Tikal and Uxmal

Book Details

Author  Charles River Editors
Publisher  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date   October 26, 2016
ISBN  1539747417
Pages  88

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Description

*Includes pictures *Includes descriptions of the ruins and the history of the sites *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading Many ancient civilizations have influenced and inspired people in the 21st century. The Greeks and Romans continue to fascinate the West today. But of all the world’s civilizations, none have intrigued people more than the Mayans, whose culture, astronomy, language, and mysterious disappearance all continue to captivate people. In 2012 especially, there was a renewed focus on the Mayans, whose advanced calendar has led many to speculate the world would end on the same date the Mayan calendar ends, but if anything, the focus on the “doomsday” scenario overshadowed the Mayans’ true contribution to astronomy, language, sports, and art. The Maya maintained power in the Yucatan for over a thousand years, and at the height of its “Classical era” (3rd-9th centuries A.D.), the city of Tikal was one of the power centers of the empire. Archaeologists believe Tikal had been built as early as the 5th or 4th century BC, and eventually it became a political, economic and military capital that was an important part of a far-flung network across Mesoamerica, despite the fact it was seemingly conquered by Teotihuacan in the 4th century AD. It seems the foreign rulers came to assimilate Mayan culture, thus ensuring Tikal would continue to be a power base, and as a result, the city would not be abandoned until about the 10th century AD. As one of the Ancient Maya’s most important sites, construction at Tikal was impressive, and even though it was apparently conquered, the city’s records were unusually well preserved. This includes a list of the city’s dynastic rulers, as well as the tombs and monuments dedicated to them. Thanks to this preservation, Tikal offers researchers their best look at the Ancient Maya and has gone a long way toward helping scholars understand Mayan history. Near the end of the Classic Era, the city of Uxmal was one of the Maya’s most noteworthy cities and a capital after Tikal waned. While it was not as powerful as cities like Tikal, Uxmal was apparently at the forefront of Mayan culture, particularly when it came to architecture. However, while Uxmal used high ground to display its prominence, and the ruins are still among the most popular places for tourists in the region, the site is still shrouded in mystery. Even as scholars continue to work on the site to further interpret it, it’s still unclear when exactly Uxmal was founded, how many people called it home, and when it was abandoned, despite the existence of Mayan chronicles and oral legends. What is apparent, however, is the skills of Uxmal’s artisans, whether through constructing structures like the 5 level Pyramid of Magicians and the expansive Governor’s Palace or adorning the structures with precisely detailed art and sculptures. In fact, the craftsmanship can be credited with helping to preserve Uxmal itself. Tikal and Uxmal: The History and Legacy of the Mayan Capitals of the Classic Era covers the history of the cities, as well as the speculation and debate surrounding them. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about Tikal and Uxmal like never before.

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