Ancient Cities of the Maya
Who Are The Maya
The Mayan people lived in the north Central American region which includes the present-day nations of Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and El Salvador, as well as the southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and the Yucatán peninsula states of Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatán. This historial civilization is a Mesoamerican civilization that dates back to 1000 B.C., although the area is believed to have been occupied before the 10th millenia by a people known as the Olmecs. This was an African civilization that came and went much earlier than the Mayans or Aztecs of Mexico.
It is not known when the first Mayan characteristics became well defined but by mid-Preclassic period (or mid-Formative, around 600 BC), some of the earliest Maya complexes had been constructed. It is known that during the later Classic period (c. 250 - 900) many cities were being constructed as well as recording of monumental inscriptions. Most of the monumental inscriptions took place in the southern lowland regions. It is believed that the magnificent cities of the Maya were abandoned due to drought and starvation, and possibly disease. It is a myth that the Mayans disappeared when their cities were abandoned. Many smaller civilizations and pockets of Mayan descendents still exist. Many of these groups continue to speak their original Mayan dialects to the present day.
More pyramids were built by the Maya than were built by the Egyptians. These pyramids are scattered all over Mexico and Central America. The cities of the Maya were great cultural center and their strengths were in writing and astronomy. They created calendars that reached backward and forward in time for more then (forward) seven thousand years. Some of these cities that are quite famous are the Tikal, Palenque, Copán and Kalakmul, as well as Dos Pilas, Uaxactun, Altun Ha, Bonampak. There are many other well known sites that have been found in the area.
Cities of the Maya
The famed cities of Tikal, Palenque, Copán and Kalakmul, as well as Dos Pilas, Uaxactun, Altun Ha, Bonampak were religious and cultural centers where great palaces were built for the Mayan kings. While the scribes were astronomers, much of the area around the cities was used for agriculture due to the large urban development that included large populations gathered nearby. The Maya were long distance traders who participated regularly with other civilizations in Mesoamerica sharing their writing skills, and other knowledge during the earlier formative years of the civilization. Some of their goods for trading were cacao, salt, and obsidian. Mayan cities were basically enormous royal households where the people lived around the palace.
Mayan Ball Court and Calendar
Every Mayan city had a ball court where ball players played an unusual game of ball that had religious significance. The Maya believed in human sacrifice which is well documented and depicted in their art.
Although the only Mayan calendar known about recently ended in December 2012 causing some consternation among believers that the would would end on that date, another Mayan calendar was recently found that continues forward for another 7000 years. Basically, the Mayan calendar measures epochs and December 2012 marks the end of the 13th epoch. Some researchers believe this means some spiritual or cultural change will appear but does not mean that the end of the world is near.
Ancient Ruins of the Maya
- Mayan Gods and Art
Mayan art, legacy of kings and lost gods are discussed with beautiful slide show of statues and other art of the Maya. Beautiful informative video describing ancient Mayan cities of Tikal, Palenque and Chichen Izta.
- Mayan Ruins - The Ultimate Guide
The ultimate guide to all the great Mayan ruins in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras en El Salvador with travel information, photos and interactive maps.
- New Mayan Calendar
Explorer William Saturno unveiled his find of a Mayan work room with glyphs that contradict the 2012 Doomsday Myth. New glyphs project the calendar 7000 years into the future.
- Unprecedented Maya Mural Found, Contradicts 2012 "Doomsday" Myth
Unprecedented paintings and calculations have emerged from under the Guatemalan jungle—including evidence against the 2012 "doomsday myth."
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