The Maya civilization is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as its spectacular art, monumental architecture, and sophisticated mathematical and astronomical systems. The Maya peoples constitute a diverse range of the Native American peoples of southern Mexico and northern Central America. As unique and spectacular as any Ancient Egypt, Greek or Roman architecture, Maya architecture spans several thousands of years The Maya calendar is a system of distinct Calendars and Almanacs used by the Maya civilization of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and by Human sacrifice is the act of Homicide (the Killing of one or several Human beings in the context of a Religious ritual ( ritual killing Maya mythology is part of Mesoamerican mythology and comprises all those Mayan tales in which personified forces of nature deities and the heroes interacting with these play the main The Maya peoples constitute a diverse range of the Native American peoples of southern Mexico and northern Central America. Nowadays the Maya religion of Chiapas and Yucatan (Mexico Guatemala Belize and western Honduras is full of tensions between the traditional ancestral religion the 're-invention Maya society shared many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations for there was a high degree of interaction and Cultural diffusion throughout the region Knowledge of Mayan textiles is limited mostly to Elite ceremonial costumes nonetheless their clothing has significant representation in the complexities of their culture The Music that was central to Pre-Columbian Maya culture still remains a bit of a mystery today During the height of the Maya civilization, trade was a crucial factor in maintaining cities The Maya script, also known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently The Classic Maya Collapse refers to the decline and abandonment of the Classic Period Maya cities of the southern Maya lowlands of Mesoamerica between the The Spanish Conquest of Yucatán was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish Conquistadores ' against the Late Postclassic Maya states and Mesoamerica or Meso-America (Mesoamérica is a Region extending approximately from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua, defined A Civilization is a society in which large numbers of people share a variety of common elements The Maya script, also known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences Maya art is considered by many to be the most sophisticated and beautiful of the ancient New World. As unique and spectacular as any Ancient Egypt, Greek or Roman architecture, Maya architecture spans several thousands of years Mathematics is the body of Knowledge and Academic discipline that studies such concepts as Quantity, Structure, Space and Astronomy (from the Greek words astron (ἄστρον "star" and nomos (νόμος "law" is the scientific study Initially established during the Preclassic period, many of these reached their apogee of development during the Classic period (c. Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica into a number of named successive eras or periods from the earliest evidence of human habitation In Celestial mechanics, an apsis, plural apsides (ˈæpsɨdɪːz is the point of greatest or least distance of the Elliptical orbit of an object from Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica into a number of named successive eras or periods from the earliest evidence of human habitation 250 to 900), and continued throughout the Postclassic period until the arrival of the Spanish. Events By Place Roman Empire A group of Franks penetrate as far as Tarragona in Spain (approximate date Events By place Asia Laguna Copperplate Inscription, Kavi script inscribed in Luzon, Philippines, The Spanish Conquest of Yucatán was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish Conquistadores ' against the Late Postclassic Maya states and At its peak, it was one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world.
The Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region. Mesoamerica or Meso-America (Mesoamérica is a Region extending approximately from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua, defined Cultural diffusion, as first conceptualized by Alfred L Kroeber in his influential 1940 paper Stimulus Diffusion, or trans-cultural diffusion in later reformulations Advances such as writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya; however, their civilization fully developed them. Epigraphy (ἐπιγραφολογία from Greek ἐπιγραφή — "inscription" is the study of inscriptions or epigraphs engraved The Maya calendar is a system of distinct Calendars and Almanacs used by the Maya civilization of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and by Maya influence can be detected as far as central Mexico, more than 1000 km (625 miles) from the Maya area. The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. The kilometre ( American spelling: kilometer) symbol km is a unit of Length in the Metric system, equal to one thousand geography of Mesoamerica entails the physical and Human geography of Mesoamerica, a Culture area inhabited by complex indigenous Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to result from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest. Maya art is considered by many to be the most sophisticated and beautiful of the ancient New World. As unique and spectacular as any Ancient Egypt, Greek or Roman architecture, Maya architecture spans several thousands of years The Maya peoples never disappeared, neither at the time of the Classic period decline nor with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and the subsequent Spanish colonization of the Americas. The Maya peoples constitute a diverse range of the Native American peoples of southern Mexico and northern Central America. The Spanish Empire (Imperio Español was one of the largest Empires in history and one of the first Global empires In the 15th and 16th centuries This article is about the Spanish explorer soldiers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuriesfor other uses see Conquistador (disambiguation A Conquistador The Spanish colonization of the Americas was Spain 's conquest settlement and rule over much of the Western hemisphere. Today, the Maya and their descendants form sizable populations throughout the Maya area and maintain a distinctive set of traditions and beliefs that are the result of the merger of pre-Columbian and post-Conquest ideologies (and structured by the almost total adoption of Roman Catholicism). An ideology is a set of beliefs aims and Ideas especially in politics Many different Mayan languages continue to be spoken as primary languages today; the Rabinal Achí, a play written in the Achi' language, was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005. The Rabinal Achí is a Maya theatrical play performed in Rabinal, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala. Achi is a Mayan language very closely related to K'iche' ( Quiché in the older orthography The Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity is a list maintained by UNESCO with pieces of Intangible culture considered relevant by that United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on November 16
The geographic extent of the Maya civilization, known as the Maya area, extended throughout the southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and the Yucatán Peninsula states of Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatán. The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. Chiapas is the southernmost state of Mexico, located towards the southeast of the country Tabasco is a state in Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Veracruz to the west Chiapas to the south and Campeche to the The Yucatán Peninsula, in Southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. Quintana Roo (kinˈtana ˈro is a state of Mexico, on the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. Campeche is the name of both a state in Mexico and its capital city Yucatán is one of the 31 states of Mexico, located on the north of the Yucatán Peninsula. The Maya area also extended throughout the northern Central American region, including the present-day nations of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and western Honduras. Guatemala (República de Guatemala) is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west the Pacific Ocean to the southwest Belize (bəˈliːz formerly British Honduras, is a country in Central America. El Salvador ( República de El Salvador,) is a country in Central America. Honduras in Spanish, República de Honduras) is a democratic republic in Central America.
