Entering the Group G Palace Complex, also known as Palacio de las Acanaladuras

Tikal:  Group G

Group G is associated with the 27th ruler of Tikal, Yik'in Chan K'awiil, who reigned from 734 AD to at least 746 AD

Group G forms one of the largest clusters of major palace type construction known at Tikal. It is fronted by a spacious east-facing platform and has a broad entrance stairway. Group G is associated with the Late Classic ruler Yik'in, and it may have been his private palace quarters.

Yik'in was the son of Hasaw Chan Ka'wil, and was, if possible, an even more prodigious builder than his father. He is known to have constructed Temples IV and Temple VI, possibly the Mendez and Maler Causeways, including the giant rock sculpture attributed to him along the Maler Causeway, and Palace Structure 5D-52-1st (the Five Story Palace in the Central Acropolis).

Source: Harrison, Lords of Tikal, p. 162

Yik'in also was one of Tikal's greatest military heroes, who restored Tikal's ascendancy in the Peten and defeated significant allies of Tikal's arch-foe, Calakmul.

A monster-mouth entry leads into the inner courtyard of the palace complex

Tikal: Group G Entrance

"One feature of this multi-roomed structure is a vaulted interior passageway leading from the rear exterior of the building to the inner court in front of the building. The entry to this tunnel is through the mouth of a huge monster mask."

Coe, p. 93

Closeup photo of the monster mouth doorway

Tikal: Groupo G

Detail of stucco work around the supposed "monster mouth" doorway. However, I have trouble seeing a monster mouth, probably because the design has become too eroded to make out the pattern any longer.

The monster mouth tunnel empties into the interior plaza at the side of the palace

Tikal: Group G Interior Courtyard

After an abrupt right angle turn, the tunnel empties into the interior plaza area of the palace.

The Palace also had a grand formal entrance into the central courtyard

Tikal: Group G Entrance

View from interior court toward the grand entrance. The forward part of the arch over the entrance has fallen, but one wonders if it was once graced with stucco masks or other decorative elements.

Looking along the palace toward the formal entrance to the courtyard

Tikal: Group G

Writing of the three palace groups of Tikal which have grouped the main buildings around a single or double courtyard, Harrison writes that "in each of these groups, the known room arrangements are complex. There are transverse rooms and rooms in tandem, sometimes interconnected, sometimes not.

In all observable cases there is evidence that the room arrangements were changed over time: big rooms were divided into smaller ones, and routes of access altered, common features of palaces."

Harrison, Lords of Tikal, p. 185

The Palace is also known as The Palace of the Vertical Columns

Tikal: Group G

The Palace is also known as The Palace of the Vertical Columns or Palacio Acanaladuras because of the columnar pseudo-columns gracing the facade.

It was early morning when we visited, and the grounds keeper was working to keep the jungle from retaking the courtyard and palace.