Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mayan Timeline
25,000 B.C.E.. – Present
(B.C.E. is Before Common Era, C.E. is Common Era)

c. 25000 B.C.E.- Ancestors of the American Indians, the first Human’s in the new World, enter the Americas by crossing the Bering Strait.

c. 7000 B.C.E.- Beginning of the process of domesticating Maize, ("Corn"). In Mexico. This process would be very slow.

c. 5000 B.C.E.- First clear signs of settled village life. Beginning of the domestication of squashes, beans, tomatoes etc., in Mexico.

c. 4000 B.C.E.- First appearance of villages in Mayan area.

C. 3000 B.C.E.- Ancestors of the Maya settle in Yucatan and Guatemala.

c. 2000 B.C.E.- Temple structures begin to be built in Mexico and Olmec area. Mayan village culture established. Domestication process of Maize, ("Corn"), complete.

c. 1600 B.C.E.- Emergence of Olmec civilization on Gulf coast of Mexico.

c. 1400 B.C.E.- Establishment of San Lorenzo in Olmec heartland. First Temple structures in Mayan area.

c. 1200 B.C.E.- San Lorenzo abandoned La Venta established beginning of Olmec golden age.

c. 1200 - 600 B.C.E.Climax of Olmec golden age. Monumental sculpture, art, Architecture.

c. 1200 - 200 B.C.E.Olmec influence on Maya pervasive and long lasting.

c. 900 B.C.E.-Wealthy tombs in Copan region.

c. 600 B.C.E.-Tikal settled.

c. 600 B.C.E.-Fall of La Venta. Beginning of Olmec decline.

c. 600-200 B.C.E.-Terminal Olmec period. Development of Writing, calendar and mathematical, dating system.

c.400-200 B.C.E.-Establishment and growth of El Mirador and other sites. First signs of Kingship.

c.200 B.C.E.-Izapa monuments with Glyphs and indecipherable dates are erected. Earliest depictions of Popol Vuh mythology.

c. 100 B.C.E.-1. C.E.-Writing appears in Mayan area. Climax of late pre-classic. (300 B.C.E.-100 C.E.). Massive monumental building at El Mirador and other sites.

36 B.C.E.-First date (Olmec Region).

c. 50 C.E.-Massive construction at Tikal (Mutul) and other sites.

c. 90 C.E.-Foundation of Dynasty of Tikal (Mutul) by Yax-Moch-Xoc.

c. 100 C.E.-El Mirador and other sites abandoned.

100 C.E.-600 C.E.-Early Classic

100 C.E.-Earliest object with a date in the Mayan region.

160 C.E.-Kingdom of Copan established.

c. 200 C.E.-Kalak’mul (Kan) established.

c. 200 C.E.-Building of Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan (Pul).

Mayan Glyph

359 C.E.-Yoaat B'alam I establishes Dynasty of Yaxchilan.

378 C.E.-Tikal (Mutul) conquers Uaxactun.

378 C.E.-Siyaj K'ak', apparently from Teotihuacan (Pul) kills? Chak Tok Ich'aak I of Tikal (Mutul) and installs Yax Nuun Ayiin I as king of Mutul. This whole episode is very mysterious, especially since the new king and his successors continue to claim Chak Tok Ich'aak I as an ancestor and trace themselves back to Yax-Moch-Xoc the Dynasty Founder.

300-500 C.E.-Significant Teotihuacan (Pul) influence on Tikal (Mutul)

426 C.E-Yax-Kuk-Mo’, apparently from Teotihuacan (Pul), or Tikal (Mutul), establishes Dynasty at Copan.

431 C.E.-Kuk-B’alam I, maybe from Tikal (Mutul) or Teotihuacan (Pul), establishes Dynasty of Palenque (Lakam-Ha).

475 C.E.-Kan-Ax rules at Tikal (Mutul).

514 C.E.-North Acropolis built at Tikal (Mutul).

c. 520-540 C.E.-First signs of Tikal (Mutul) / Kalak’mul (Kan) rivalry.

553 C.E.-"Double Bird" King of Tikal establishes Yahaw-Ye as King of Caracol. Shortly thereafter Yahaw-Ye allies himself with Kalak’mul (Kan).