As the largest sub-region in Mesoamerica, it encompassed a vast and varied landscape, from the mountainous regions of the Sierra Madre to the semi-arid plains of northern Yucatán. The Yucatán Peninsula, in Southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. Climate in the Maya region can vary tremendously, as the low-lying areas are particularly susceptible to the hurricanes and tropical storms that frequent the Caribbean. A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous Thunderstorms that produce strong winds and Flooding A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous Thunderstorms that produce strong winds and Flooding The Caribbean (ˌkærəˡbiən kæ'rəbiən Cariben|Caraïben or Caraïben; Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles; Caribe is a Region consisting
The Maya area is generally divided into three loosely defined zones: the southern Maya highlands, the southern (or central) Maya lowlands, and the northern Maya lowlands. The southern Maya highlands include all of elevated terrain in Guatemala and the Chiapas highlands. The region of the Chiapas highlands are located in the southern-most state of Mexico, Chiapas. The southern lowlands lie just north of the highlands, and incorporate the Petén of the Mexican states of Campeche and Quintana Roo and northern Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador. The Petén Basin is a geographical subregion of Mesoamerica, located in the northern portion of the modern-day nation of Guatemala, and essentially contained within The northern lowlands cover the remainder of the Yucatán Peninsula, including the Puuc hills. PuucChunjujujpg|right|thumb|325px|Puuc building at Chunhuhub, Campeche, as drawn by Frederick Catherwood, 1841]][[Image UxmalCornerChacMask 
While the Maya area was initially inhabited around the 10th millennium BC, the first clearly “Maya” settlements were established in approximately 1800 BC in Soconusco region of the Pacific Coast. The 18th century BC was the Century which lasted from 1800 BC to 1701 BC Soconusco is a region of the Mexican state of Chiapas, located in the extreme south of the state and bounded by the Republic of Guatemala on the southeast This point in time, known as the Early Preclassic,  was characterized by sedentary communities and the introduction of pottery and fired clay figurines. Sedentary lifestyle is a medical Neologism used to denote a type of Lifestyle most commonly found in modern (particularly Western) cultures Pottery is the Ceramic ware made by potters It also refers to a group of materials that includes Earthenware, Stoneware Clay is a naturally occurring material composed primarily of fine-grained Minerals which show plasticity through a variable range of Water content, and For the indie band see Figurine (band A figurine (a diminutive form of the word Figure) is a Statuette that represents 
Archaeological evidence suggests the construction of ceremonial architecture in Maya area by approximately 1000 BC. Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek grc ἀρχαιολογία archaiologia – grc ἀρχαῖος archaīos The earliest configurations of such architecture consist of simple burial mounds, which would be the precursors to the stepped pyramids subsequently erected in the Late Preclassic. A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a Mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves Mesoamerican pyramids, pyramid-shaped structures are an important part of ancient Mesoamerican architecture. Prominent Middle and Late Preclassic settlement zones are located in the southern Maya lowlands, specifically in the Mirador and Petén Basins. geography of Mesoamerica entails the physical and Human geography of Mesoamerica, a Culture area inhabited by complex indigenous The Mirador Basin is a geographically defined elevated Basin found in the remote rain forest of the northern department of Petén, Guatemala. The Petén Basin is a geographical subregion of Mesoamerica, located in the northern portion of the modern-day nation of Guatemala, and essentially contained within Important sites in the southern Maya lowlands include Nakbe, El Mirador, Cival, and San Bartolo. Nakbe is one of the largest early Maya archaeological sites rivaled by El Mirador. El Mirador is a large Pre-Columbian Mayan settlement located in the north of the modern department of El Petén, Guatemala. Cival is an Archaeological site in the Petén Basin region of the southern Maya lowlands which was formerly a major city of the Pre-Columbian Maya In the Guatemalan Highlands Kaminal Juyú emerges around 800 BC. Kaminaljuyu is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization. For many centuries it controlled the Jade and Obsidian sources for the Petén and Pacific Lowlands. Jade is an Ornamental stone. The term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different Silicate minerals. Obsidian is a naturally occurring Glass formed as an extrusive Igneous rock. The important early sites of Izapa, Takalik Abaj and Chocolá at around 600 BC were the main producers of Cacao. Izapa is a very large Pre-Columbian Archaeological site located in the Mexican state of Chiapas; it was occupied during the Late Formative Tak'alik A'baj' is an Pre-Columbian archaeological site formerly known as Abaj Takalik. CACAO is a research Java Virtual Machine developed at Vienna University of Technology. Mid-sized Maya communities also began to develop in the northern Maya lowlands during the Middle and Late Preclassic, though these lacked the size, scale, and influence of the large centers of the southern lowlands. Two important Preclassic northern sites include Komchen and Dzibilchaltun. Komchen is Pre-Columbian Maya Archaeological site located in the northwestern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula. Sacbe_Dzibilchaltunjpg|right|thumb|Sacbe at Dzibilchaltun]]DzibilchaltunColonialOpenChapel
There is some disagreement about the boundaries which differentiate the physical and cultural extent of the early Maya and neighboring Preclassic Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Olmec culture of the Tabasco lowlands and the Mixe-Zoque– and Zapotec–speaking peoples of Chiapas and southern Oaxaca, respectively. The Olmec were an ancient Pre-Columbian people living in the Tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in what are roughly the modern-day states The Mixe-Zoque languages constitute a Language family whose living members are spoken in and around the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico. The Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca ( Estado Libre y Soberano de Oaxaca), in Spanish phonemically /oa'xaka/ named for its largest city, is one of the Many of the earliest significant inscriptions and buildings appeared in this overlapping zone, and evidence suggests that these cultures and the formative Maya influenced one another.  Takalik Abaj in the Pacific slopes of Guatemala, is the only site where Olmec and then Maya features, have been found.
The Classic period (c. 250–900) CE (common era) witnessed the peak of large-scale construction and urbanism, the recording of monumental inscriptions, and a period of significant intellectual and artistic development, particularly in the southern lowland regions. Events By Place Roman Empire A group of Franks penetrate as far as Tarragona in Spain (approximate date Events By place Asia Laguna Copperplate Inscription, Kavi script inscribed in Luzon, Philippines, Urbanism is the study of cities &mdash their Geographic, Economic, Political, Social and Cultural environment  They developed an agriculturally intensive, city-centered empire consisting of numerous independent city-states. A city-state is a Region controlled exclusively by a City, usually having Sovereignty. This includes the well-known cities of Tikal, Palenque, Copán and Calakmul, but also the lesser known Dos Pilas, Uaxactun, Altun Ha, and Bonampak, among others. Tikal (or Tik’al, according to the more current orthography is the largest of the ancient ruined cities of the Mayan civilization. Palenque ( Bàak' in Modern Maya) is a Maya archeological site near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas The Pre-Columbian city today known as Copán is a locale in extreme western Honduras, in the Copán Department, near to the Guatemalan border Calakmul (also Kalakmul and other less frequent variants is the name given to site of one of the largest ancient Maya cities ever uncovered Dos Pilas is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization located in what is now the department of Petén, Guatemala. Uaxactun (waʃakˈtun is an ancient ruin of the Maya civilization, located in the Petén Basin region of the Maya lowlands in the present-day department Altun Ha is the name given ruins of an ancient Maya city in Belize, located in the Belize District about 30 miles (50 km north of Belize City Bonampak ( Bòonam Pak' Painted Wall in Modern Maya) is an ancient Maya Archaeological site in the Mexican state The Early Classic settlement distribution in the northern Maya lowlands is not as clearly known as the southern zone, but does include a number of population centers, such as Oxkintok, Chunchucmil, and the early occupation of Uxmal. Oxkintok is a Pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site on the Yucatán Peninsula, located at the northern tip of the Puuc hills - a few kilometers Chunchucmil was a large sprawling Pre-Columbian Maya City located in the western part of what is now the state of Yucatán, Mexico Uxmal ( Yucatec Maya: Óoxmáal is a large Pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico.
