Mayan Civilization

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Mayan Civilization

Mayan Civilisation-Nurendra Choudhary

IntroductionThe Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for Maya script, the only known fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period (c. 2000 BC to AD 250), according to the Mesoamerican chronology, many Maya cities reached their highest state of development during the Classic period (c. AD 250 to 900), and continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish.

Presentation of Captives to a Maya Ruler in AD 785

El Castillo


Postclassic periodThe Classic period (c. AD 250–900) was one of the peak of large-scale construction and urbanism, the recording of monumental inscriptions, and significant intellectual and artistic development, particularly in the southern lowland regions. The people developed an agriculturally intensive, city-centered civilization consisting of numerous independent city-states – some subservient to others. This includes the well-known cities of Caracol, Tikal, Palenque, Copán, Xunantunich and Calakmul. During this period the Maya population numbered in the millions.

Maya CollapseThe Maya centers of the southern lowlands went into decline during the 8th and 9th centuries and were abandoned shortly thereafter. This decline was coupled with a cessation of monumental inscriptions and large-scale architectural construction. No universally accepted theory explains this collapse. 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. Ecological hypotheses include disaster, epidemic disease, and climate change.

Altar 13 at Caracol. AD 830


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