Travel in Latin America
The Mayan civilization flourished in areas that are now part of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras for almost a thousand years starting from about 500 B.C. The Mayan ruins as we see them now consist of buildings and cultural activity areas that even now stand as impressively as they have for over 2000 years. These impressive creations were abandoned for some mysterious reason and were soon swallowed up by the rain forests until their discoveries by explorers and archeologists in more recent times.
All these structures consist of huge temples and pyramids and are beautifully carved and give the impression of a very complex civilization. They also exhibit some very clear knowledge of astronomy and mathematics that speaks of the high intellectual capacity of that civilization.
The most famous of the Mayan ruins is Chichen Itza in Mexico. This site is very crowded with structures and human skeletons have been discovered here that seemed to be a sacrifice to gods. Artifacts that include idols, jewelry and jade have also been found. The Ball Court, a place where some sports seem to have taken place, is known for its acoustics which allow people situated hundreds of feet away to hear conversations made in a normal voice.
Copan in Honduras is another site exhibiting Mayan ruins. The sculptures here make for interesting viewing. Belize has the Mayan ruins of Caracol, earlier one of the largest Mayan cities. It has a very large pyramid, which still dwarfs all other structures in Belize. The Guatemalan site of Tikal is different to the other ruins and is located deep inside very dense jungles. There are many pyramids and plazas here and walking from one to the other is all the more impressive because of the extensive cover provided by the rain forest. There are also a number of other ruins dotted around the general areas of these countries, each of which has its own particular tourist attraction.
The Mayan civilization was never one that was unified and had a number of states each dominated by its own sacred lords. They were all linked to each other by military alliances, trade, common rituals and probably some kinship. Each city considered itself a superpower but there is evidence that a number of the cities were abandoned and the inhabitants migrated to other areas.
Chichen Itza in Mexico is the city that was among the last to be developed and shows indications of very hybrid communities, unlike other cities which continued to have pure Mayan backgrounds. Chichen Itza was discovered only in the 1920s. All these Mayan ruin sites can be easily accessed by tourists.
Are you interested in visiting the Mayan ruins? Be sure to visit my site to find out more about Mayan history and the best places to go http://mayanruins.info/mayan-civilization/mayan-history/.