Around the sixth century A.D., the Maya Empire, located in the tropical lowlands of what is now Guatemala, achieved its pinnacle of power and influence. Agriculture, pottery, hieroglyphic writing, calendar-making, and mathematics were among the Maya’s many talents, and they left behind an incredible quantity of magnificent building and symbolic artwork. By 900, most of the Maya’s major stone towns had been abandoned, and academics have disputed what caused this precipitous collapse since the 19th century.
The first Maya settlements date back to approximately 1800 B.C., marking the start of the Preclassic or Formative Period. The Olmecs, the first significant Mesoamerican civilisation, arose during the Middle Preclassic Period. Mirador, a Late Preclassic metropolis in northern Peten, was one of the finest pre-Columbian American towns ever created.
The Classic Maya built many of their temples and palaces in a stepped pyramid shape, decorating them with elaborate reliefs and inscriptions. At the top of Maya society were the kings, or “kuhul ajaw” (holy lords), who claimed to be related to gods and followed a hereditary succession. The Maya also made significant advances in mathematics and astronomy, including the use of the zero and development of complex calendar systems.
Many of the Classic Maya’s temples and palaces were built in the style of a stepped pyramid, with ornate reliefs and inscriptions. The kings, or “kuhul ajaw” (holy lords), who claimed to be connected to gods and followed a hereditary succession, were at the pinnacle of Maya civilization. Maya mathematicians and astronomers achieved major advancements, including the adoption of the zero and the construction of complicated calendar systems.
The Maya’s ability to create a magnificent civilisation in a tropical rainforest climate was one of the many fascinating aspects of their culture. Despite the fact that foreign conquerors were dissatisfied by the region’s lack of silver and gold, the Maya took use of the region’s abundant natural riches. The Maya found additional riches in the environment, such as jade, quetzal feathers, and marine shells.