Pre-Classical and Classical Period
The Pre-Classic period, which ran from about 300 BC onward to about 250 AD, is the time when we see most Mayan settlements begin to appear. The Classic period, which spanned about seven hundred years, ended around 900 AD. The Classic Period of the Mayan civilization is where many of these most amazing cities, the Mayan ruins come from. Mayan Temples, homes, in fact complete cities were left to us to explore today.
Beginning in about 250 AD, the Mayan groups began to move further inland from the coastal areas. They ventured inland, settled in the rainforests and other areas. They began to offer more than simple agriculture, but brought their talents and incredible minds to bear on other efforts as well.
Science, astronomy, architectural advances, religion, and even art were all part of the area in which the Mayan people excelled. The Mayans moved from one vast achievement onward to the next one, leaving us clear records of a great many of those achievements, despite the efforts of the Spaniards to wipe out all evidence of them.
About 900 AD, some major event took place. Scientists, archeologists, and historian can only speculate on the cause of the vast exodus. Some conjecture that it was an epidemic of some sort, while others offer a change in climate conditions as the reason why the Mayans left their cities, but one thing is certain, these vast and incredible cities were simply abandoned. Along with the cities and the temples, the Mayans abandoned their work with technical items and artistic endeavors too.
A tour of the Mayan temples and the vast assortment of Mayan buildings today would not be complete without viewing the many tools and scientific achievements that the Mayans gave to the world.
Present day research
Eduardo Galleano -renowned Uruguayan author and journalist wrote of the Mayans-"The Maya, sons of the days, are made up of time," His comments were dual in nature, referring to their knowledge of the skies and astronomy as well as the amazing calendars they produced, unrivalled by any other culture, nearly to the present day.
The Mayan ruins that lay throughout Central America began to decline before Columbus arrived on this continent, yet the advances that they gave to an entire world endure.
Spend some time exploring the Mayan ruins, the Mayan culture, and the broad array of precious gifts that they still have on offer.