MAYA (Civilization)

Periodization of the history of the Maya.

In the archaic (about 2000-1500 BC) and the early formative period (1500-1000 BC) preclassic era in low-lying areas of Guatemala polypodiaceae lived small tribes of hunters and gatherers, eating wild edible roots and fruits and wild game and fish. They left behind only a rare stone tools and a few settlements, definitely this date. Middle formative period (1000-400 BC) is the first relatively well-documented era of Mayan history. At this time, there are small agricultural settlements scattered in the jungle and along the banks of the rivers of the plateau Peten and Northern Belize (Cuello, Colha, Kasab). Archaeological evidence suggests that during this era the Mayans had no grandiose architecture, division into classes and centralized power.

However, the subsequent late formative period preclassic period (400 BC – 250 ad) in the life of the Maya has changed dramatically. At this time, constructed monumental buildings – stylobate, the pyramids. areas for ball games, there has been a rapid growth of cities. Large architectural complexes are being built in cities such as Calakmul and Dzibilchaltun in the North of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), El Mirador, Jsacton, Tikal, Nakbe and Tintal in the jungle of petén (Guatemala), the Semi, Cuello, Lamanai and Nohmul (Belize), Chalchuapa (El Salvador). Rapid growth occurred during the period settlements such as Kasab in Northern Belize. At the end of the late formative period develops barter trade between remote from each other settlements. Most appreciated products made of jade and obsidian, sea shells and the feathers of a bird Quetzal.

At this time, for the first time appear sharp flint tools and so-called eccentric – stone products, the most bizarre, sometimes in the form of a Trident or the profile of a human face. At the same time the practice is the consecration of buildings, devices, caches, where was placed jade and other jewelry.

In the subsequent early classic period (250-600 ad) classic era Mayan society developed in a system of competing city-States, each with its own Royal dynasty. These political entities were found common in control and in culture (language, writing, astronomical knowledge, calendar, etc.). The beginning of the early classical period, approximately coincides with one of the earliest dates recorded on the stele of the city of Tikal, – 292 BC in accordance with the so-called “long account of the Maya” reflects a much 8.12.14.8.5.

Ownership of separate city-States of the classical era stretched on average by 2000 sq km, while some cities, such as Tikal or Calakmul, controlled a much larger territory. Political and cultural centers of each state formation was the city with magnificent buildings, the architecture represented a local or zonal variations of the General style of Mayan architecture. The building is arranged around a large rectangular Central square. Their facades are usually decorated mask main gods and mythological figures carved from stone or made in the technique tokovogo relief. The walls of the long narrow spaces inside buildings are often painted with frescoes with images of rituals, celebrations, scenes of war. Window lintels, lintels, stairs, palaces, as well as free-standing stelae were covered with hieroglyphic texts, sometimes interspersed with a portrait that tells of the deeds of the rulers. On the lintel 26 in Ascolane depicts the wife of the ruler Shield Jaguar, help her husband to wear military regalia.

In the center of the Mayan classical epoch of the pyramid towered up to 15 m tall. These buildings are often served as tombs of revered people, so kings and priests practiced rituals here aimed to establish magical contact with the spirits of their ancestors.

Found in “the Temple of the inscriptions” the burial of Pacal, ruler of Palenque, gave a lot of valuable information about the practice of veneration of Royal ancestors. The inscription on the lid of the sarcophagus says that pakal was born (in our chronology), 603 and died in 683. The deceased was decorated with a jade necklace, massive earrings (the symbol of military valor), bracelets, mosaic mask, composed more than 200 pieces of jade. Pakal was buried in a stone sarcophagus on which were carved the names and the portraits of his illustrious ancestors such as his great-grandmother Kang-IK, who had considerable power. In burial usually placed vessels, apparently with food and beverages intended for the food of the deceased on his journey to the afterlife.

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