The Maya of Mexico faded into obscurity during the Post-Classic Period. While they continued to exist as a distinct group of people, they never regained their dominance in the area in the years that followed. The Classic Period brought prosperity to the Maya people and resulted in an explosive population growth, but the same prosperity turned on them when they ran out of land to grow their food. Faced with the possibility of starvation, the Maya rulers ordered them to use every inch of available land for agriculture. But it was still not enough, and more people began to starve after a widespread drought set in during the middle of the ninth century. The Maya power in Mexico collapsed between 900 and 1100 AD according to the Bible Timeline Chart with World History.
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It was a free-for-all situation during the early Post-Classic Period and when the food shortage worsened, almost everyone left the Maya cities to survive. Even the Maya noble families were not spared. Many migrated north, while others traveled south to Honduras where they brought with them their agricultural skills.
The Mixtec settled on the cities left vacant by the Maya after their exodus, but they also settled on the lands near the territories of the Zapotec. The collapse of the Maya in Mexico also gave way to the rise and short-lived domination of the Toltecs who were based in the city of Tula. The Toltec Empire lasted until the twelfth century after they, too, experienced drought and starvation. The Maya city of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula survived into the thirteenth century and became a center of pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the sixteenth century.
Picture By Madman2001 – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3197764
Cremin, Aedeen. The World Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2007.
Morley, Sylvanus Griswold, and Robert J. Sharer. The Ancient Maya. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1956.
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