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Maya Civilization, Late Classic Period of the

The Late Classic Period of the Maya Civilization started around 600 AD according to the Bible Timeline Poster with World History. This was after the magnificent city of El Mirador was abandoned. Most of the major Maya cities rose during the Late Classic Period, which included Chichen Itza, Palenque, Tikal, Copan, Uxmal, El Tajin, and Yaxchilan. Hundreds of ceremonial centers were established during this time, particularly in the lowland Maya regions of Guatemala and Mexico. The cities were ruled by their own independent kings who gained alliances and formed enemies but were never unified under a single ruler.

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“Chichen Itza was the most important city in the northern Maya region”

The population of the Maya people grew, and they occupied an area of around 324,000 sq km. This spanned from Mexico in the north to the borders of El Salvador and Honduras in the southern portion. They were generally prosperous at the height of the Late Classic Period, but with prosperity came the competition for resources and regional dominance. Tikal, the great Maya city that was deep in the Guatemalan rainforest, was the dominating force in the past. It was an ally of the central Mexican metropolis of Teotihuacan. Under its influence, the city of Tikal reached its peak and dominated the other Maya cities of Uaxacton, Caracol, and Calakmul. K’uk Balam I founded a ruling dynasty in the city of Palenque. This city rose to dominate the Maya lowland region in the Late Classic Period under Janaab’ Pakal I. Hasaw Chan K’awil briefly revived Tikal, but it finally fell to Caracol and its ally Calakmul in the Late Classic Period. By 900 AD, Tikal was completely abandoned.

K’uk Balam I founded a ruling dynasty in the city of Palenque and this city rose to dominate the Maya lowland region in the Late Classic Period under Janaab’ Pakal I. Hasaw Chan K’awil briefly revived Tikal, but it finally fell to Caracol and its ally Calakmul. By 900 AD, Tikal was completely abandoned.

Maya art reached its height. Depictions and records in hieroglyphic texts about warfare and conquest were the main theme. These were commonly carved or painted on steles, architectural decorations, ceramics, and jewelry. The Maya ball game Pok-a-Tok was also developed around this period.

References:
Picture By John Romkey from USAFlickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2951308
Cremin, Aedeen. The World Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2007
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