Cities of the ancient Maya
Cities of the ancient Maya
The civilization of the Mayans is one of the oldest and most mysterious civilizations on Earth, formed about 2500 years ago. The city, built in the era of the development of this civilization, now situated in the territory of five States of Central America. Milestones of its development scientists have divided conditionally into three periods: from 2500 BC to 250 ad – the preclassic period, 250 ad to 900 ad – the classic period, 900 ad to 1521 C. E. – the postclassical period. With 1521 with the arrival of the conquistadors coming to the colonial period of the Mayan civilization, which brought previously unknown disease – influenza, smallpox, measles – and the beginning of the conquest of an independent nation.
But the decline of the greatest civilization began much earlier, in the post-classical period. The origin of the collapse is still causing disputes and disagreements among the scientific world.
The Maya were able to do extraordinary things, not knowing the wheels! They built magnificent stone cities, and each of them was a separate state. Mayan doctors accurately diagnosed and engaged in the recovery, using more than 400 medicinal herbs. Using narcotic vegetable substances, were able to do primitive anesthesia and performed surgery.
They were excellent farmers, created designed irrigation system. Maya has created a beautifully preserved exquisite works of art, their own alphabet and counting system, first introduced the concept of zero. And astrological calculations of the ancient priests and surprisingly accurate ways their works have baffled modern astronomers.
Along with this flourished throughout religious ceremonies with the bloody and cruel sacrifices, the constant war between city-States and a ruthless struggle for power.
On the territory of modern Belize is a lot more or less preserved ruins of the ancient city-States of the Maya. The most ancient settlement of Cuello, an age of about 3000 years, is located in the North, not far from orange walk. Near – archaeological reserve Lamanai, one of the few where the Maya lived constantly with the early preclassic period to the Spanish colonization. On the territory of the reserve can be viewed 718 architectural monuments of the Maya. Since the city played the role of a major center of religious ceremonies, the main targets are the three pyramids built on them: High Temple, the Temple of the Masks and the Temple Agarawal Mask. Their excavations continue.
In the vicinity of the open Karosas settlement of Zeros with a unique astrological Observatory by Maya priests. Nearby – ruins of one of the three largest Mayan cities in Belize – La-Mula, with stylized pyramid burials of the highest nobility of the tribes. Evidence of high culture of the Maya found in the ruins of Chetumal, in the most significant ceremonial center of the preclassic period – Nomule.
The largest city of the ancient Maya, found on the territory of Belize, on the plateau Waka – Caracol. In its heyday, it occupied an area of about 90 sq km and was inhabited by approximately 150 thousand people. The most remarkable building is the pyramid of Canaa, 42 m height is still not inferior in height to the modern buildings of Belize. After intense excavations of Karakol for exploring five open squares around them concentrated 32 significant architectural buildings and about 12 smaller ones. During the excavations of ceremonial burials was found a significant number of samples of hieroglyphic writing.
In the West, on top of a hill are the ruins of the fortress of SanAntonio, influential ceremonial center and outposts on the trails leading to the coast. Clearly visible over the jungle covered ruins of the top of the pyramid El Castillo height of about 40 m. Nearby, near San Ignacio, you can visit took 50 hectares of archaeological site of El Pilar to the ruins of the last stronghold of the Maya, which had a stubborn resistance to the Spanish conquerors.
Interest 34 and excavated buildings of the city of Cahal Pech. Among them, as suggested by archaeologists, the remains of baths and two playgrounds for ball games. This game was very popular and revered by the Maya. Built special playgrounds (stadiums), during the excavation found pieces of equipment to players and figures representing players in special remedies.
North of Belize city is the city conventionally called Altun Ha. The name given by the colonists, the ancient name of the city is not yet determined. It was founded in the classical period. In our time dug out two Central squares, surrounded by four temples. One of them is a Temple altar Stone of the largest construction Altun Ha, in its base was found a huge, 15 meter high, the image of the deity of the sun, made of jade with inlays. The temple of the Green Tomb is the burial place of the city elite. During the excavation in this temple found jade, jewelry, written in hieroglyphs of the ancient Maya book. Practically studied the treasures of the Eastern Church, most small facilities await description and classification.
Not far from Punta Gorda towards San Antonio village, in the mountains, at a height of 60 m above sea level is Lubaantun – the ceremonial center of late classical period. A distinctive feature of the city is uncharacteristic of the local Mayan style of architecture: the fit and finishing of the blocks of the pyramids and other buildings occurred without the use of any fastening solution. Built in round shape.
The city is built in three concentric circles around the five Central squares. Described 3 areas for ball games and tombs. Completely absent is inherent in the Mayan decorations of buildings: terraces, carved decorations, ornaments, steles, monuments. There are no doors in the building. It is assumed that the preserved stone foundations were built wooden buildings are not extant.