Let us take you to Guatemala, where history has witnessed the rise of the Maya Empire. It was around 600 AD, and the civilization was quite skillful with some excellent skills such as pottery, calendar-making, mathematics skills, agriculture, and hieroglyphic writing. Mayans also left some fascinating architecture along with some incredible art pieces. Around 900 AD, the cities started to get abandoned, and in some recent modern history debates, experts have tried to find the cause behind this fall. The societies and civilizations of Mesoamerica that we have read about were always scattered. However, Mayan Civilization was the most centered and dominant among all the indigenous communities around that area. The geographical location where this society was located covered the whole Yucatan peninsula. The place, as of today, is Guatemala, El Salvador, and some parts of Chiapas and Tabasco, Mexico. Having been confined to such a specific area saved them from various types of invasions.
Start of Maya Empire, 1800 BC – 250 AD
Though the proof of Mayan civilization dates to 600 AD, the society has witnessed its start in 1800 BC. This era was also said to be the start of the Formative Period. It was the time when civilization had minimal agricultural skills. As time went by and the Mayan society expanded further in the highlands and lowlands, around 300 BC Mesoamerica saw the birth of a new civilization named the Olmecs. The Mayan culture has shown essential skills that have perfected themselves in inscribing on stones, building pyramids, and planning cities. If we talk about the most remarkable cities, it is Mirador. The size of its monuments and structures made the capital city of Tikal look a miniature version of a town. These structures are proof that the Mayan empire was full of skills way before the existence of the Classic period.
The Decline of Maya Civilization
It’s still not known what was behind the decline of Maya civilization that it witnessed in the early to the late 9th century AD. The decline in culture was seen quite instantly, and the Classic cities went down one by one. There are a few theories that scholars and experts have managed to come up with. One of them says that by the end of the 9th century, the people living there completely drained the environment, and it collapsed as it was unable to bear the load of such a vast population. It might also be the case that the civilization might have faced a drastic climatic change. It might be a drought, flood, or any epidemic. Some theories indicate serious warfare that might have caused severe damage to the families and the military of the civilization. The overuse of natural resources is the primary reason behind such a brutal fall of society.
Arts & Culture
With some great inscriptions, the people of the Mayan empire were skilled in architecture and have given the world some astonishing temples along with some vast palaces built in the stepped pyramids’ look. Among various Mesoamerican societies, Mayans earned the tag of amazing artists. The civilization was also quite advanced in terms of astronomy and mathematics. They were using zero, and the calendar system was also based on the 365-days system. In later years, this civilization has also managed to build a Long Count Calendar to last around 5,000 years.