The most notable monuments are the stepped pyramids they built in their religious centers and the accompanying palaces of their rulers. Mesoamerican pyramids, pyramid-shaped structures are an important part of ancient Mesoamerican architecture. A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos A palace is a grand residence especially the home of a Head of state or some other high-ranking Public figure. The palace at Cancuen is the largest in the Maya area, though the site, interestingly, lacks pyramids. Cancuén is an Archaeological site of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the Pasión subregion of the central Maya lowlands in the Other important archaeological remains include the carved stone slabs usually called stelae (the Maya called them tetun, or "tree-stones"), which depict rulers along with hieroglyphic texts describing their genealogy, military victories, and other accomplishments. A stele (from Greek:, stēlē, ˈstiːli plural stelae,, stēlai, ˈstiːlaɪ also found Latinised singular stela Hieroglyph ( Greek grc-Grek ἱερογλύφος " sacred carving " or hieroglyphics ( = grc-Grek τὰ ἱερογλυφικά Genealogy (from Greek: el γενεά el-Latn genea, "descent" and el λόγος el-Latn logos, "knowledge" is the study of 
The Maya participated in long distance trade with many of the other Mesoamerican cultures, including Teotihuacan, the Zapotec and other groups in central and gulf-coast Mexico, as well as with more distant, non-Mesoamerican groups. Teotihuacan is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the Pre-Columbian Americas The Zapotec civilization was an indigenous Pre-Columbian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca of southern Mesoamerica. For example the Tainos in the caribbean, also archaeologists found gold from Panama in the Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza. The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. Panama, officially the Republic of Panama (República de Panamá) is the southernmost country of Central America. Sacred Cenote (Well of Sacrifice is a noted Cenote at the Maya site of Chichen Itza.  Important trade goods included cacao, salt, sea shells, jade and obsidian. CACAO is a research Java Virtual Machine developed at Vienna University of Technology. Salt is a Dietary mineral composed primarily of Sodium chloride that is essential for Animal life but toxic to most land plants Jade is an Ornamental stone. The term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different Silicate minerals. Obsidian is a naturally occurring Glass formed as an extrusive Igneous rock.
For reasons that are still debated, the Maya centers of the southern lowlands went into decline during the 8th and 9th centuries and were abandoned shortly thereafter. The Classic Maya Collapse refers to the decline and abandonment of the Classic Period Maya cities of the southern Maya lowlands of Mesoamerica between the The 8th century is the period from 701 to 800 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. The 9th century is the period from 801 to 900 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. This decline was coupled with a cessation of monumental inscriptions and large-scale architectural construction.  Although there is no universally accepted theory to explain this “collapse,” current theories fall into two categories: non-ecological and ecological.
Non-ecological theories of Maya decline are divided into several subcategories, such as overpopulation, foreign invasion, peasant revolt, and the collapse of key trade routes. Overpopulation refers to a condition where an Organism 's numbers exceed the Carrying capacity of its Habitat. An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all or large parts of the Armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo Ecological hypotheses include environmental disaster, epidemic disease, and climate change. A disaster is the impact of a natural or human-made hazard that negatively affects society or environment. In Epidemiology, an epidemic (from Greek epi- upon + demos people is a classification of a disease that appears as new cases in a Climate change is any long-term significant change in the “average weather” that a given region experiences There is evidence that the Mayan population exceeded carrying capacity of the environment including exhaustion of agricultural potential and overhunting of megafauna. The supportable Population of an Organism, given the food habitat, water and other necessities available within an environment is known as the environment's Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants and fungi and the raising of domesticated Animals The study of agriculture Megafauna are species of large Animals ( Greek μεγας large + modern Latin fauna animal  Some scholars have recently theorized that an intense 200 year drought led to the collapse of Mayan civilization.  The drought theory originated from research performed by physical scientists studying lake beds, ancient pollen, and other data, not from the archaeological community.
During the succeeding Postclassic period (from the 10th to the early 16th century), development in the northern centers persisted, characterized by an increasing diversity of external influences. The Maya cities of the northern lowlands in Yucatán continued to flourish for centuries more; some of the important sites in this era were Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Edzná, and Coba. Chichen Itza (tʃiːˈtʃɛn iːˈtsɑː from Chi'ch'èen Ìitsha' "At the mouth of the well of the Itza " is a Uxmal ( Yucatec Maya: Óoxmáal is a large Pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. Edzná is a Maya Archaeological site in the north of the Mexican state of Campeche. Coba ( Cobá in the Spanish language) is a large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the state of Quintana After the decline of the ruling dynasties of Chichen and Uxmal, Mayapan ruled all of Yucatán until a revolt in 1450. Mayapan ( Màayapáan in Modern Maya) (in Spanish Mayapán) is a Pre-Columbian Maya site in the state of (This city's name may be the source of the word "Maya", which had a more geographically restricted meaning in Yucatec and colonial Spanish and only grew to its current meaning in the 19th and 20th centuries). Yucatec Maya ("Maaya T'aan" in the revised Orthography of the Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala) is a Mayan language spoken in The area then degenerated into competing city-states until the Yucatán was conquered by the Spanish. A city-state is a Region controlled exclusively by a City, usually having Sovereignty. The Spanish Conquest of Yucatán was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish Conquistadores ' against the Late Postclassic Maya states and
The Itza Maya, Ko'woj, and Yalain groups of Central Peten survived the "Classic Period Collapse" in small numbers and by 1250 reconstituted themselves to form competing city-states. The Itza are a Guatemalan ethnic group of Maya affiliation speaking the Itza' language. The Ko'woj (also recorded as Coguo, Cohuo, Kob'ow, Kob'ox, and Kowo) were a Maya group and Polity, from The Itza maintained their capital at Tayasal (also known as Noh Petén), an archaeological site thought to underlay the modern city of Flores, Guatemala on Lake Petén Itzá. Tayasal is a Pre-Columbian Maya Archaeological site that dates to the Postclassic period Flores is the capital city of Petén department of Guatemala. Lake Petén Itzá ( Lago Petén Itzá) is a Lake in central Petén department in Guatemala. It ruled over an area extending across the Peten Lakes region, encompassing the community of Eckixil on Lake Quexil. The Ko'woj had their capital at Zacpeten. Zacpeten is a Pre-Columbian Maya Archaeological site in northern Guatemala. Postclassic Maya states also continued to survive in the southern highlands. One of the Maya kingdoms in this area, the K'iche', is responsible for the best-known Maya work of historiography and mythology, the Popol Vuh. The K'iche' Kingdom of Q'umarkaj was a State in the highlands of modern day Guatemala which was founded by the K'iche' (Quiché Maya in the The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" For other uses see Popol Vuh (disambiguation The Popol Vuh ( K'iche' for "Council Book" or "Book of the Community"
Shortly after their first expeditions to the region, the Spanish initiated a number of attempts to subjugate the Maya and establish a colonial presence in the Maya territories of the Yucatán Peninsula and the Guatemalan highlands. The K'iche' Kingdom of Q'umarkaj was a State in the highlands of modern day Guatemala which was founded by the K'iche' (Quiché Maya in the The Spanish Conquest of Yucatán was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish Conquistadores ' against the Late Postclassic Maya states and The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The Spanish colonization of the Americas was Spain 's conquest settlement and rule over much of the Western hemisphere. The Yucatán Peninsula, in Southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. This campaign, sometimes termed "The Spanish Conquest of Yucatán," would prove to be a lengthy and dangerous exercise for the conquistadores from the outset, and it would take some 170 years before the Spanish established substantive control over all Maya lands. This article is about the Spanish explorer soldiers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuriesfor other uses see Conquistador (disambiguation A Conquistador
Unlike the Spanish campaigns against the Aztec and Inca Empires, there was no single Maya political center which once overthrown would hasten the end of collective resistance from the indigenous peoples. Aztec is a term used to refer to certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who achieved political The Inca Empire (or Inka Empire) was the largest empire in Pre-Columbian America. Instead, the conquistador forces needed to subdue the numerous independent Maya polities almost one by one, many of which kept up a fierce resistance. Most of the conquistadores were motivated by the prospects of the great wealth to be had from the seizure of precious metal resources such as gold or silver; however, the Maya lands themselves were poor in these resources. Gold (ˈɡoʊld is a Chemical element with the symbol Au (from its Latin name aurum) and Atomic number 79 Silver (ˈsɪlvɚ is a Chemical element with the symbol " Ag " (argentum from the Ancient Greek: ἀργήντος - argēntos gen This would become another factor in forestalling Spanish designs of conquest, as they instead were initially attracted to the reports of great riches in central Mexico or Peru. The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. Peru (Perú Piruw Piruw officially the Republic of Peru ( reˈpuβlika del peˈɾu is a country in western South America.
