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Tikal

Tikal

Relevance:

It provided the aesthetics for the Lost World Temple and the ancient Echidna civilization.

The most apparent use for Tikal is that it lends its name to one of the characters featured in the game, but there are also three other uses.

When Sonic first enters the jungles of the Mystic Ruins he is confronted by endless rows of trees, it is this same view that the members of Sonic Team gazed upon when they first entered the jungles of Belize and Tikal.

Protruding from the canopy is one of the largest temples in Tikal, which the designers included in the games own jungle. But the temple featured in the game was not created from one, but a combination of temples located throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. As already mentioned the temple at Chichen Itza also contributed to the final design but there was also another, the Temple of the Lost World.

Information:

Located at El Peten in the Jungle of Belize, Tikal originally housed 100,000 people at its height, between roughly 800 B.C. and 900 A.D. The city is believed to be one of the most powerful in the ancient Mayan world.

The city is believed to have originally spanned an area of 23 square miles. The temples are constructed mainly of Limestone, which was important because the Lime was also used to make Stucco and Plaster. The temples are said to represent the mountains, considered sacred because the Maize grew upon them. The Temples were painted with rich patterns and some were painted completely red. The East Plaza was the main plaza during the classic era, but today the Great Plaza fulfils that role.

In total Tikal has seventy Stelae placed throughout the city (only one of these has an Altar beside it). The Stelae were built to commemorate the rulers of Tikal ; their face can still be seen carved into the side of large stone monuments.

The Great Plaza to the east and the Plaza of the Seven Temples all have ball courts. In the Plaza of the Lost World, which is one of the oldest Temple in Tikal, it is believed to have a core as old as 500 B.C.

Many of the Mayan ruins would have contained one or two row of rooms on just one floor, but in Tikal there were also two, three and even five storied buildings. Long before modern Skyscrapers the Maya were building these great structures, there was an emphasis of height, it seems the constructors wanted to get as close as possible to the Gods as possible, or perhaps away from the jungle. Because of the people of Tikal constructed one of the larges buildings in ancient America, a temple which stands 70 meters high.

Above, left to right: 1] Photo of Sonic Team standing in front of a temple at Tikal. 2] Photo of the Belize jungle and the temples of Tikal. 3] Photo of the Plaza of the Lost World at Tikal.

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