Mutal, It is located in a rain forest in Guatemala. It is one of the largest archeological sites and city centers of the pre-Columbian Mayan civilization. It is located in the archaeological state of the Petén basin, in what is now northern Guatemala. Located in the department of El Petén, the site is part of the Tikal National Park of Guatemala and in 1979 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Tikal was the capital of a state of conquest that became one of the very most powerful kingdoms of the archaic Maya. Although the monumental architecture on the site dates back to the fourth century BC. C. Tikal reached its peak during the Classic Period, c. 200 to 900 AD. It is located in the north center of Petén, Guatemala, about 50 miles northwest of the Belize border. Tikal is the largest and possibly the oldest of the Mayan cities. Located in a high canopy jungle, the site encompasses at least 3,000 buildings, including a handful of impressively tall temples looming over the forest. It consists of nine groups of courts and squares built on mountainous terrain on surrounding swamps and interconnected by bridges and roads.
During this time, the city dominated much of the Mayan region politically, economically and militarily, while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica, such as the great metropolis of Teotihuacán in the distant Valley of Mexico. There is evidence that Tikal was subdued by Teotihuacan in the fourth century CE. After the end of the Late Classic Period, no new important monuments were built in Tikal and there is evidence that elite palaces were burned. These events joined a gradual decline in population, which culminated in the immersion of the site at the end of the 10th century.