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Teotihaucan Rules the Maya Highlands

Teotihuacan, located in what is now central Mexico, was one of the most powerful cities in the New World. At its peak, it extended its influence over the distant Maya highlands. According to the Bible Timeline with World History, this occurred around the beginning of the 3rd century AD. Particularly the cities of Tonina in Mexico, as well as Kaminaljuyu and Iximche in Guatemala.

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“Excavated section of the Acropolis. Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala City.”

Kaminaljuyu was one of the cities that saw the rise and influence of Teotihuacan, a massive Maya city located in the central highlands of Guatemala. Traces of the Esperanza culture (an offshoot of Teotihuacan) were found in the excavation of Kaminaljuyu. The architectural style of talud-tablero (sloping and vertical panels) and its burial practices are a prime example. It was possible that the immigrants or invaders from central Mexico brought with them their own architects so that a replica of the structures of Teotihuacan were built in Kaminaljuyu.

The Esperanza culture burials in Kaminaljuyu was a treasure trove of information about Teotihuacan influence in the Maya highlands. Recovered from the tombs were Teotihuacan-style pottery, a combination of Maya and Teotihuacan pottery, and pottery from the neighboring Maya lowland region (Peten). A slate mirror from the Veracruz culture, jade jewelry, shells, metates, and other artifacts were also recovered from the tombs. Up to what extent it exercised its influence over these cities is still being debated by Maya historians.

Picture By Simon BurchellOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
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