fun to do kids north lake district england   Travel for Kids
Guatemala
  | North - peten | tikal national park
     
   

Tikal Museums

Outside the park entrance are two museums, the Tikal Museum and Stela Museum (Museo Litico), along with the CCIT research lab and a large model of Tikal at the Visitor Center. The museums contain artifacts, some almost 2000 years old, excavated from the Tikal ruins by the archeologists. The Tikal Museum is small, but a "must" see with kids.

Tikal Museums Photo Album
Tikal Museum (Museo Tikal) –
    Tikal Museum is filled with exquisite ceramics and stone artifacts. The quality is like the Louvre, just smaller and more informal.
    Be sure to see figure of the Old God from the tomb of “First Crocodile” holding a human head in his hands, three long-nosed pale turquoise gods, an incense burner (the Maya god is wearing an owl headdress), platter decorated with a flapping fish, and greenstone mask with inlaid shell eyes and teeth, and beautifully preserved Stela 31, a portrait of the king “Stormy Sky,” dated 411 AD, with hieroglyphs on the back.
      Also, check out a re-creation of the tomb of Hasaw Chan K’awil , Standard Bearer of the Great Sky, (formerly “Lord Chocolate”), showing how the skeleton was discovered, surrounded with jade beads, pottery and shells.
Stelae Museum (Museo Litico) –
    This museum displays original stelae (huge carved stone slabs) from Tikal. Some of the stelae are a bit crumbly, but Altar V and Stele 16 are worth a visit to the museum.
    The round Altar V is ringed with Maya hieroglyphs. In the center are two figures, facing each other, on the ground between them is a skull and bones. On the left is "Lord Chocolate," on the right is the Lord of Calakmul (a large Maya city, and Tikal's enemy). The bones are thought to be those of Lord Chocolate's wife, being dug up, and re-buried in a new spot.
     

Stela 16, erected in 711AD, shows Lord Chocolate all decked out in elaborate clothing. His headdress has tons of feathers, mask of a god,and beneath that, a skull. He wears ear plugs, jade necklace, belt decorated with human heads. Lord Chocolate holds a ceremonial scepter between his hands, and in his right hand is an incense bag. On his feet are nice booties and spiffy anklets.

     

Also in the museum is an unusual, mysterious figure, the "Man of Tikal."  The red stone figure is headless and is seated, almost like a rounded Buddha figure.

CCIT – Across from the Visitor Center and Stelae Museum is the CCIT research lab.  Inside is a small selection of exhibits about Maya artifacts, and a beautiful replica of the jade Leiden Plaque. The exhibits are free.
   

On one side of the Leiden Plaque, a lord stands on top of a bound prisoner. His headdress has a jaguar, flowers, and the "Jester God." He holds a scepter with snakes on either end. On the reverse side are Maya glyphs.

Visitor Center – Before going inside the park, check out the large model of Tikal, showing the temples, palaces, plazas, reservoirs, connecting causeways. Kids will be able to more easily imagine what the city was like, not overgrown with jungle, the huge temples covered with stucco and decorated with huge masks.
      Buy guidebooks and souvenirs in the surrounding shops.
twitterinstgramvimeo travelforkids