Central Acropolis with Temple V beyond; 1963. (Photo: Merle Greene Robertson)

Posted July 18, 2002.

Temple V of Tikal is now thought to have been commissioned by the ruler Animal Skull and constructed in AD 600. These findings were announced this week to the XVI Symposium of Archaeological Investigations in Guatemala City by archaeologist Oswaldo Gómez, director of the Temple V restoration project.

Gómez was quoted by Prensa Libre, "There are no antecedents for buildings of this size before Temple V. There's not an earlier building in the whole Mundo Maya that reaches 52 meters in height like this one."

Temple V is the second-tallest building at TIkal (after Temple IV) and the most massive structure at any Maya site. A secure dating to the reign of Animal Skull would contribute significantly to our understand of Tikal's Hiatus era. During this period of its history lasting from AD 562-692 not a single dated monument has been identified at Tikal.

(Animal Skull name from K772)

(click for zoom and caption)