556 C.E.-Tikal (Mutul) sacks Caracol.

562 C.E.-Caracol, allied with Kalak’mul (Kan), defeats Tikal (Mutul) and sacks city. Captures and sacrifices King "Double Bird" as well. Tikal encircled by allies of Kalak’mul.

c.560-690 C.E.-The Hiatus at Tikal and allied sites. Construction and monumental building stops, and no dated monuments for almost 140 years at Tikal (Mutul).

599 C.E.-Yahaw-Ye of Caracol dies is succeeded by his eldest son.

600-900 C.E.-Late Classic

Mayan Inscription

603 C.E.-Pacal (I) born.

615 C.E.-Pacal (I) crowned King of Palenque (Lakam-Ha).

618 C.E.-Kan II younger son of Yahaw-Ye becomes King of Caracol.

619 C.E.-Kan II reaffirms alliance between Caracol and Kalak’mul (Kan).

625 C.E.-Balah-Kan K’awil from Tikal (Mutul) becomes King of Dos Pilas. Shortly afterwards he allies with Kalak’mul (Kan).

630 C.E.-Caracol wars with Naranjo an ally of Tikal (Mutul).

636 C.E.-Caracol defeats and conquers Naranjo. And in 642 C.E. dedicates a victor’s stairway at Naranjo.

c. 650-700 C.E.-Teotihuacan (Pul) sacked and destroyed. Site of Chichen Itza is found during this time.

657 C.E.-Nun-Bak-Chak of Tikal, (Mutul) driven into exile.

659 C.E.-Nun-Bak-Chak visits Palenque (Lakam-Ha).

c. 664 C.E.-Nun-Bak-Chak returns to Tikal (Mutul).

672 C.E.-Nun-Bak-Chak takes Dos Pilas forcing Balah-Kan K’awil into exile.

677 C.E.-Balah-Kan K’awil and Yukun-Kun of Kalak’mul (Kan) retake Dos Pilas from Tikal (Mutul).

679 C.E.-Balah-Kan K’awil captures and sacrifices Nun-Bak-Chak of Tikal (Mutul).

682 C.E.-Ah-Cacaw of Tikal (Mutul) accedes as King. Wac-Chanil-Ahau daughter of Balah-Kan K’awil of Dos Pilas arrives in Naranjo to re-establish Royal line.

683 C.E.-Pacal (I) of Palenque (Lakam-Ha) dies.

Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque

686 C.E.-Ich’ak-K’ak of Kalak’mul (Kan) accedes Balah-Kan K’awil of Dos Pilas, attends ceremony.

690 C.E.-Ah-Cacaw of Tikal (Mutul) erects first dated monuments at Tikal in over a century and builds first Pyramid complex.

693 C.E.-K’ak-Tiliw son of Wac-Chanil-Ahau accedes as King of Naranjo. For the next 10 years Naranjo wars with Tikal (Mutul) and her allies.

695 C.E.-Ah-Cacaw of Tikal (Mutul) captures and sacrifices Ich’ak-K’ak of Kalak’mul (Kan). The encirclement by Kalak’mul (Kan) of Tikal (Mutul) is broken. The next 50 years are the height of Tikal’s power and prestige. Ah-Cacaw celebrates by a massive program of building and art.

695 C.E.-Waxaklahun-Ubah-K’awil of Copan accedes to throne.

700-800 C.E.-Climax of Mayan civilization.

709 C.E.-Beginning of prolonged succession crisis at Yaxchilan. Itzamnaaj B'alam II begins to try to arrange succession of son Yaxun Balam IV.

c. 710-730 C.E.-The Itza, allies of Tikal (Mutul) found city of Chichen Itza.

710-711 C.E.-K’ak-Tiliw of Naranjo after switching sides attacks enemies of Tikal.

711 C.E.-Ah-Cacaw erects spectacular Pyramids 4 and 5 at Tikal (Mutul).

715 C.E.-Waxaklahun-Ubah-K’awil of Copan celebrates his 20th anniversary and builds Temple 22.

723-726 C.E.-Continuation of succession crisis at Yaxchilan. Itzamnaaj B'alam II involves his chief wife Lady Xoc in various rites supposably designed to disinherit her sons in favour of his son Yaxun Balam IV.

