Mesoamerican peoples built pyramids from around 1000 B.C. up until the time of the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century.
The ancient Mayans built two types of pyramids , those that were meant to be climbed and those that were not. The first type was used for holding sacrificial rituals. The other type was not meant to be touched and was sacred. The pyramids were built so high that their tops could be seen protruding out of the jungle.
Great Pyramid of La Venta
Tikal Temple IV
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
Maya royalty recorded their history in writing and in imagery carved on monuments. Burial in the home was common among the Maya , but only a few family members were entombed there, Lucero said. No Maya cemeteries or other burial sites have been found to account for the rest of the dead.
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They developed a written language of hieroglyphs and invented the mathematical concept of zero. With their expertise in astronomy and mathematics, the Maya developed a complex and accurate calendar system.
Also known as the City of Gods, Teotihuacan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to two of the most famous pyramids in Mexico : The Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon.
The Aztecs were Nahuatl-speaking people who lived in central Mexico in the 14th to 16th centuries. The Maya people lived in southern Mexico and northern Central America — a wide territory that includes the entire Yucatán Peninsula — from as early as 2600 BC. The civilization’s height was between 250 and 900 AD.
The Great Pyramid of Cholula
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.
In the ninth century A.D., the Maya abandoned the great city of Tikal after hundreds of years of prosperity and expansion. Commonly cited explanations for Tikal’s downfall center on a confluence of overpopulation, overexploitation of the surrounding landscape and a spate of withering megadroughts.
Further excavations revealed that it had nine platforms, a single stairway, and a temple containing human remains, a jade-studded jaguar throne, and a so-called Chac Mool. The Chac Mool is a type of Maya sculpture of an abstract male figure reclining and holding a bowl used as a receptacle for sacrifices.