of these articles is occupied with the people of the Maya. For further meanings see Maya (term clarifying).
Maya mayors from the high country of Guatemala around 1891

the Maya are an Indian people in particular in Central America, due to them in parts Mexico and Central America of created realm admits is. In their bloom time they represented a powerful advanced culture. Today the Maya on the Yucatán - peninsula as well as in Belize , Guatemala and Honduras lives.

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from Palenque (approx. 2000-900 v. Chr.)

in the early Vorklassik comes it to first durable settlementsand to the development of agriculture in the Mayagebiet. First the Maya added archaeological finds from Cuello (Belize) become on approximately 2000 v. Chr. dated. From this place of origin a fragmentation and a movement are accepted northward (gulf of Mexico). In Copán (Honduras) hunters settled over approx. 1100 v. Chr. Likewise in the early Vorklassik Lamanai was created, which belongs with a permanent settlement time the longest Mayastädten used from approximately 3000 years to at. Approx. 1000 v. Chr. became Cahal pitch settles and remained it to approx. 700 n. Chr.

Middle Vorklassik (approx. 900-400 v. Chr.)

in the middle Vorklassik comes it to the continuous settlement in the entire Mayagebiet and to the development of trade between the cities. Approximately in 7.Jh. v. Chr. are the first settlement traces in the area of Tikal in Guatemala. At the gulf of Mexico about 500 v. leave themselves. Chr. for the first time prove buildings of settlements and stone temples. To the first large cities of the Maya Nakbe belongsin today's Guatemala, that its gloss time between 800 and 400 v. Chr. had.

Late Vorklassik (approx. 400 v. Chr. - 250 n. Chr.)

in the late Vorklassik result from strong population growth large Mayazentren and it come to the introduction of the Königtums.

Early classical period (approx. 250-600 n. Chr.)

in Tikal is the first dated Maya Stele of 292 n. Chr. In the year 562 it comes to a large war between Caracol and Tikal. Chichén Itzá became around the year 400based.

Late classical period (approx. 600-900 n. Chr.)

the Maya civilization covered a set of city states, which had in each case its own ruler and it untergebene manager. Famous the Maya for its mathematics and for their highly developed calendar is written in in Hieroglyphics. With the propagation over the whole Yucatán peninsula the advanced culture of the Maya reached their bloom time, while those also Uxmal and Coba were created. Further important cities were Tikal, Calakmul, Bonampak and Quirigua. Many cities were throughDam routes connected. The cities had partly more than 10,000 inhabitants and were larger thereby than the largest cities of Central Europe at that time.

Important achievements are the cultivation of corn, the development of the very precise Maya calendar and the Maya writing.The writing, although being based on picture symbols, was however more than a pure ideogram writing. Arts and crafts (treatment of stone, ceramic(s), wood, textiles) and painting were developed highly, metalworking (gold) played only for ritual purposes a role, not for the tool production.In the cities there were high Stufenpyramiden, palaces and ball playgrounds up to 65 m.

In 9. Jh. it however already comes to the task of individual Maya centers in the southern low country due to wars and probably ecological and economic crises. Cities becameleft, the irrigation systems purged. The assumption that climatic fluctuations and in particular Dürren were responsible for the fall of the advanced culture, has by the proof of decreased precipitation in 9. and 10. Jh. in Venezuela under line of the geologist Gerald Haug in the year 2003 lift receive.


to the Maya centers of the classical period belong under other Bonampak, Calakmul, Caracol, Xunantunich, Lubaantun, Copán, DOS Pilas, Nakum, Naranjo, Palenque, Piedras Negras, Rio Azul, Tikal, Yaxchilán or Yaxha.

Nachklassi time/post office classical period (900-1500)

temple ruins of Tikal

in the architecture of the Maya arose now increases toltekische influences. The new great power the Aztecs in central Mexico became. A last impact had the remaining Maya 1511accept, when they lost their self-sufficiency by arrival of the Spaniards finally. Nevertheless they kept themselves longer independent than the Aztecs. The latter May-acre-calibrate Tayasal only around 1697 by the Spaniards one subjected. Starting from 1847 the descendants of the Maya revolted inbox war so mentioned against the authority of the Mexican state and would install a capital in Chan Santa Cruz, which only 1901 could be conquered by the Mexican army. Today live still approx. 4,5 million Maya.

To the Maya centers belong to the post office classical periodunder other Coba, Chichén Itzá, Ek Balam, Mayapan, Tulúm and Uxmal.

religion of the Maya

the religion of the Maya was a Polytheismus, in which also people victims were common. The Mayabuilt whole temple cities for the admiration of their Gods.

Political and social situation of the Maya

the Maya were above all very with regard to foreign policy strongly engaged. They selected, like one it today still know, every 3 years a new mayor, the “Maya mayor”. This ledthe people on.

To Maya researcher

see also

Diego de Landa, Vigesimalsystem, Indigene peoples of Central America and the Karibik, Maya Gewölbe, Maya numbers, Crystal head, Popol Vuh (book), Gods of the Maya


  • Nikolai pit: Maya, god kings in the rain forest. Könemann, Cologne 2000. ISBN 382901564X
  • Klaus Helfrich: People victim and ritualritual rituals in the cult of the Maya. Man, Berlin 1973. ISBN 3-7861-3013-2
  • Timothy Laughton: ThoseEnvironment of the Maya. Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1999. ISBN 3828907199
  • Berthold giant: The Maya. C.H. Beck, Munich 2004. ISBN 3406462642
  • Linda Schele, David Freidel: The unknown world of the Maya. Albrecht Knaus, Munich 1991. ISBN 3-8135-6342-1
  • Michael D. Coe: The secret of the Maya writing.Rowohlt, Reinbek with Hamburg 1997.ISBN 3-499-60346-2
  • Gerard W. van Bussel: The ball of Xibalba. The mesoamerikanische ball play. Art-historical museum with museum for people customer and Austrian theatre museum, Vienna 2002. ISBN 3-85497-037-4

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