The last Maya states, the Itza polity of Tayasal and the Ko'woj city of Zacpeten, were continuously occupied and remained independent of the Spanish until late in the 17th century. The Ko'woj (also recorded as Coguo, Cohuo, Kob'ow, Kob'ox, and Kowo) were a Maya group and Polity, from Zacpeten is a Pre-Columbian Maya Archaeological site in northern Guatemala. As a means of recording the passage of Time, the 17th Century was that Century which lasted from 1601 - 1700 in the Gregorian calendar They were finally subdued by the Spanish in 1697.
A typical Classic Maya polity was a small hierarchical state (ajawil, ajawlel, or ajawlil) headed by a hereditary ruler known as an ajaw (later k’uhul ajaw). Polity ( Greek: Πολιτεία or Πολίτευμα transliterated as Politeía or Políteuma) was originally a term used in Ancient Greece @@@ main@@@ - title Hierarchy@@@ keywords structure; sociology; information@@@ review@@@ - Ajaw (also ahau or ahaw in the older orthography is a political rulership title attested from the epigraphic inscriptions of the Pre-Columbian  Such kingdoms were usually no more than a capital city with its neighborhood and several lesser towns, although there were greater kingdoms, which controlled larger territories and extended patronage over smaller polities.
Each kingdom had a name that did not necessarily correspond to any locality within its territory. Its identity was that of a political unit associated with a particular ruling dynasty. For instance, the archaeological site of Naranjo was the capital of the kingdom of Saal. Naranjo is a Spanish-language surname that can refer to People Alberto Naranjo (b The land (chan ch’e’n) of the kingdom and its capital were called Wakab’nal or Maxam and were part of a larger geographical entity known as Huk Tsuk. Interestingly, despite constant warfare and eventual shifts in regional power, most kingdoms never disappeared from the political landscape until the collapse of the whole system in the 9th century AD. In this respect, Classic Maya kingdoms are highly similar to late Post Classic polities encountered by the Spaniards in Yucatán and Central Mexico: some polities could be subordinated to hegemonic rulers through conquests or dynastic unions and yet even then they persisted as distinct entities.
Mayanists have been increasingly accepting a "court paradigm" of Classic Maya societies which puts the emphasis on the centrality of the royal household and especially the person of the king. This approach focuses on Maya monumental spaces as the embodiment of the diverse activities of the royal household. It considers the role of places and spaces (including dwellings of royalty and nobles, throne rooms, temples, halls and plazas for public ceremonies) in establishing power and social hierarchy, and also in projecting aesthetic and moral values to define the wider social realm.
Spanish sources invariably describe even the largest Maya settlements as dispersed collections of dwellings grouped around the temples and palaces of the ruling dynasty and lesser nobles. None of the Classic Maya cities shows evidence of economic specialization and commerce of the scale of Mexican Tenochtitlan. There are some towns in Mexico which are spelled "Tenochtitlán" like San Lorenzo Instead, Maya cities could be seen as enormous royal households, the locales of the administrative and ritual activities of the royal court. They were the places where privileged nobles could approach the holy ruler, where aesthetic values of the high culture were formulated and disseminated, where aesthetic items were consumed. They were the self-proclaimed centers and the sources of social, moral, and cosmic order. The fall of a royal court as in the well-documented cases of Piedras Negras or Copan would cause the inevitable "death" of the associated settlement. Piedras Negras is the modern name for a ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization located on the north bank of the Usumacinta River in the The Pre-Columbian city today known as Copán is a locale in extreme western Honduras, in the Copán Department, near to the Guatemalan border
Many consider Maya art of their Classic Era (c. Maya art is considered by many to be the most sophisticated and beautiful of the ancient New World. Palenque ( Bàak' in Modern Maya) is a Maya archeological site near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas Art refers to a diverse range of Human activities creations and expressions that are appealing to the Senses or Emotions of a human individual 250 to 900 AD) to be the most sophisticated and beautiful of the ancient New World. Events By Place Roman Empire A group of Franks penetrate as far as Tarragona in Spain (approximate date Events By place Asia Laguna Copperplate Inscription, Kavi script inscribed in Luzon, Philippines, The carvings and the reliefs made of stucco at Palenque and the statuary of Copán are especially fine, showing a grace and accurate observation of the human form that reminded early archaeologists of Classical civilizations of the Old World, hence the name bestowed on this era. A relief is a Sculptured Artwork where a modeled form is raised (or alternatively lowered from a flattened background without being disconnected from it Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water A statue is a Sculpture in the round representing a person or persons an animal or an event normally full-length as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size We have only hints of the advanced painting of the classic Maya; mostly what have survived are funerary pottery and other Maya ceramics, and a building at Bonampak holds ancient murals that survived by serendipity. Painting (pān'tīng in Art, is the practice of applying Color to a Surface (support base such as e A funeral is a Ceremony marking a person's Death. Funerary customs comprise the complex of Beliefs and practices used by a Culture to remember Pottery is the Ceramic ware made by potters It also refers to a group of materials that includes Earthenware, Stoneware Maya ceramics are important in the study of the Pre-Columbian Maya culture of Mesoamerica. Bonampak ( Bòonam Pak' Painted Wall in Modern Maya) is an ancient Maya Archaeological site in the Mexican state A mural is a Painting on a wall ceiling or other large permanent surface A beautiful turquoise blue color that has survived through the centuries due to its unique chemical characteristics is known as Maya Blue or Azul maya, and it is present in Bonampak, Tajín Cacaxtla, Jaina, and even in some Colonial Convents. Maya Blue ( Azul Maya) is a unique bright blue to greenish-blue Pigment manufactured by cultures of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, such Bonampak ( Bòonam Pak' Painted Wall in Modern Maya) is an ancient Maya Archaeological site in the Mexican state El Tajín is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site located in the present-day municipality of Poza Rica, in the Mexican state of Veracruz. MexicoTlaxCacaxtla02jpg|right|250px|thumb|View over the top of the Gran Basamento ]] Cacaxtla is an archaeological site located near the southern border of the The use of Maya Blue survived until the 16th century when the technique was lost. Some Pre Classic murals have been recently discovered at San Bartolo, and are by far the finest in style and iconography, regarded as the Sistine Chapel of the Maya. With the decipherment of the Maya script it was discovered that the Maya were one of the few civilizations where artists attached their name to their work.
