The Petén region of Guatemala, sparsely populated and teeming with jungle, harbors the Tik’al Archaeological Site. Tik'al is one of Guatemala's National Parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city was the capital of a powerful Maya kingdom lasting 1,700 years from 800 BCE to 900 CE. The ancient city's population is estimated at 55,000, reaching its peak from 250 to 900 CE. During this time, Tik’al dominated much of the Maya region and was an important political, economic, artistic, and scientific center. The archaeological site is part of Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve. A great variety of wild animals, birds, and plants share the land with more than 4,000 ancient Maya structures, including temples, palaces, ceremonial platforms, ball courts, terraces, plazas, walkways and steam baths. One of the striking characteristics of Tik'al's architecture is the steepness of its pyramids, which rise precipitously to almost 200 feet (60 meters) high. The tombs of many of Tik’al’s rulers are found within these pyramids, and burial activity at the site spans a period of 1,300 years.