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Mayas

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On high territories of the center of Mexico two important cities were based towards the 200 a.C., Cucuilco in the south of the valley of Mexico and Teotihuacán in the north. When Cuicuilco was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the first century of ours was, Teotihuacán became the most powerful civilization of the center of Mexico. Its influence extended towards other cultures of all Mesoamérica and to later civilizations, like the one of the Aztecs. Teotihuacán is located in the valley of Teotihuacán, that comprises of the valley of Mexico, 40 km to the northeast of the present city of Mexico. The valley had been occupied by a small population of farmers throughout a millenium before Teotihuacán acquired importance like city. It was located in a strategic region that it gave access to the system of lakes of the inner plain and to other valuable natural resources, like obsidian, volcanic stone, salt and clay to make ceramics. The Earth could be irrigated doing use of the water of different springs. At the beginning of century I of ours it was Teotihuacán had a population of about 20,000 inhabitants. In following the 150 years the population grew extremely, becoming a powerful political, economic and religious center. Its population grew until the 60.000-80.000 inhabitants and their extension from about 8 km2 to about 21 km2. This increase was so fast that it only can be explained like effect of a massive immigration. It seems that all the population of the valley of Mexico was reaccomodated in the city, surely of unavoidable way, or by means of the religious influence or the economic incentives granted by the governors of Teotihuacán. In the following centuries, the population of the city grew of more gradual way. In its apogee, towards year 500, the city was one of greatest of the world, with about 125,000 inhabitants. Teotihuacán had an organized and powerful central government, and a powerful market economy. Its complex society was divided in different classes from craftsmen, farmers, workers and retailers, governed by a powerful aristocracy. In the factories of the city, the artists and craftsmen produced ceramics, figurillas, knives of obsidian and other goods, that were distributed commercially by good part of Mesoamérica. In order to control the traffic of jade, cacao, pens of tropical birds, animal skins and other products of luxury, Teotihuacán maintained colonies as remote as Kaminaljuyú (the present city of Guatemala) and Matacapán (in high territories of Veracruz, to the east of Mexico). Teotihuacán was a religious seat, the center of one elaborated state religion with a professional class of priests. The city was full of murals and religious sculptures, and the laying of their streets even had a religious meaning. In the center of Teotihuacán there was a vast religious monument collection designed to leave overwhelmed the observer. Constructed during centuries I and II, this one area was centered around the Avenue of Deads (or Miccaotli), a great street that formed the main axis the north-south of the city. Throughout the Avenue of Deads, they were the temples known like Pyramid of the Sun (one of the greater structures constructed in pre-Columbian America) and the Pyramid of the Moon, in addition to other 75 temples. The administrative center of Teotihuacán was an adjacent complex of buildings known like the Ciudadela. This ample enclosure measured 400 ms of side and included a temple-pyramid decorated with statues of mitológicas creatures. Like signal of the state power, the rest of about 200 men in the base of this pyramid, soldiers apparently sacrificed have been found ritually. Elite of Teotihuacán lived in a walled district of luxury near the Avenue of Deads. These palaces had murals painted with alive colors in which Gods, animals and mythical figures imagined. For the inferior classes there was a type of standard house as of year 200 of ours was, buildings of apartments of a single floor in which they lived between 60 and 100 people. More than 2,000 of these buildings a patio and one were constructed in Teotihuacán, surrounding or more temples. These constructions surely occupied great familiar groups or people with similar occupations. At the end of the century I SAW, Teotihuacán began to decline. Its population descended until the 70,000 inhabitants and seems to be that there was a government crisis who lasted several decades. Towards the 650 the city underwent a catastrophic collapse. Downtown, in special the temples and monuments of the Avenue of Deads, was burned and sacked in an act of massive destruction. The reasons of the collapse of Teotihuacán escape to us, but between the possible causes they have been shuffled an invasion, the exhaustion of the fertility deLa Mayan civilization began between the 600 and the 400 a.C. in low earth selváticas pertaining to the present territories of Guatemala, Belize and Southeastern of Mexico. Although one extended until the Spanish conquest at the beginning of century XVI, reached its apogee during the classic period (200-900 d.C.). Unlike Teotihuacán, the Mayans did not create a political structure unified but that formed a certain number of city-been with a common culture. The artistic forms, the scientific knowledge and the monumental architecture did more of Mayan the civilized town in many aspects of the American continent. Towards the 600 a.C. the Mayan low earth experienced a great and fast increase of population. The area, sprinkled of small agricultural communities, saw the emergency of powerful chieftainships towards the 400 a.C. Of between all these organizations they emphasized places like the Viewpoint, Tikal, Hills, Becan and Dzibilchaltun, that became great ceremonial centers, with tens of thousands of inhabitants. Temples