As unique and spectacular as Greek or Roman architecture, Maya architecture spans many thousands of years; yet, often the most dramatic and easily recognizable as Maya are the fantastic stepped pyramids from the Terminal Pre-classic period and beyond. As unique and spectacular as any Ancient Egypt, Greek or Roman architecture, Maya architecture spans several thousands of years Architecture was extinct in Greece from the end of the Mycenaean period (about 1200 BC to the 7th century BC when urpeppeeban life and prosperity recovered The Architecture of Ancient Rome adopted the external Greek architecture for their own purposes which were so different from Greek buildings as to create a new A pyramid is a Building where the upper surfaces are triangular and converge on one point Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica into a number of named successive eras or periods from the earliest evidence of human habitation
There are also cave sites that are important to the Maya. These cave sites include Jolja Cave, the cave site at Naj Tunich, the Candelaria Caves, and the Cave of the Witch. Jolja' is an Archaeological site of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the Chiapas highlands of central southern Naj Tunich is a natural Cave and an important archaeological site in Guatemala. There are also cave-origin myths among the Maya. A creation myth is a supernatural mytho-[[religion religious]] story or explanation that describes the beginnings of humanity, Earth, life, and Some cave sites are still used by the modern Maya in the Chiapas highlands. The region of the Chiapas highlands are located in the southern-most state of Mexico, Chiapas.
It has been suggested that, in conjunction to the Maya Long Count Calendar, every fifty-two years, or cycle, temples and pyramids were remodeled and rebuilt. The Maya calendar is a system of distinct Calendars and Almanacs used by the Maya civilization of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and by It appears now that the rebuilding process was often instigated by a new ruler or for political matters, as opposed to matching the calendar cycle. However, the process of rebuilding on top of old structures is indeed a common one. Most notably, the North Acropolis at Tikal seems to be the sum total of 1,500 years of architectural modifications. Tikal (or Tik’al, according to the more current orthography is the largest of the ancient ruined cities of the Mayan civilization. In Tikal and Yaxhá, there are the Twin Pyramid complexes (7 in Tikal and 1 in Yaxhá, that commemorate the end of a Baktún
Through observation of the numerous consistent elements and stylistic distinctions, remnants of Maya architecture have become an important key to understanding the evolution of their ancient civilization. Tikal (or Tik’al, according to the more current orthography is the largest of the ancient ruined cities of the Mayan civilization. Yaxha (or Yaxhá in Spanish orthography) is a Mesoamerican Archaeological site in the northeast of the Petén Basin region and a former
As Maya cities spread throughout the varied geography of Mesoamerica, site planning appears to have been minimal. Maya architecture tended to integrate a great degree of natural features, and their cities were built somewhat haphazardly as dictated by the topography of each independent location. For instance, some cities on the flat limestone plains of the northern Yucatán grew into great sprawling municipalities, while others built in the hills of Usumacinta utilized the natural loft of the topography to raise their towers and temples to impressive heights. Limestone is a Sedimentary rock composed largely of the Mineral Calcite ( Calcium carbonate: CaCO3 The Usumacinta River is a River in southeastern Mexico and northwestern Guatemala. However, some semblance of order, as required by any large city, still prevailed.
Classic Era Maya urban design could easily be described as the division of space by great monuments and causeways. Open public plazas were the gathering places for people and the focus of urban design, while interior space was entirely secondary. Only in the Late Post-Classic era did the great Maya cities develop into more fortress-like defensive structures that lacked, for the most part, the large and numerous plazas of the Classic.
At the onset of large-scale construction during the Classic Era, a predetermined axis was typically established in a cardinal direction. Depending on the location of natural resources such as fresh-water wells, or cenotes, the city grew by using sacbeob (causeways) to connect great plazas with the numerous platforms that created the sub-structure for nearly all Maya buildings. A cenote (pronounced in Mexican Spanish and in English, plural cenotes; from Yucatec Maya dzonot) is a type of Sinkhole Sacbe, plural Sacbeob, ( Yucatec Maya: singular sakbej, plural sakbejo'ob) or "white ways" are raised paved Roads built As more structures were added and existing structures re-built or remodeled, the great Maya cities seemed to take on an almost random identity that contrasted sharply with other great Mesoamerican cities such as Teotihuacan and its rigid grid-like construction.
At the heart of the Maya city were large plazas surrounded by the most important governmental and religious buildings, such as the royal acropolis, great pyramid temples and occasionally ball-courts. Acropolis (Gr akros akron edge extremity + polis city pl acropoleis The Mesoamerican ballgame was a Sport with ritual associations played for over 3000 years by the Pre-Columbian peoples of Mesoamerica. Though city layouts evolved as nature dictated, careful attention was placed on the directional orientation of temples and observatories so that they were constructed in accordance with Maya interpretation of the orbits of the heavenly bodies. Immediately outside of this ritual center were the structures of lesser nobles, smaller temples, and individual shrines; the less sacred and less important structures had a greater degree of privacy. Outside of the constantly evolving urban core were the less permanent and more modest homes of the common people.
