Tikal Temple I RestoredTemple I

Restoration was done by the government of Guatemala under the direction of archaeologist Jorge Guillemin during 1960/61. All loose material was removed and replaced with newly quarried stone and mortar to seal all surfaces against rain. Terracing of the substructure was rebuilt following lines and profiles that had survived in part. Nothing was added that was not known to have been present.

The stair to the top of the pyramid is an original feature that had been concealed beneath the surface. It was only used during construction. A small part of the original finished stair survives near the base. If restored to full height this stair would have projected out much farther and would have provided a space at the top where activities could have been staged.

The date of construction is problematic but falls some time after AD 734. The name of the ruler associated with Temple I has been read as Jasaw Chan K'awiil, or some version similar to this. His tomb lies beneath Temple I which had to have been built after his interment. His death date is not known, but his successor, his son, came to office in 734. Although it is often assumed that Jasaw "commissioned" Temple I, this is nothing but a guess. It is equally possible that Jasaw's son, 'Yik'in' Chan K'awiiil presided over the construction.

To compare the restored structure with the condition as cleared in the 1950's click here.


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