Many hypotheses have been developed to explain the collapse of the southern Classic Maya polities between A.D. 790 and 950. They include environmental degradation, climate change, warfare, top-heavy political systems, and natural disasters (1, 2). The Copan Valley lies on the southeastern periphery of the Maya region.
Copán was a powerful city ruling a vast kingdom within the southern Maya area. The city suffered a major political disaster in AD 738 when Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awiil, one of the greatest kings in Copán’s dynastic history, was captured and executed by his former vassal, the king of Quiriguá.
Copán Ruins are located in western Honduras , in the department of Copán, just 14 kilometers from the El Florido border with Guatemala. For many years, Copán Ruins have been famous for its magnificent Mayan ruins , declared by UNESCO as Archaeological World Heritage Site in 1980.
Tikal is a complex of Mayan ruins deep in the rainforests of northern Guatemala. Historians believe that the more than 3,000 structures on the site are the remains of a Mayan city called Yax Mutal, which was the capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient empire.
Discovered in 1570 by Diego García de Palacio, the Maya site of Copan is one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilization. It was also the political centre and cultural focus of a larger territory that covered the southeast portion of the Maya area and its periphery.
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
To scientists, it’s something more: evidence of the drought that is suspected to have led to the demise of the Mayan civilization. They found that the ratio of titanium to aluminum changed in the ninth and 10th centuries, a period when the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula went into decline.
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .
Honduras has been inhabited by a number of indigenous peoples, the most powerful of which, until the ninth century CE, were the Maya . The western-central part of Honduras was inhabited by the Lenca while other indigenous peoples settled in the northeast and coastal regions.
The Stairway , located on the west side of the temple-pyramid Structure 26, has the longest known Maya text inscription from ancient Mesoamerica, dating from the eighth century ce. The inscription tells the official history of Copán’s rulers and, as such, is of exceptional historic significance.
In the spring of 1992, University Museum excavators of the ancient Maya city of Copan made the remarkable discovery of an intact noble burial chamber. The burial, located in the city’s Acropolis, may prove to belong to one of Copan’s ákings.
Palenque , ruined ancient Mayan city of the Late Classic Period (c. 600–900 ce) in what is now Chiapas state, Mexico, about 80 miles (130 km) south of Ciudad del Carmen. Its original name is speculative; the site now shares the name the Spanish gave to a neighbouring village.
The Mayan calendar consists of three separate calendars that are used simultaneously: the Long Count, the Tzolkin (divine calendar) and the Haab (civil calendar). The latter two calendars identify days; the Long Count identifies the years.
The traditional named founder of Copán was actually K’inich Yax K’uk Mo ‘ (‘Great Sun Quetzal-Macaw’), who reigned from 426 CE to c. 437 CE and who was probably not himself from Copán but another Maya city, perhaps Tikal.