The ancient Classic Period ranges 250 to 900 A.D.
Anything before that is called Pre-Classic and anything afterwards is Post-Classic. In the Pre-Classic period, Mayan settlements were formed and the first limestone temples were constructed. The Classic Period saw the peak of architecture, constructions, and inscriptions all throughout the Mayan world.
Classic Mayan history
Classic Mayan history is as interesting as it is impossible. If scientists and historians in the field are accurate and honest, then they have to admit that it they no clue. You can, however, divide Mayan archaeology into two streams: Traditional, which is more mainstream archaeology, and Spiritual Archaeology, something more recent.
Mainstream Mayan archaeology started back in the late 1800’s, when the first Western archaeologists (like Maudsley, Mahler, and Thompson) started studying the ancient culture. A more recent concept of Mayan archaeology started to grow about 40 years ago. This type of archaeology believes that the Maya had a highly developed but brutal civilization, in which wars were fought over power and territory in a cast system, where slaves were forced to build temples for their polytheistic priests and kings and an elite ruled over the poor.
The more recent Spiritual stream of Mayan archaeology thinks of the ancient Maya as a more peaceful people that were in close contact with nature and the universe. In this philosophy, the temples were built not for god worshipping or elite housing, but for observation of the universe and alignment with universal cycles.
Mayan Classic period
Both streams agree that around 900 AD the Mayan Classic period came to an abrupt end. Some think it was war or the lack of a powerful figure that ended this advanced civilization, others say the Maya had to destroy their environment to keep up with a growing number of citizens and constructions, while others claim the Mayans understood that their cycle had come to an end and abandoned their cities without leaving a trace.