A surprising aspect of the great Maya structures is their lack of many advanced technologies seemingly necessary for such constructions. Lacking draft animals necessary for wheel-based modes of transportation, metal tools and even pulleys, Maya architecture required abundant manpower. Yet, beyond this enormous requirement, the remaining materials seem to have been readily available. All stone for Maya structures appears to have been taken from local quarries. They most often used limestone which remained pliable enough to be worked with stone tools while being quarried and only hardened once removed from its bed. Limestone is a Sedimentary rock composed largely of the Mineral Calcite ( Calcium carbonate: CaCO3 In addition to the structural use of limestone, much of their mortar consisted of crushed, burnt and mixed limestone that mimicked the properties of cement and was used as widely for stucco finishing as it was for mortar. Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water Later improvements in quarrying techniques reduced the necessity for this limestone-stucco as the stones began to fit quite perfectly, yet it remained a crucial element in some post and lintel roofs. For lintel as a decorative element see Lintel (architecture For beam as load-bearing member see beam In the case of the common Maya houses, wooden poles, adobe and thatch were the primary materials; however, instances of what appear to be common houses of limestone have been discovered as well. Adobe bricks are a Natural building material made from Sand, Clay, water and some kind of fibrous or Organic material ( Sticks, Also notable throughout Maya architecture is the corbel arch (also known as a "false arch"), whose limitations kept their structures generally weighty rather than airy. Use in historical cultures Maya civilization MykeneTreasureof
The Maya writing system (often called hieroglyphs from a superficial resemblance to the Ancient Egyptian writing) was a combination of phonetic symbols and logograms. The Maya script, also known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently A writing system is a type of Symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in Language. The Maya script, also known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently Ancient Egypt was an Ancient Civilization in eastern North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now Phonetics (from the Greek φωνή ( phonê) "sound" or "voice" is the study of the physical sounds of human speech A logogram, or logograph, is a Grapheme which represents a word or a Morpheme (a meaningful unit of language It is most often classified as a logographic or (more properly) a logosyllabic writing system, in which syllabic signs play a significant role. A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate Syllables which make up Words A symbol in a syllabary typically represents an optional It is the only writing system of the Pre-Columbian New World which is known to completely represent the spoken language of its community. In total, the script has more than a thousand different glyphs, although a few are variations of the same sign or meaning, and many appear only rarely or are confined to particular localities. A glyph is an element of writing Two or more glyphs representing the same symbol whether interchangeable or context-dependent are called Allographs the abstract unit they At any one time, no more than around 500 glyphs were in use, some 200 of which (including variations) had a phonetic or syllabic interpretation.
The earliest inscriptions in an identifiably-Maya script date back to 200–300 BC.  However, this is preceded by several other writing systems which had developed in Mesoamerica, most notably that of the Zapotecs, and (following the 2006 publication of research on the recently-discovered Cascajal Block), the Olmecs. Mesoamerica or Meso-America (Mesoamérica is a Region extending approximately from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua, defined The Olmec were an ancient Pre-Columbian people living in the Tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in what are roughly the modern-day states  There is a pre-Maya writing known as "Epi-Olmec script" (post Olmec) which some researchers believe may represent a transitional script between Olmec and Maya writing, but the relationships between these remain unclear and the matter is unsettled. The Isthmian script is a very early Mesoamerican writing system in use in the area of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec from perhaps 500 BCE to 500 CE although On January 5, 2006, National Geographic published the findings of Maya writings that could be as old as 400 BCE, suggesting that the Maya writing system is nearly as old as the oldest Mesoamerican writing known at that time, Zapotec. Events 1477 - Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold is killed and Burgundy becomes part of France. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Overview The NGS's historical mission is "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world's cultural historical and natural  In the succeeding centuries the Maya developed their script into a form which was far more complete and complex than any other that has yet been found in the Americas.
Since its inception, the Maya script was in use up to the arrival of the Europeans, peaking during the Maya Classical Period (c. 200 to 900). Although many Maya centers went into decline (or were completely abandoned) during or after this period, the skill and knowledge of Maya writing persisted amongst segments of the population, and the early Spanish conquistadors knew of individuals who could still read and write the script. Unfortunately, the Spanish displayed little interest in it, and as a result of the dire impacts the conquest had on Maya societies, the knowledge was subsequently lost, probably within only a few generations.
At a rough estimate, in excess of 10,000 individual texts have so far been recovered, mostly inscribed on stone monuments, lintels, stelae and ceramic pottery. A monument is a structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of past For lintel as a decorative element see Lintel (architecture For beam as load-bearing member see beam A stele (from Greek:, stēlē, ˈstiːli plural stelae,, stēlai, ˈstiːlaɪ also found Latinised singular stela The Maya also produced texts painted on a form of paper manufactured from processed tree-bark, in particular from several species of strangler fig trees such as Ficus cotinifolia and Ficus padifolia. Paper is thin material mainly used for writing upon printing upon or packaging Ficus is a Genus of about 850 Species of woody Trees Shrubs Vines Epiphytes and hemi-epiphytes in the family  This paper, common throughout Mesoamerica and generally now known by its Nahuatl-language name amatl, was typically bound as a single continuous sheet that was folded into pages of equal width, concertina-style, to produce a codex (book) that could be written on both sides. Nahuatl ( is a group of related languages and dialects of the Aztecan or Nahuan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family Amatl (āmatl amate or papel amate) is a form of Paper that was manufactured in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. A concertina is a free-reed Musical instrument, like the various Accordions and the Harmonica. A codex ( Latin for block of wood, Book; plural codices) is a book in the format used for modern books with separate pages normally Shortly after the conquest, all of the codices which could be found were ordered to be burnt and destroyed by zealous Spanish priests, notably Bishop Diego de Landa. A priest or priestess is a person having the authority or power to administer religious rites in particular rites of sacrifice to and propitiation of a deity or deities Diego de Landa Calderón ( 12 November, 1524 &ndash 1579 was Bishop of Yucatán. Only three reasonably intact examples of Maya codices are known to have survived through to the present day. Maya codices (singular Codex) are folding Books stemming from the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, written in Maya hieroglyphic These are now known as the Madrid, Dresden, and Paris codices. A few pages survive from a fourth, the Grolier codex, whose authenticity is sometimes disputed, but mostly is held to be genuine. Further archaeology conducted at Mayan sites often reveals other fragments, rectangular lumps of plaster and paint chips which formerly were codices; these tantalizing remains are, however, too severely damaged for any inscriptions to have survived, most of the organic material having decayed.
The decipherment and recovery of the now-lost knowledge of Maya writing has been a long and laborious process. Some elements were first deciphered in the late 19th and early 20th century, mostly the parts having to do with numbers, the Maya calendar, and astronomy. The 19th century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar The twentieth century of the Common Era began on The Pre-Columbian Maya civilization used a Vigesimal ( base - twenty) Numeral system. The Maya calendar is a system of distinct Calendars and Almanacs used by the Maya civilization of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and by Major breakthroughs came starting in the 1950s to 1970s, and accelerated rapidly thereafter. The 1950s Decade refers to the years of 1950 to 1959 inclusive This article is about the Decade 1970-1979 For the Year 1970 see 1970. By the end of the 20th century, scholars were able to read the majority of Maya texts to a large extent, and recent field work continues to further illuminate the content.
