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The Maya, Where Did They Go?

Updated on March 3, 2013
Tikal had an estimated 3000 buildings
Tikal had an estimated 3000 buildings


One of the greatest times for the Mayan civilization, was up to 900 A.D. At this time they had built a huge city at Tikal, in modern day Guatemala, close to the Belize border.

It is believed that Tikal covers, six and a half square miles and at its prime, had more than 3000 buildings. Archeologists, have only uncovered 10% of this.

From what the archeologists have discovered, it would appear that around 900 A.D., the civilization disappeared and no one has satisfactorily explained, the cause of this disappearance.

Ancient Mayan King
Ancient Mayan King

The Legend

 Some present day Maya, speak of a legend. This legend tells of an ancient Mayan King, under increased attacks from another group, led his people underground, vowing that one day the Maya would return to the surface to reclaim their lands.

Is It Possible?

The Maya Mountains
The Maya Mountains

Is It Possible?

 Tikal is situated close to the Maya mountains and the whole area is limestone based. This means it has a Karst topography. In other words the area is littered with deep caves. Many of these caves are in Belize, one of which, known now as the ATM cave, is known to of been used around 6oo A.D., for various ceremonial purposes. Archeologists believe that after that time, the Maya went deeper into the cave system to perform their ceremonies.

The caves in this area go very deep and very few have yet been fully explored. It is also believed that at least one of these caves would link up to, The Great Blue Hole, off the Belize coast.

So it may be possible that the cave system could be big enough to hide a civilization.

The Cave System

ATM Cave
ATM Cave
The Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole

Caves of the Maya Mountains

Blue Water Cave
Blue Water Cave
Caves in Belize
Caves in Belize
Caves of Barton Creek
Caves of Barton Creek
Underwater Caves
Underwater Caves

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