The Preclassic period in Maya history stretches from the beginning of permanent village life c. 1000 BC until the advent of the Classic Period c. 250 AD, and is subdivided into Early (prior to 1000 BC ), Middle (1000– 400 BC ), and Late ( 400 BC – 250 AD).
All three of these factors–overpopulation and overuse of the land, endemic warfare and drought–may have played a part in the downfall of the Maya in the southern lowlands.
Some of the most well-known Mesoamerican cultures are the Olmec , Maya , Zapotec , Teotihuacan, Mixtec, and Mexica (or Aztec ). The geography of Mesoamerica is incredibly diverse—it includes humid tropical areas, dry deserts, high mountainous terrain, and low coastal plains.
Archaeologists divide Mesoamerican civilizational development into three major time periods : the PreClassic or Formative period extending from 1500 B.C. – A.D. 300, the Classic period extending from A.D. 300-950, and the PostClassic period extending from A.D. 950-1521.
The Maya civilization (/ˈmaɪə/) was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system.
After assembling a record-setting 154 radiocarbon dates, the researchers have been able to develop a highly precise chronology that illuminates the patterns that led up to the two collapses that the Maya civilization experienced: the Preclassic collapse, in the second century A.D., and the more well-known Classic
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 .
The Maya have lived in Central America for many centuries. They are one of the many Precolumbian native peoples of Mesoamerica . In the past and today they occupy Guatemala, adjacent portions of Chiapas and Tabasco, the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and the western edges of Honduras and Salvador.
Maya Civilization Timeline
|Evolution of Maya culture|
|Middle Preclassic Maya||900-300 B.C.|
|Late Preclassic Maya||300 B.C. – A.D. 250|
|Early Classic Maya||A.D. 250-600|
|Late Classic Maya||A.D. 600-900|
Many matured into advanced pre -Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations such as the: Olmec, Izapa, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, Purépecha, Totonac, Toltec, and Aztec , which flourished for nearly 4,000 years before the first contact with Europeans.
five major civilizations