Takalik Abaj

Takalik Abaj

Tak'alik Ab'aj (/tɑːkəˈliːk əˈbɑː/; ; ) is a pre-Columbian archaeological site in Guatemala; it was formerly known as Abaj Takalik; its ancient name may have been Kooja. It is one of several Mesoamerican sites with both Olmec and Maya features. The site flourished in the Preclassic and Classic periods, from the 9th century BC through to at least the 10th century AD, and was an important centre of commerce, trading with Kaminaljuyu and Chocolá. Investigations have revealed that it is one of the largest sites with sculptured monuments on the Pacific coastal plain. Olmec-style sculptures include a possible colossal head, petroglyphs and others. The site has one of the greatest concentrations of Olmec-style sculpture outside of the Gulf of Mexico.

Takalik Abaj is representative of the first blossoming of Maya culture that had occurred by about 400 BC. The site includes a Maya royal tomb and examples of Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions that are among the earliest from the Maya region. Excavation is continuing at the site; the monumental architecture and persistent tradition of sculpture in a variety of styles suggest the site was of some importance.

Finds from the site indicate contact with the distant metropolis of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico and imply that Takalik Abaj was conquered by it or its allies. Takalik Abaj was linked to long-distance Maya trade routes that shifted over time but allowed the city to participate in a trade network that included the Guatemalan highlands and the Pacific coastal plain from Mexico to El Salvador.

Takalik Abaj was a sizeable city with the principal architecture clustered into four main groups spread across nine terraces. While some of these were natural features, others were artificial constructions requiring an enormous investment in labour and materials. The site featured a sophisticated water drainage system and a wealth of sculptured monuments.

Read more about Takalik AbajEtymology, Location, Ethnicity, Economy and Trade, History, Site Description and Layout

Other articles related to "takalik abaj, abaj":

Takalik Abaj - Site Description and Layout - Stone Monuments - Olmec Style Sculptures
... Archaeologist John Graham states that Olmec sculpture at Abaj Takalik such as Monument 23 clearly reflects the presence of Olmec sculptors who are working for Olmec ... In any case, Takalik Abaj was certainly a place of importance for Olmecs ... The Olmec-style sculptures at Takalik Abaj all date to the Middle Preclassic ...
Takalik Abaj - Site Description and Layout - Stone Monuments - Maya Style Sculptures
... which dates to the Late Preclassic, making it the most common style represented at Takalik Abaj ... may have developed in the Preclassic on the Pacific coast and Takalik Abaj's position at the nexus of key trade routes could have been important in the dissemination of the style across the Maya area ... The early Maya style of monument at Takalik Abaj is closely linked to the style of monument at Kaminaljuyu, showing mutual influence ...
Takalik Abaj - Site Description and Layout - Royal Burials
... was reported to have been found in Takalik Abaj of a ruler nicknamed K'utz Chman ("Grandfather Vulture" in Mam) by archaeologists, a sacred king or "big chief ...
Takalik Abaj - Location
... Takalik Abaj is located in the north of the municipality of El Asintal, in the extreme north of Retalhuleu department, some 120 miles (190 km) from Guatemala City ... Takalik Abaj sits upon a ridge running north–south, descending in a southwards direction ... The situation of Takalik Abaj at this crossing point was probably important in the founding of the city, since this channeled important trade routes through the site and controlled ...
Takalik Abaj - History - Modern History
... Lehmann began the study of the sculptures of Takalik Abaj in the 1920s ... Miles bestowed the name Abaj Takalik to the site, which appeared in her contributed chapter in volume 2 of the Handbook of Middle American Indians ... In 2002 Takalik Abaj was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative Lists, under the heading of "The Mayan-Olmecan Encounter" ...