A Glimpse on Mexico
will take you to Mexico, the Northern most Latin
American nation, south of the border with the United
States. Mexico has some of the most interesting
remains from the Ancient Maya Civilization.
We shall also focus on
this area to the South and Southeast, which comprises
Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula
and the states of Tabasco and Chiapas, West of the Peninsula.
Tabasco runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico while Chiapas
extends all the way into the Pacific Coast. Both form
the lower end of the Tehuantepec isthmus. This region
is known for having been the most populous region in the
Maya World during
the Post-Classic period.
The Yucatan comprises
cool volcanic pine mountains, dry tropical forests,
dense jungles and savannas as well as tropical beaches
and marshlands on a vast flat limestone platform that
rises only a few meters above sea level. Tabasco is
mostly a lowland rainforest while Chiapas has both lowland
and highland forests, volcanic slopes and mountains
with mixed forests- bearing a closer resemblance to
the neighboring Guatemala.
During the Late
Classic period, the Mayas abandoned the southern
Maya lowlands in Guatemala and resettled in most
of the cities found throughout this region.
Many of these Late Classic
sites continued to be occupied until the Post Classic
Period. Some of these sites were home to many Yucatecan
Maya who lived pretty much the same way their Maya ancestors
did for centuries.
Around the year 900 AD the Toltecs, guided by Quetzalcoatl
(later known as Kukulcan) arrived from the Mexico Valley
into the Yucatan Peninsula and founded the great city
of Mayapan. The Xiues were a Maya-Aztec society that
had established themselves in the Yucatan Peninsula
some centuries before and founded the city of Uxmal.
Mayas and Toltecs became one powerful formula and
forced the Xiues out of Uxmal, establishing the Mayapan
league, an alliance that included the cities of Mayapan,
Uxmal and Chichen Itza.
Wars between the Maya-Xiues and
the Cocoms (Maya-Toltecs) characterized this times
until the arrival of the Spanish Conquests.
Along with this rich history Mexico's Maya sites include
the famous Palenque, Tulum, Kabah and Labna and the
impressive Yaxchilan on the Usumacinta River.
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