Most surviving pre-Columbian Maya writing is from stelae and other stone inscriptions from Maya sites, many of which were already abandoned before the Spanish arrived. The inscriptions on the stelae mainly record the dynasties and wars of the sites' rulers. Also of note are the inscriptions that reveal information about the lives of ancient Maya women. Ancient Maya women had an important role in society beyond just propagating Culture through the bearing and raising of children Maya women involved themselves in economic Much of the remainder of Maya hieroglyphics has been found on funeral pottery, most of which describes the afterlife.
Although the archaeological record does not provide examples, Maya art shows that writing was done with brushes made with animal hair and quills. Quill is a high level object oriented Programming language created by the Dutch software company Quintiq. Codex-style writing was usually done in black ink with red highlights, giving rise to the Aztec name for the Maya territory as the "land of red and black". An ink is a Liquid containing various Pigments and/or Dyes used for coloring a surface to produce an Image, text, or Aztec is a term used to refer to certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who achieved political
Scribes held a prominent position in Maya courts. Maya art often depicts rulers with trappings indicating they were scribes or at least able to write, such as having pen bundles in their headdresses. Additionally, many rulers have been found in conjunction with writing tools such as shell or clay inkpots.
Although the number of logograms and syllabic symbols required to fully write the language numbered in the hundreds, literacy was not necessarily widespread beyond the elite classes. Graffiti uncovered in various contexts, including on fired bricks, shows nonsensical attempts to imitate the writing system.
In common with the other Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya used a base 20 (vigesimal) and base 5 numbering system (see Maya numerals). The vigesimal or base - numeral system is based on twenty (in the same way in which the ordinary decimal numeral system is based on ten The Pre-Columbian Maya civilization used a Vigesimal ( base - twenty) Numeral system. Also, the preclassic Maya and their neighbors independently developed the concept of zero by 36 BC. Year 36 BC was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Julian calendar. Inscriptions show them on occasion working with sums up to the hundreds of millions and dates so large it would take several lines just to represent it. They produced extremely accurate astronomical observations; their charts of the movements of the moon and planets are equal or superior to those of any other civilization working from naked eye observation. Astronomy (from the Greek words astron (ἄστρον "star" and nomos (νόμος "law" is the scientific study A planet, as defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU is a celestial body Orbiting a Star or stellar remnant that is
In common with the other Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya had measured the length of the solar year to a high degree of accuracy, far more accurate than that used in Europe as the basis of the Gregorian Calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used Calendar in the world today They did not use this figure for the length of year in their calendar, however. The calendar they used was crude, being based on a year length of exactly 365 days, which means that the calendar falls out of step with the seasons by one day every four years. By comparison, the Julian calendar, used in Europe from Roman times until about the 16th Century, accumulated an error of only one day every 128 years. The Julian calendar, a reform of the Roman calendar, was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and came into force in 45 BC (709 Ab urbe condita The modern Gregorian calendar is even more accurate, accumulating only a day's error in approximately 3257 years. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used Calendar in the world today
Uniquely, there is some evidence to suggest the Maya appear to be the only pre-telescopic civilization to demonstrate knowledge of the Orion Nebula as being fuzzy, i. The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a Diffuse nebula situated south of Orion 's Belt e. not a stellar pin-point. The information which supports this theory comes from a folk tale that deals with the Orion constellation's area of the sky. Their traditional hearths include in their middle a smudge of glowing fire that corresponds with the Orion Nebula. In common historic and modern usage a hearth (Har-th is a Brick - or stone -lined Fireplace or Oven used for Cooking and/or Heating This is a significant clue to support the idea that the Maya detected a diffuse area of the sky contrary to the pin points of stars before the telescope was invented. A telescope is an instrument designed for the observation of remote objects and the collection of Electromagnetic radiation.  Many preclassic sites are oriented with the Pleiades and Eta Draconis, as seen in La Blanca, Ujuxte, Monte Alto, and Takalik Abaj. The Pleiades (ˈpliːədiːz or /ˈplaɪədiːz/ also known as M 45, the '''Seven Sisters''', Seven Stars, SED, Matariki Eta Draconis (η Dra / η Draconis is a Star in the Constellation Draco. La Blanca is a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican archaeological site with an occupation dating predominately from the Middle Preclassic (900-600 BC period of Mesoamerican The site of Ujuxte (after the Ramón or Breadnut tree -- uh-hush-te is the largest Pre-Classical site to be discovered on Guatemala Pacific coast Monte Alto is an Archaeological site on the Pacific Coast in what is now Guatemala. Tak'alik A'baj' is an Pre-Columbian archaeological site formerly known as Abaj Takalik.
The Maya were very interested in zenial passages, the time when the sun passes directly overhead. The Sun (Sol is the Star at the center of the Solar System. The latitude of most of their cities being below the Tropic of Cancer, these zenial passages would occur twice a year equidistant from the solstice. Latitude, usually denoted symbolically by the Greek letter phi ( Φ) gives the location of a place on Earth (or other planetary body north or south of the For the novel by Henry Miller, see Tropic of Cancer (novel. The Tropic of Cancer, or Northern tropic, is one of five Solstices occur twice a year when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most oriented toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun to reach its northernmost and southernmost extremes To represent this position of the sun overhead, the Maya had a god named Diving God.
The Dresden Codex contains the highest concentration of astronomical phenomena observations and calculations of any of the surviving texts (it appears that the data in this codex is primarily or exclusively of an astronomical nature). Maya codices (singular Codex) are folding Books stemming from the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, written in Maya hieroglyphic Examination and analysis of this codex reveals that Venus was the most important astronomical object to the Maya, even more important to them than the sun. The VENUS ( V ictoria E xperimental N etwork U nder the S ea project is a cabled sea floor observatory operated by the University
Like the Aztec and Inca who came to power later, the Maya believed in a cyclical nature of time. Aztec is a term used to refer to certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who achieved political The rituals and ceremonies were very closely associated with celestial/terrestrial cycles which they observed and inscribed as separate calendars. The Maya priest had the job of interpreting these cycles and giving a prophetic outlook on the future or past based on the number relations of all their calendars. They also had to determine if the "heavens" or celestial matters were appropriate for performing certain religious ceremonies.
The Maya practiced human sacrifice. In some Maya rituals people were killed by having their arms and legs held while a priest cut the person's chest open and tore out his heart as an offering. This is depicted on ancient objects such as pictorial texts, known as codices (singular: codex). It is believed that children were often offered as sacrificial victims because they were believed to be pure. 
