Aguateca is a pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya in the Petén department today at the southern foothills of the Laguna de Petexbatún in Guatemala. The ruins were discovered in 1957 and were examined in a major research project led by Takeshi Inomata since the 1990s.


The first settlements in Aguateca built around 250 AD. The city was expanded by about 700 Dos Pilas, together with the kings of Petexbatún to double capital. Aguateca was a large, densely populated city with several thousand inhabitants.

To 830 enemy attacks forced the dynasty to retreat to Aguateca, which was strategically located on a steep slope. The last ruler Tan Te ' K'inich entrenched himself here with his family and the aristocratic upper class. In addition to the natural barriers almost 5 km long Verteiligungswälle were built of rubble and Baumeterial. When the enemies took the city, the king fled. The nobles tried to defend himself, but also had to flee, leaving behind their possessions. This fact provides the archeology otherwise rarely encountered evidence on use of buildings and equipment of households of different social classes.

Buildings and monuments

The ruins are located on the edge of a rocky plateau some 100 meters above the level of the lagoon. Noteworthy are several very close and would run up to 70 meters gorges parallel to the escarpment above the lagoon, which share the settlement area and provide excellent defenses. The narrow strip of land between the escarpment and the longer of the gorges is densely covered with buildings, which are regarded as palaces.

Palace group

The group with the technical term M7 is formed by a number of buildings which occupy the sides of a nearly square courtyard.

  • Building M7- 25th The building is located on the east side of the court and falls by its unusual largest of more than 50 meters on. It is composed of two over the entire length extending parallel chambers that are separated by a central wall. Along this wall extends at least in the southern part of an unarticulated brick bench of around 1.5 meters. The two rooms were entered through each 10 wide door openings, between which were broad wall washers. The building was covered with a roof made of wood and palm leaves. It is suspected that it served as a meeting place for some of the local upper class or the Warrior. In the group L8 are other buildings of this type.
  • Building M7 -32. This structure is one of only two buildings in Aguateca who owned a brick roof in the Mayan corbelled. It is a typical Representationsbau the local rulers. He sits on a plinth of three stages and is reached by a long and wide stairs. The central input is larger than the two lateral. It leads into a room beyond, where a nearly the entire surface engaging brick bank is to be regarded as the throne of the ruler. From this room led to the level of the bank, a narrow entrance into a very small side room. A corresponding to the south could only be accessed from the outside. In the lateral ends of the front room are also located brick benches, but they are partly not see directly from the outside. The building was named after the archaeological record ( number of vessels and drums made ​​of clay and other objects ) subject to a formal termination ritual - according to the funeral of a man. The excavators suggest that this ritual was completed by the attackers after the completion of the conquest of the hochrangisten buildings in the city. In this case, the building was apparently set on fire and destroyed carefully.

Main Plaza

The, also known as L8 group lies to the west of the great gorge that is easy to cross at this point. The Plaza is almost 4 times as large as that of the Palace Group. Several of the buildings are with a very long space at the front and wall panels between the numerous doorways at their edges.