Maya (civilization)

Article

August 11, 2022

The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization known for its writing, art, architecture, mathematical and astronomical systems. The beginning of its formation is attributed to the preclassical era (2000 BC - 250 AD), most Mayan cities reached their peak in the classical period (250-900 AD). By the time the conquistadors arrived, it was in deep decline. The Maya built stone cities, many of which were abandoned long before the arrival of Europeans, others were inhabited after. The calendar developed by the Maya was used by other peoples of Central America. The hieroglyphic writing system was used, mostly deciphered. Numerous inscriptions on the monuments have been preserved. They created an efficient system of agriculture, had deep knowledge in the field of astronomy. The descendants of the ancient Maya are not only the modern Mayan peoples, who have preserved the language of their ancestors, but also part of the Spanish-speaking population of the southern states of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. Some Mayan cities are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List: Palenque, Chichen Itza, Uxmal in Mexico, Tikal and Quirigua in Guatemala, Copan in Honduras, Joya de Seren in El Salvador. The history of the culture of this people is usually divided into three periods: The first period (from antiquity to 317) is the time of the emergence of city-states, primitive slash-and-burn agriculture, the manufacture of cotton fabrics, etc. The second period (317-987) - the ancient kingdom, or the classical period - the time of the growth of cities (Palenque, Chichen Itza, Tulum) and at the same time the mysterious exodus of the population from them at the beginning of the 10th century. The third period (987 - XVI century) - the new kingdom, or the post-classical period - the time of the arrival of European conquistadors, the adoption of new laws, styles in life and art, the mixing of cultures, fratricidal wars, etc.

Territory

At present (the beginning of the 21st century), the territory on which the development of the Mayan civilization took place is part of the states: Mexico (Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan, Tabasco, Quintana Roo); Guatemala; Belize; Salvador; Honduras (western part). Approximately 1000 Maya cities have been found (at the beginning of the 1980s), but not all of them have been excavated or explored by archaeologists. Also found around