725 C.E.-Waxaklahun-Ubah-K’awil of Copan arranges accession of K’ak-Tiliw as King of Quirigua.

734 C.E.-Yik’in-Kan-K’awil becomes King of Tikal (Mutul).

736 C.E.-K’ak-Tiliw of Quirigua is visited by a "Lord" of Kalak’mul. Quirigua becomes an ally of Kalak’mul (Kan) about this time. Copan remains an ally of Tikal (Mutul).

738 C.E.-K’ak-Tiliw of Quirigua captures and sacrifices Waxaklahun-Ubah-K’awil of Copan.

c. 740 C.E.-K'ak' Yipyaj Chan K'awiil of Copan marries a "Lady of Lakam-Ha", (Palenque).

742 C.E.-Itzamnaaj B'alam II of Yaxchilan dies beginning of acute succession crisis. Yaxun Balam IV begins complex campaign to succeed his father.

743 C.E.-Yik’in-Kan-K’awil of Tikal (Mutul) defeats El Peru.

744 C.E.-Yik-Kan-K’awil attacks Naranjo, which as once again changed sides and captures and sacrifices its King Yax-Hix-Ek’-Way.

c. 745 C.E.-Yoaat B'alam II becomes King of Yaxchilan. He probably a son of Lady Xoc and Itzamnaaj B'alam II. The succession struggle with Yaxun Balam IV continues.

749 C.E.-Lady Xoc of Yaxchilan dies.

c. 750 C.E.-Ah-Kuy-Tok becomes King of Uxmal.

752 C.E.-Yaxun Balam IV of Yaxchilan accedes to throne of Yaxchilan.

761 C.E.-Alliance against Dos Pilas lead by Tikal (Mutul) takes Dos Pilas. Surviving members of Royal family flee to Aguateca.

763 C.E.-Yax-Pac of Copan the son of "Lady of Lakam-Ha" (Palenque) accedes to throne.

768 C.E.-Yax-Ain of Tikal (Mutul) accedes to throne. Yax-Pac of Copan begins massive building project including Hieroglyphic stairway.

c. 770 C.E.-Local inhabitants of Dos Pilas area fortify city centre. Effort fails and city falls and is sacked soon after.

775 C.E.-Yax-Pac dedicates Alter Q at Copan.

783 C.E.-Yax-Pac of Copan celebrates his 20th anniversary and erects Temple 22a.

790 C.E.-Last date at Aguateca and Pomona.

791 C.E.-Chaan-Muan of Bonampak celebrates ceremonies designating his eldest son has his heir. Shortly after Bonampak Murals are painted.

793 C.E.-Yax-Pac of Copan celebrates his 30th anniversary. Last date at Yaxha.

795 C.E.-Last date at Bonampak which is sacked and abandoned soon after. Yax-Pac erects another Alter in Temple 22a.

799 C.E.-Kimi-Pacal accedes to throne of Palenque (Lakam-Ha). Last date at Palenque, city abandoned soon after.

800-900 C.E.-The Collapse. Most of the cities of the Maya are abandoned during this time period.

c. 800 C.E.-Chichen Itza ally of Tikal (Mutul) starts a long war with Coba who is allied with Kalak’mul (Kan).

802 C.E-Yax-Pac of Copan celebrates his 40th anniversary. And completes Temple 18.

807 C.E.-Last date at La Amelia.

808 C.E.-Last Date at Yaxchilan.

810 C.E.-Yax-Pac visits Quirigua, now an ally.
Last date at Piedras Negras.
Last Date at Kalak’mul.
Last date at Naranjo.
Last date at Quirigua.

c. 820 C.E.-Yax-Pac dies at Copan. End of his dynasty.

822 C.E.-Last date at Copan. Attempt by U-Cit-Tok of Copan to establish dynasty fails.

830 C.E.-Wat’ul establishes himself as King of Seibal.

841 C.E.-Last date Machaquila.

849 C.E.-Wat’ul of Seibal builds Temple A-3.
Last date at Alter de Sacrificios.
Last date at Xunantunich.
Last date at Ucanal.
High Priests Grave dedicated at Chichen Itza.

859 C.E.-Last date at Caracol.

869 C.E.-Last date at Tikal (Mutul).
Ball court dedicated at Chichen Itza .
By this time Coba has been defeated and largely abandoned.

879 C.E.-Monuments dedicated at Jimbal, Sacchana.
Last date at Ixlu.

Mayan Inscription

889 C.E.-Last date at La Muneca.
Last date at Xultun.
Last date Uaxactun.
Last date Jimbal.
Last date at Seibal.
At Chichen Itza a large number of Monuments are dedicated.

898 C.E.-Last date at Chichen Itza.

900 C.E.-By this time most of the Mayan cities have been abandoned. The end dates listed above only record a few of the end dates.

900-1500 C.E.-Post Classic.

901 C.E.-Chan-Chak-K’ak’nal-Ahau dedicates Ball court at Uxmal.

c. 905-910 C.E.-Chan-Chak-K’ak’nal-Ahau builds Nunnary Quadrangle, and Palace of the Govenors at Uxmal.

909 C.E.-Last date at Tonina , also last Long Count date.

948 C.E.-Chichen Itza abandoned by the Itza for first time. Itza establish kingdom of Chak’anputun.

c. 975-1050 C.E.-Alleged Toltec invasions of Yucatan and Guatemala and establishment of Mexican-Mayan ruling Dynasties. Note this event probably never happened.

c. 1000-1100 C.E.-Chichen Itza reoccupied.

1150 C.E.-Establishment of Mayapan

1185 C.E.-Itza leave Chak’anputun.

Portrait of Mayan King

1194 C.E.-Hunak-Kel conspiracy at Chichen Itza. Chichen Itza abandoned soon after.

c. 1200 C.E.-Establishment of League of Mayapan. About the same time Tayasal in lake Petan is established.

1224 C.E.-Itza take Itzamal and attack Mayapan.

1263 C.E.-Itza attack and defeat Mayapan. They establish new confederacy, based in Mayapan the Itza call themselves Maya.

1382 C.E.-Mayapan abandoned by the Itza.

c. 1380-1420 C.E.-Vicious internal fighting in Mayapan between various factions. The Tutul-Xiw leave Mayapan.

1441 C.E.-Mayapan abandoned and sacked. Yucatan disintegrates into vicious intercity warfare for the next 70+ years.

c. 1470 C.E.-Quiche of Guatemala begin creation of Empire in Guatemala.

c. 1485 C.E.-The Kaqchikals separate from the Quiche and establish a rival Empire. Next 40+ years characterized by vicious fighting between the two rivals.

1492 C.E.-Columbus sails to the West Indies and back to Spain.

1493 C.E.-First European settlement on island of Hispanola. Conquest of island by Spain 1493-1498.

1500-2000 C.E.-The Modern age

c. 1500-First of series of devastating epidemics of Old World diseases ravages the Maya.

c. 1500-1620 C.E.-Disease, Warfare and ruthless Spanish exploitation reduces Mayan numbers by at least 80-90% and possibly 95%.

1502 C.E.-Columbus encounters a Mayan merchant off Honduras during fourth voyage.

1517 C.E.-Spanish land at Chak’anputun and are driven out.

1518 C.E.-Spanish sack Chak’anputun.

1519 C.E.-Cortes lands at Cozumel island and meets Dona Maria, (Malinche), his chief interpreter and aide during the conquest of the Aztec Empire.

1519-1521 C.E.-Cortes conquers the Aztec Empire.

1523 C.E.-Alvarado, Lieutenant to Cortes, invades Guatemala.

1524 C.E.-Alvarado defeats and kills Quiche King. Sacks Quiche capital and at a mass burning kills more than 300 Quiche nobles. Kaqchikels begin war with the Spanish.

1525 C.E.-Cortes, visiting Honduras, travels through the Petan and visits Tayasal capital of the Itza.

1527 C.E.-Spanish invade Yucatan under the leadership of Montejo. For the next 7 years the Spanish try to conquer Yucatan.

1530 C.E.-After 6 years of vicious warfare the Kaqchikels submit to Alvarado. Resistance continues for another 10 years in Guatemala.

1534 C.E.-Montejo and his forces are driven out of Yucatan.

1540 C.E.-Last resistance in Guatemala ends. Alvarado massacres Kaqchikels leadership and many others.

1541 C.E.-Alvarado dies. Montejo Junior, invades Yucatan. Defeats the Local Mayan rulers.

Pages from the Dresden Codex

1542 C.E.-Spanish establish Merida on ruins of Tiho. Western part of Yucatan occupied by Spanish.

1546 C.E.-Massive Mayan rebellion in Yucatan crushed.

c. 1540-1600 C.E.-Christianization of the Maya. Massive destruction of Mayan Temples, Art etc., by the Spanish. Systematic attack on Mayan learning and lore. Almost compete obliteration of Mayan Books.

c. 1550 C.E.-Mayan Priests begin to copy out the books of Chilam Balam. (books of the Jaguar Priests). They will prove to be invaluable and would be added to well into the twentieth century.

1562 C.E.-Bishop Landa of Yucatan climaxes his drive against "idolatry" by burning thousands of Mayan books in a public square at Mani. Also many Mayan Priests etc., fall victim to his drive.

1565-1570 C.E.-Bishop Landa while in Spain writes his Relacion de las coscas de Yucatan. An absolutely priceless source on the Maya.

c. 1570 C.E.-A Mayan Nobleman copies from a Mayan Hieroglyphic manuscript the Popol Vuh into Mayan using the Roman alphabet. Later He or someone else copies it out into Spanish.

Knowledge of the Hieroglyphs fades until they no longer can be read.

c.1550-1650 C.E.-Establishment of a Spanish ruling class over a en-serfed Mayan peasantry. Virtual disappearance of Mayan ruling class.

c. 1650 C.E.-Copy of Relacion de las coscas de Yucatan by Bishop Landa made by Government officials in Spain. It is unfortunately a condensed version. The original is lost or destroyed.

1600-1690 C.E.-Continual efforts to conquer Itza Kingdom of Tayasal and border warfare with it. All Spanish efforts fail.

1697 C.E.-The Spanish take Tayasal last independent city of the Maya and sack city. Last library of hieroglyphic books vanishes along with last readers/writers of Glyphs.

1697-1720 C.E.-Resistance continues in the kingdom of Tayasal but is crushed.

1650-1820 C.E.-The Maya cling with remarkable stubbornness to the remnants of their culture. Mayan population begins to recover.

1773 C.E.-Palenque rediscovered.

Head of Pacal King of Palenque

1810 C.E.-Mexican War of independence starts.

1820 C.E.-Mexico becomes independent.

1825 C.E.-Establishment of Guatemala.

1841 C.E.-Stephens and Catherwood publish their Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. Beginning of modern Mayan studies.During the same decade Brasseur de Bourboug, a French Scientist finds Bishop Landa’s Relacion..., in a Spanish archive, and in Guatemala he finds the Popol Vuh.

1847-1855 C.E.-War of the Castes in Yucatan. Mayans rise against the Mexicans. Rebellion ends in bloody stalemate. Large areas of Yucatan and neighbouring provinces outside of Mexican control.

1850-1900 C.E.-First efforts to decipher the Glyphs. All efforts fail miserably except with the calendar portion of them.

1850 C.E.-The Founding of Chan Santa Cruz. "The Speaking Cross" and the state of Cruzob.

c. 1860-1900 C.E.-Attempted "Europenization of Guatemala".

1877-1910 C.E.-Dictatorship of Portifo Diaz in Mexico. 1901 C.E.-After many attempts the Mexican government finally conquers the state of Cruzob.

Mayan Number 20

1910-1920 C.E.-Mexican Revolution.

1944 C.E.-Revolution in Guatemala.

1952 C.E.-Knorozov publishes his Ancient Writing of Central America. The beginning of the decipherment of the Glyphs. Ruz finds Pacal’s tomb in the Temple of Inscriptions.

1954 C.E.-A C.I.A. sponsored, lead, paid for coup in Guatemala. For the next 40 years Guatemala would be ruled by a ruthless military oligarchy that will be virulently anti-Mayan at times.

1973 C.E.-First Palenque Round Table. Rediscovery of Pacal of Palenque. 1970-1985 is the breakthrough period in deciphering the Glyphs.

1978-1990 C.E.-Bloody war in Guatemala between guerrillas and military government.

1980-1982 C.E.-Dictatorship of Rios more than 140,000 Mayan Indians are massacred. Government targets Mayan Shaman and Priests for killing.

1988-1990 C.E.-The Deciphers begin to teach Modern Maya how to read the Glyphs.

1992 C.E.-Rigoberta Menchu , a Mayan Indian women is awarded the Noble Peace Prize.

Rigoberto Menchu

1996 C.E.-Peace in Guatemala. Beginning of a Mayan revival?

Mayan Family


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Pierre Cloutier

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