and ample seats rose enromes to reflect the power and the authority of the Mayan governors. The ceramics and other arts, work of specialized craftsmen, were uniform in all the area. The Mayan chieftainships had Straits economic bonds among them and with others of high territories of Guatemala and the coast of the Pacific, including Izapa and Kaminaljuyú. Of all these cultures, the Mayans adopted the custom to carve wakes to codify historical events. The later Mayan governors sponsored the engraving of wakes with inscriptions that proclaimed their authority, glorified their genealogy and narrated their conquests. Since the Mayan dates keep a correlation with the European calendar, these wakes provide a very precise chronology of Mayan history. At the beginning of the classic period (towards the 250-300 a.C.), the Mayans entered the highest stage of their civilization. Then several city-been Mayan they competed governing southern low earth, and dominating his respective territories. Between these cities they were Palenque, Black Stones, Yaxchilán, Altar of Sacrifices, Seibal, Two Batteries, Tikal, Uaxactún, Altun Has, Caracol, Quiriguá and Copán. Like other mesoamericanas societies, the Mayans were governed by a nobiliaria class that monopolized the political and religious power. The smallest cities paid tributes to the governors who resided in the main urban centers. Many specialized workers found use in these Mayan cities: architects, weavers, potters, miniaturistas, craftsmen of pen adornments, stonecutters and escultores. The Mayans produced a shining art and an architecture and made important scientific findings, in special in astronomy and mathematics. They constructed great ceremonial complexes, dominated by gigantic staggered stone pyramids crowned by temples dedicated to different Gods, and also erected palaces, seats, astronomical observatories and games of ball for the sagradas competitions that gambled there, like in the rest of Mesoamérica. The Mayans also designed an elaborated and precise calendar and complexes hieroglyphic system. First of the main Mayan centers of the classic period was Tikal, nailed in the selvática area of the department of the Petén, in the north of Guatemala. Tikal raised his first wake in the 292 d.C. and during following the 200 years it dominated good part of low earth. Many factors explain the ascent of Tikal. Its situation combined rich agricultural resources, strategic a position of attention and it allowed the control him of the local commercial traffics, specially those of the cacao. Tikal was, in addition, an important religious center and maintained Straits bonds with Kaminaljuyú, in high earth, and with the great civilization of Teotihuacán. Probably, Tikal extended its area of influence establishing own dynasties in other smaller centers, either outside by conquest, or by marriage between elites. At the beginning of the century I SAW several cities defied the supremacy of Tikal in low earth. In 592 the governor of Caracol, in the territory of the present Belize, maintained a victorious war against Tikal. The caudillo of Tikal was captured and assassinated in a ritual sacrifice, and many monuments of the great seat of the city were destroyed. Caracol grew extremely until century VIII. Meanwhile, some survivors of the dynasty of Tikal settled down a new state in Two Pilas and Aguateca and finally conquered the south of the Petén. At the end of the classic period (600-900 d.C.) the population of low territories of the south surpassed probably the ten million inhabitants. Then, the Mayan civilization underwent a sudden and mysterious collapse. Between the 800 and the 900 the escultórica and architectonic activity stopped. Many cities were left and the total population of the region fell in mincemeat. The students have suggested many possible causes for this collapse, between which the overpopulation, epidemics, wars and environmental deterioration with the consequent slope of the agricultural yield are counted. It is probable that the causes varied in each city. After the collapse of the cities of low earth, the center of the Mayan civilization was transferred to the northern areas of the Yucatan Peninsula, in individual to the cities of Chichén Itzá, Uxmal and Cobá. In century X the town tolteca coming from the north of Mexico invaded or emigrated to the region, and the Mayan culture underwent the influence of the customs, the art and the religion toltecas. The toltecas were a town of soldiers and retailers and under their influence the military leaders and the Mayan merchants became more powerful. Between years 1000 and 1250, Chichén Itzá was the dominant state of the region and received the tribute of the surrounding areas. Towards 1250 Chichén Itzá it was defeated by city-been of Mayapán. In this small fortified center, a confederation of three aristocratic lineages established a state unit in the region of the Yucatan Peninsula. In the middle of century XV this unit was disturbed to each other in a dozen of very competitive ministates. This one was the political panorama that was the Spaniards when they arrived at Yucatan in 1517. The ground or another sanitary or hygienic degradation of the medio.ambiente that caused an irreversible damage to agriculture, problems or even the bad administration. The collapse of Teotihuacán as main political and economic power was made feel anywhere in the world mesoamericano. In central Mexico, the emptiness of being able was filled by a group related to the Mayans, and known like olmecas-xicallanca, that centers fortified for the commerce to long distance founded on Xochicalco, in the valley of Morelos, and Cacaxtla, near Tlaxcala. The fall of Teotihuacán probably contributed to the declivity of Albán Mount and the collapse of another great mesoamericana civilization: the Mayan.

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