Rise and fall of the Mayan Empire
The Mayan Empire was a very mysterious civilization of people who, even today, puzzle the minds of the greatest researchers. This ancient civilization took root in the Yucatan Peninsula as a border and a part of Mesoamerica. The Yucatan Peninsula is on the southwestern portion of the Gulf of Mexico, which at that time was part of Mesoamerica. The Mayan Civilization evolved over many periods of time before its eventual downfall. The Mayans began their evolutionary process in the middle Pre-Classic period. They evolved over many periods after the Pre-Classic period, such as the Lithic, Archaic, Classic, Terminal Classic, Post-Classic, and the Post-Conquest periods.
These periods, during which the Mayans evolved, began at about 300 AD and ended at around 900AD. There were two periods that were the most important in Mayan evolution, the Classic and Post-Classic periods. These periods were the most important because the Mayans disappeared at the end of the Classic and then reappeared to continue their rule in the Post-Classic period. The Mayan Civilization was influenced most by two other civilizations, the Olmecs and the Aztecs. The Olmecs and the Aztecs both conquered the Mayans and during their rule of the Mayans they taught them a great many things. For example, the Olmecs and Aztecs made the Mayans take part in religious ceremonies, which influenced the Mayan’s religion greatly. They also taught the Mayans new skills, such as architecture, crafts, and building, that they used to advance their civilization.
The Mayans used many kinds of government to rule their empire. Typically, kings of other conquering civilizations ruled the Mayans. The kings that ruled the Mayan Civilization during the Classic Period were dressed like a deity of their civilization because the ruler was considered to be the highest in power, and therefore had to have a godly portrayal. In the Late Classic period the Mayans had city-states that controlled territories. These city-states in turn had secondary, tertiary, and quaternary towns. The Mayan Civilization had many rulers that conquered them and did many great things to influence and advance their civilization. One example of this is the Palenque dynasty and King Copan’s dynasty. King K’uk B’alam was the founder of the Palenque dynasty. Hanab Pakal and his son, Han B’alam, governed the city of Palenque.
The ones that ruled the Mayan Civilization in the Classic period made many contributions to the Mayan civilization. Jaguar the Great and Bird Jaguar the Great brought the city of Yaxchilan to prominence. Cowac Sky defeated the rule of the Copan dynasty and created a monument at Quiriguia. However even though many contributions were made to the Mayan civilization in the Classic period, the southern dynasties that ruled the Mayans were coming closer to their end. In the Post-Classic period other lands started to gain more power in military and in other ways as well. The Mayan states of the Yucatan started to get jealous of the increased power of the other lands. As a result of the states’ jealousy, the Mayans were very eager to go to war with the other lands. And when they fought the other lands, they had increased their power so much that they were effortlessly victorious over these Yucatan states. After the Yucatan states lost the war against the other lands, the southern dynastic rule of the Mayan Civilization ended and the Mayans were on their own.
The Mayan Civilization’s disappearance is one of the most puzzling mysteries to researchers today. The Mayans’ mysteriously disappeared in the Classic period, which obviously ended that period of Mayan rule. They then mysteriously came back and repopulated the Yucatan. Researchers today do not know the cause of this strange disappearance and reappearance of the Mayans, which is why it is one of the unsolved mysteries of our time. There are many known reasons for the decline and disappearance of the Mayan Civilization during the Classic period, such as population growth and increased scale of kingdoms. The Yucatan began to get overpopulated during the Classic period and eventually there was no more room on the Yucatan Peninsula for more people. As a result of the overpopulation, the markets had to produce more food. In other words, as more people came in, the demand for more food grew. As a result, the agriculture demands could not be fulfilled because, since the overpopulation took up almost all of the Yucatan Peninsula, there was no more room to grow food, and they were unable to fulfill the highly increasing demands for food.
Lost Empires: Ancient Aztec and Maya: The extraordinary history of 3000 years of Mesoamerican civilization, with over 250 photographs and illustrations