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THE MAYAN CIVILIZATION

The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its artarchitecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period (c. 2000 BC to AD 250), according to the Mesoamerican chronology, many Maya cities reached their highest state of development during the Classic period (c. AD 250 to 900), and continued throughout the Post-Classic period until thearrival of the Spanish.

The Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region. Advances such as writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya; however, their civilization fully developed them. Maya influence can be detected in HondurasBelizeGuatemala, and western El Salvador to as far away as central Mexico, more than 1,000 km (620 mi) from the central Maya area. The many outside influences found in Maya art and architecture are thought to have resulted from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest.

The Maya peoples survived the Classic period collapse and the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and sixteenth-century Spanish colonization of the Americas. Today, the Maya and their descendants form sizable populations throughout the Maya area; they maintain a distinctive set of traditions and beliefs resulting from the merger of pre-Columbian and post-Conquest ideas and cultures. Millions of people speak Mayan languages today. In 2005 the Rabinal Achí, a play written in the Achi language, was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

In Guatemala there are more than 55 arqueological sites, the most of it are located in the north part of Guatemala (Petén), Its fascinating archeological sites are surrounded by jungle. One of such sites is Tikal, which was declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity Site by UNESCO in 1979. Besides, there may be found Yaxhá, Ceibal, Aguateca, San Bartolo and El Mirador where the biggest pyramid, for the size of its base, of the Mayan world is found. Another interesting site is Uaxactún that had an astrologic observatory in one of the most important buildings of the area. These places were the scenery of the Mayan culture development.  

 
                                                                             

 

 

 

 

     
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