In Guatemala, the traveller can find the remains of civilisations which had their origins centuries before the dawn of Christianity.
GV PAN: Temple called Pyramid of the Giant Jaguar in Tikal TO small carved stones known as stelae
SV AND CUs: Of carved stones (3 shots)
GV: Visitors walking in grounds of temple
SV AND CUs: Various stone carvings (4 shots)
GV AND PAN: OF Temple
GV: Of Temple of Giant Jaguar with carved stones in foreground
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Background: In Guatemala, the traveller can find the remains of civilisations which had their origins centuries before the dawn of Christianity. From one thousand years before Christ was born, one tribe, the maya, dominated American-Indian culture in splendour and brilliance. It didn't fully relinquish this dominance for some 2,5000 years. In the depths of the forests of the Peten department in northern Guatemala are the ancient relics of the people who reached such a high degree of civilisation.
SYNOPSIS: These are the remains of a vast temple -- the Pyramid of the Giant jaguar located at Tikal, where some of the world's most carefully-preserved archaeological gems are to be found. Tikal was the metropolis of the old Maya empire early in the Christian era.
The temples were not only used for ceremonies -- they were also used by priests who wanted to make them eternal in the form of carvings in the stone. For nearly six hundreds years, these gifted people were the masters of architecture, mathematics and astronomy. They developed one of the most exact calendars in the world, which reckoned the number of days since the mythical beginning of the Mayan era.
The Mayas used hieroglyphics which no one has yet been able to fully decipher. The writing could help answer a long-standing question -- why did the Mayan people desert Tikal in the tenth century, and abandon the magnificent temple and palaces to the jungle?