Where did the Mayans come from?
The Mayans of Mexico carved an advanced civilization out of the jungles, then disappeared. Where did they come from? Where did they go?
Scholars continue to discuss when this era of Maya civilization began. Discoveries of Maya occupation at Cuello, Belize have been carbon dated to around 2600 BCE. The people built monumental structures. The Maya calendar, which is based on the so-called Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, begins on a date equivalent to 11 August 3114 BC.
The most widely accepted view, as of 2010, is that the first clearly Maya settlements were established around 1800 BCE in the Soconusco region of the Pacific Coast. This period, known as the Early Preclassic, was characterized by sedentary communities and the introduction of pottery and fired clay figurines.
Important sites in the southern Maya lowlands include Nakbe, El Mirador, Cival, and San Bartolo. In the Guatemalan Highlands, Kaminaljuyu emerged around 800 BC. For many centuries it controlled the jade and obsidian sources for the Petén and Pacific Lowlands. The important early sites of Izapa, Takalik Abaj, and Chocolá at around 600 BCE were the main producers of Cacao. Mid-sized Maya communities also began to develop in the northern Maya lowlands during the Middle and Late Preclassic, though these lacked the size, scale, and influence of the large centers of the southern lowlands. Two important Preclassic northern sites include Komchen and Dzibilchaltun. The first written inscription in Maya hieroglyphics also dates to this period (c. 250 BCE).
Scholars disagree about the boundaries that define the physical and cultural extent of the early Maya and neighboring Preclassic Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Olmec culture of the Tabasco lowlands and the Mixe-Zoque- and Zapotec-speaking peoples of Chiapas and southern Oaxaca, respectively. Many of the earliest significant inscriptions and buildings appeared in this overlapping zone, and evidence suggests that these cultures and the formative Maya influenced one another. Takalik Abaj, in the Pacific slopes of Guatemala, is the only site where Olmec features have been clearly succeeded by Mayan ones.
THE YUCATAN-FROM PREHISTORIC TIMES TO THE GREAT MAYA REVOLT:A NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN OF MAYA CIVILIZATION AND THE EPIC ENCOUNTER WITH SPANISH CONQUEST
MSD Natural Rubber Large Table IMAGE ID: 13491003 Mayan symbol on texture background
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