Tikal: Panarama from atop Temple IV

Atop Temple IV, Temples I, II, III & V rise above the forest canopy

"The Peten contains the most ancient Classic Maya sites. Their form is best described as island cities or archipelago cities, consisting of many groups of platforms and buildings on knolls and shoulders of hilly land rising above the surrounding swamps, which may have been lakes or water-holes in antiquity.

Tikal has nine groups of courts and plazas, separated by ravines but connected by causeways and ramps. The free-standing pyramid was the dominant form...used by Maya architects."

George Kubler, The Art & Architecture of Ancient America, p. 207

Tikal: Temple IV

"Temple IV, facing east, stands 212 feet from the base of the platform supporting its pyramid to the top of its roof comb, the highest standing aboriginal New World structure.

It is estimated that some 250,000 cubic yards of construction material have been incorporated in Temple IV and its supporting platform."

Coe, Tikal: A Handbook of the Ancient Maya Ruins, p. 80

Tikal: Temple IV

The massive Temple IV viewed from below.

Tikal: Temple IV

Coatimundi forage at the base of Temple IV