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Even more evocative of the vicissitudes wrought by the passage of time and the waning of might and glory is the discovery by archaeologist Peter Harrison that this structure within sight of the palace of Chak Tok Ich'aak I served as a jail during the last days of Tikal.

The doorway of Structure 5D-51 beneath Structure 5D-52 ("the five-storied palace"), Central Acropolis, Tikal. Holes had been cut into the doorjambs and wooden bars placed across this doorway to create a prison, according to Peter Harrison, as cited in Code of Kings. Photo: Joel Skidmore.