MAYAN ARCHEOLOGICAL PERIODS
Preclassic 2000 BC to 1000
During the Early Preclassic Period
about 2000 BC the known development of Mayan culture began. The
Maya established coastal villages at locations on both the east and west coast of
Central America that provided fish, water, and fertile land. The Mayan then slowly extended their
Middle Preclassic 1000 BC to 400 BC
In the Middle Preclassic, Mayan
civilisation and cities emerges as a growth in production and increasing fosters trade and the
development of a governing elite. Mayan writing from 400-200 BC is not yet
War was constant in the Mayan civilisation from
probably the late Middle Preclassic right up to the European
Late Preclassic 400 BC to 250 AD
The Late Preclassic provides
the largest Mayan cities including El Mirador on the northern Guatemala that includes the largest
pyramid by volume in the world. The Mayan relate to the ancient Olmec Civilisation, through
cultural references, that show a similarity to relation of European City Sates and thier
decendents to Greeks and Roman civilisation for their cultural heritage.
Early Classic 250 AD to 600 AD
During the Early Classic the Mayan
states grew in size and importance.
Late Classic 550 to 800 AD
During the Late Classic the Mayan
civilisation grew in size and sophistication. Almost all deciphered scripts come from the Yucatan ie Tikal, and almost
none from the highlands.
The Maya may have been somewhat dominated by Mexican
civilisations. There is evidence of trade and perhaps a succession of kings that
dominated some Maya city states (Copan, Tikal)
from the Tuehuwakun Empire next to Mexico
Tuehuwakun chocolate ceremonial vessels used by the
ruling elite at sites in the Mayan highlands and lowlands indicate that the Tuehuwakun
Empire had control for at least 100 years.
Terminal classic 800 AD to 1000 AD
Many factors together
resulted in the demise of Maya civilisation. First collapse from 800 to 900 AD, and in the
highlands from 800 to 1100 AD. Destruction everywhere with defacing of monuments. Cities
north did not suffer the disasters of the rest of the Mayan empire at least for a while. Pouk
Hills of Yucatan, Usgmal, Cabush, Alil, Chechiniza also one, with some of the best architecture
ever produced. Frank Lloyd Wright. Lots of inscriptions in lintels.
environmental destruction, drought, increased warfare, foreign invasion and disruption of trade
routes, coupled with sociopolitical revolution all contributed. They had cut down almost all
forests as shown by high sedimentation in lakes.
Intense warfare with
increases barricades and defensive positions with populations protected within them. The Mayan very
violent and tor toured people whereas the Aztec's never did. In some sites hundreds of thousands of
arrow heads rained down. The elite and the scribes could have been disposed
of. Many libraries burned.