Much of the Maya religious tradition is still not understood by scholars, but it is known that the Maya, like most pre-modern societies, believed that the cosmos has three major planes, the underworld, the sky, and the earth. In its most general sense a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system In the study of Mythology and Religion, the underworld (gr κάτω κόσμος) is a generic term approximately equivalent to the lay term Afterlife
The Maya underworld is reached through caves and ball courts. In Maya mythology Xibalba (ʃɨbɒlbə roughly translated as "Place of fear" is the name of the Underworld, ruled by Mayan Spirits of Disease A cave is a natural underground void large enough for a human to enter It was thought to be dominated by the aged Maya gods of death and putrefaction. Putrefaction is the decomposition of animal Proteins especially by anaerobic microorganisms, described as Putrefying bacteria. The Sun and Itzamna, both aged gods, dominated the Maya idea of the sky. The night sky was considered a window showing all supernatural doings. The Maya configured constellations of gods and places, saw the unfolding of narratives in their seasonal movements, and believed that the intersection of all possible worlds was in the night sky. In common usage a constellation is a group of celestial bodies that are connected together in some arrangement typically stars to form a visible figure or picture
Maya gods were not separate entities like Greek gods. This is a name list of Maya gods and supernatural beings, mainly taken from the Books of Chilam Balam (CHB Lacandon ethnography (LAC Landa (L and Popol Vuh (PV A listing of Greek mythological beings Many of the gods and goddesses had Roman and Etruscan equivalents. The gods had affinities and aspects that caused them to merge with one another in ways that seem unbounded. There is a massive array of supernatural characters in the Maya religious tradition, only some of which recur with regularity. Good and evil traits are not permanent characteristics of Maya gods, nor is only "good" admirable. Value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how why and to what degree humans should or do value things whether the thing is a person idea object or anything else Evil, in many cultures is used to describe acts or thoughts which are contrary to some particular religion What is inappropriate during one season might come to pass in another since much of the Mayan religious tradition is based on cycles and not permanence. A season is one of the major divisions of the Year, generally based on yearly periodic changes in Weather. The wheel of time or wheel of history is a concept in several religions and philosophies notably religions of Indian origin such as Buddhism and Hinduism
The life-cycle of maize lies at the heart of Maya belief. Maize (ˈmeɪz ( Zea mays L. ssp mays) known as corn in some countries is a cereal grain domesticated in Mesoamerica This philosophy is demonstrated on the Maya belief in the Maize God as a central religious figure. The Maya bodily ideal is also based on the form of the young Maize God, which is demonstrated in their artwork. The Maize God was also a model of courtly life for the Classical Maya.
It is sometimes believed that the multiple "gods" represented nothing more than a mathematical explanation of what they observed. Each god was literally just a number or an explanation of the effects observed by a combination of numbers from multiple calendars. Among the many types of Maya calendars which were maintained, the most important included a 260-day cycle, a 365-day cycle which approximated the solar year, a cycle which recorded lunation periods of the Moon, and a cycle which tracked the synodic period of Venus. The Maya calendar is a system of distinct Calendars and Almanacs used by the Maya civilization of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and by A tropical year (also known as a solar year) is the length of time that the Sun takes to return to the same position in the cycle of seasons as seen from Earth Lunation is the mean time for one Lunar phase cycle (ie the Synodic period of the Moon) The orbital period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete Orbit about another object The VENUS ( V ictoria E xperimental N etwork U nder the S ea project is a cabled sea floor observatory operated by the University
Philosophically, the Maya believed that knowing the past meant knowing the cyclical influences that create the present, and by knowing the influences of the present one can see the cyclical influences of the future.
Even in the 19th century, there was Maya influence in the local branch of Christianity followed in Chan Santa Cruz. Chan Santa Cruz or U Noh Kah Balam Nah Chan Santa Cruz is the Maya town now known as Felipe Carrillo Puerto in what is now the Mexican Among the K'iche's in the western highlands of Guatemala these same nine months are replicated, until this very day, in the training of the ajk'ij, the keeper of the 260-day-calendar called ch'olk'ij. This page is about the Native American people for other uses the dish see Quiché (disambiguation. Guatemala (República de Guatemala) is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west the Pacific Ocean to the southwest
The ancient Maya had diverse and sophisticated methods of food production. Ancient Maya cuisine was varied and extensive Many different types of resources were consumed including maritime Flora, and Faunal material and Agriculture in Mesoamerica dates to the Archaic period of Mesoamerican chronology ( 8000 - 2000 BC) It was formerly believed that shifting cultivation (swidden) agriculture provided most of their food but it is now thought that permanent raised fields, terracing, forest gardens, managed fallows, and wild harvesting were also crucial to supporting the large populations of the Classic period in some areas. For methods see Slash and burn Shifting cultivation is an Agricultural system in which plots of land are cultivated temporarily then abandoned Indeed, evidence of these different agricultural systems persist today: raised fields connected by canals can be seen on aerial photographs, contemporary rainforest species composition has significantly higher abundance of species of economic value to ancient Maya, and pollen records in lake sediments suggest that corn, manioc, sunflower seeds, cotton, and other crops have been cultivated in association with the deforestation in Mesoamerica since at least 2500 BC. Sediment is any particulate matter that can be transported by fluid flow and which eventually is deposited as a layer of solid particles on the bed or bottom of a body of The sunflower seed is the Fruit of the Sunflower ( Helianthus annuus) Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp Deforestation is the conversion of Forested areas to non-forest land for use such as Arable land, Pasture, urban use logged area or wasteland
Contemporary Maya peoples still practice many of these traditional forms of agriculture, although they are dynamic systems and change with changing population pressures, cultures, economic systems, climate change, and the availability of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The Maya peoples constitute a diverse range of the Native American peoples of southern Mexico and northern Central America.
Spanish American Colonies were largely cut off from the outside world, and the ruins of the great ancient cities were little known except to locals. In 1839 United States traveler and writer John Lloyd Stephens, after hearing reports of lost ruins in the jungle, visited Copán, Palenque, and other sites with English architect and draftsman Frederick Catherwood. Year 1839 ( MDCCCXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common John Lloyd Stephens ( November 28, 1805 &ndash October 13, 1852) was an American explorer writer and diplomat Frederick Catherwood ( February 27, 1799 – September 27, 1854) was an English Artist and Architect Their illustrated accounts of the ruins sparked strong interest in the region and the people, and they have once again regained their position as a vital link in Mesoamerican heritage.
However, in many locations, Maya ruins have been overgrown by the jungle, becoming dense enough to hide structures just a few meters away. To help find ruins, researchers have turned to satellite imagery. The best way to find them is to look at the visible and near-infrared spectra. Due to their limestone construction, the monuments affected the chemical makeup of the soil as they deteriorated. Some moisture-loving plants stayed away, while others were killed off or discolored. The effects of the limestone ruins are still apparent today to some satellite sensors.
Much of the contemporary rural population of the Yucatán Peninsula, Chiapas (both in Mexico), Guatemala and Belize is Maya by descent and primary language. The Yucatán Peninsula, in Southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. Chiapas is the southernmost state of Mexico, located towards the southeast of the country Guatemala (República de Guatemala) is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west the Pacific Ocean to the southwest Belize (bəˈliːz formerly British Honduras, is a country in Central America.
There are hundreds of significant Maya sites, and thousands of smaller ones. This List of Maya sites is an alphabetical listing of a number of significant Archaeological sites associated with the Maya civilization of Pre-Columbian The largest and most historically important include: