The Maya homeland, called Mesoamerica, spans 5 countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. Over there are currently indications the the world we call the Maya had actually migrated from phibìc America come the highlands that Guatemala maybe as long ago as 2600 B.C., living an agricultural, village-based life. The culture of these Preclassic Maya owes lot to the earlier civilization of the Olmec, which prospered ca. 1200 B.C.
By the time Maya world had reached its height - the Classic duration (A.D. 200-900) - the Maya to be spread throughout an almost consistent territory of around 311,000 square kilometers (120,000 square miles), comprising three basic areas:The dry rain forest of the lowlands, stretching from northwestern Honduras, v the Petén an ar of Guatemala and also into Belize and the Chiapas. This came to be the love of standard Maya civilization and included urban such together Copán, Yaxchilán, Tikal, and Palenque.The Guatemala highlands and the Pacific Coast, wherein Aztec influence in the early Classic duration caused some distinctions in social development from the Central, or Lowlands, Maya.The northern Yucatán peninsula, who sites incorporate Labná, Chichen Itzá and also Uxmal, is identified by scrub vegetation, thin soil, and tiny surface water. After ~ the lowlands city-states collapsed, finishing the classic period, over there was increased migration into the Yucatán and Maya culture continued to thrive there until the arrival of the militaristic Toltecs.
The Rivers: A collection of rivers originates in the mountains and flows in the direction of the Pacific ocean on the west coast, and also towards the Gulf that Mexico in the southern Petén lowlands. These rivers served as passageways because that canoes to travel from one city to another. Many of the Maya cities of the Classic duration were developed near rivers that detailed water because that human usage and access to profession routes. In the northern Yucatán lowlands, however, there space no significant rivers.
The Rain Forest: apart from the volcano glacier mountains, many of Mesoamerica is spanned by a dense rain forest. A rain forest resembles a greenhouse, giving warmth, sunlight, and water, and also producing one enormous selection of plants. Unlike the wealthy humus soils of temperate-zone forests, the soil in rain forests is thin and poor. In order come survive, tropic trees and plants have emerged highly reliable root equipment that absorb nutrient from dead tree (which decompose rapidly due to the fact that of the high heat and humidity) before they space washed away.
The Soil: The finest soils are discovered in the southern highland valleys whereby volcanic eruptions have enriched the earth. The spring-like climate and fertile valleys do this a popular place to settle, despite the risk of volcanoes. Today, this area supports the largest Maya population.(chart courtesy the MECC and also Tom Duda)
While the Mayan-speaking individuals spread across these regions shared countless similarities, their geographical dispersal led to the evolution of plenty of languages which are related but sufficiently distinctive to prevent different Maya groups today from expertise one another. This aberration adds a more complication to efforts to analyze the hieroglyphic writing of the city-states. Scholars today space still do the efforts to reconstruct the family members tree of the Mayan languages and also there are different interpretations, however it is usually felt that 4 or 5 language groups had emerged by the center Preclassic duration (900-300 B.C.).For more information check out also:Central American Cultural-Ecological details Network