Verbal Quiz • What method did the lowland Mayans use to clear land for farming? • How did highland Mayans open land for farming? • Which early Mesoamerican civilization influenced the Mayans & Aztecs? • What is the staple crop for the Mayans?
Essential Question What key factors may have contributed to the collapse of the Mayan city states??
City-states (Mini Notes) • The Maya empire had many city-states each with their own ruler. • There was no single king who ever ruled all of the Maya. • Tikal and Palenque were generally the 2 most powerful city-states.
Mini Notes: • The states often traded with each other. • The north traded food to the south for jade and obsidian. • Obsidian: a sharp, glasslike volcanic rock. • Jade: a hard green stone that was mined in the high lands and trade to the low lands. • War also happened between the states… frequently.
Tikal – largest, most powerful in southern highlands Palenque – home to King Pacal Chichen Itza – main city in northern lowlands
Tikal • The ancient Mayan city of Tikal flourished between roughly 600 B.C. -A.D. 900. Starting out as a modest series of villages, it would become a great Mayan city-state with more than two dozen major pyramids.
Tikal • At its peak in the Late Classic period (A.D. 682-909) the city was spread over 50 square miles, its population estimated to be as high as 100,000 people, external trade helping fuel its growth. • Tikal’s rulers also built six “temple” pyramids, structures that often marked the burial place of a ruler. Two of them, known today as Temples I and II.
Tikal Temple I • Temple I was built for Jasaw Kaan K’awil, he was a king who led Tikal’s forces in defeating its most bitter enemy — the rival city of Calakmul. His burial chamber was found inside the pyramid’s interior and contained many luxury goods, including jaguar pelts, jade and even “delicately notched images of figures in canoes on human bones……
Tikal Temple II • Temple II, is believed to be dedicated to the ruler’s wife, Lady Tun Kaywak.
Tikal • Tikal, along with much of the Mayan world, collapsed around A.D. 900. • Evidence suggests that drought and the use of sea routes for trade (bypassing overland routes) contributed to the decline. • Deforestation, which occurred over time as Tikal grew, may have added to this problem, reducing rainfall and making it harder to grow crops
Palenque • Palenque is perched on the first rise of the Tumbalá mountains, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico. • The early history of the city is poorly understood, but it appears that by the end of the fifth century CE a dynasty of rulers was established at Palenque. • At its height in the seventh and eighth centuries CE its urban center had a population as high as 6,200 people living in less than 1 square miles of land.
Palenque • The Temple of Inscriptions is perhaps the most significant structure on the site because it contains the tomb of Pacal the Great, the mightiest Mayan ruler of Palenque, who sanctioned the building of the temple to be accomplished after his passing
Pacal’s Tomb The stairway descends vertically 80 feet to Pacal's burial chamber where a great ornately carved stone slab was used to seal his tomb. The humidity down there is intense, and the walls literally weep for Pacal
Palenque • Between the late 8th & early 10th centuries, the ancient Maya civilization collapsed (although the descendants of the people live on today). Palenque was no exception with archaeological evidence indicating that the city was abandoned by A.D. 850, if not earlier. • What led to the collapse of the Maya is a matter of debate but recent research suggests that drought caused by climate change played an important role.
Chichen Itza • Chichen Itza is a city in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula that thrived between the 9th and 13th centuries A.D. • Archaeologists are still trying to figure out how this ancient urban center, more than 740 acres in size, came to be.
Chichen Itza • At the heart of the city lies the step pyramid known as El Castillo. • When the temple at top is included, it rises about 100 feet, with each side being 180 feet at the base. On each of the pyramid’s four sides are 91 steps, making 364 in total. When you add in the step taken to enter the temple the total number of steps comes to 365, the number of days in a year! Was that a coincidence?
Chichen Itza • Although the decline of Chichin Itza is not completely known, it is likely that revolt and civil war among the Maya in 1221 CE, evidenced by archeological findings of burned buildings, led to Chichen Itza's decline.
What’s Next?? • Answer the Essential Question.