Tikal, the legendary ancient Mayan city, is located now on the territory of contemporary Guatemala. It is one of the largest centers of pre-Columbian Maya civilization culminating in 700 AD. Although most of the structures were built in the period from 600 to 900 AD, there are also the ruins of structures dating back to 400 years BC.
Once, during II-IX centuries AD, the city was one of the major centers of the Maya civilization, being the capital of the Motul kingdom. The first settlement appeared here in the VII-VI centuries BC.
For a number of years Tikal played the crucial role in the life of the local peoples who inhabited the area of present-day Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. According to various estimates, the population of the city has ranged from 70.000 to 100.000 people. Residential development of the city stretches for about 60 km². Hill fort includes hundreds of stone structures, only a small part of which has been already excavated. Despite the fact that most religions call for sacrifices and observation of rules, this culture and beliefs were beyond the usual religious views. Muslims observe their Holy month, which is considered as a sacrifice to God. Christians also do this on individual basis.
The sacrifices taken by the Mayan people demonstrate courage and determination. They may have seemed easy and simple to the Mayans, but they showed the extent to which peoples could go in order to keep their culture growing. Success of a nation is graded because of how the ancient cultures and beliefs are passed to future generations. Downfall of the nation comes in when people try to modify the beliefs that once existed. “Religion is a major pillar in the success and prosperity of any nation. Despite the fact that nations differ in the kinds of religion they advocate for, there should be harmony in worship. There should also be an ample religious environment where every religion is respected.”
“Maya, however, received a major blow in their quest for prosperity. In the ninth century, events that were not expected to happen occurred. The adored Maya world went into shambles. The greatest centers such as Tikal became deserted.” The renowned and cherished sacred temples of Maya and other palaces within a short stint became home and residence for a few chosen squatters. They were the people who left their household rubbish that once existed in their pristine buildings. Basing on these facts, turmoil for a nation was so hurting that the once cherished centers and places no longer received the respect they deserved. People could not have a basis of defending their nation. They could not feel secure in associating with their once adored nation. Downfalls of any nation might elicit pity from people, fear and turn offs. These issues might lead to the final dispersion and migration of people to other parts of the world. This, in turn, degraded the cultures and beliefs that once existed there. They turned out into places of shame and people decided to migrate to other areas. Looking at the other side of the story, elucidating of the main causes of this downfall might provide answers to that situation. The migrations that hit the nation meant that it was destined for doom.
“Tikal became an abandoned state leading to the loss and fall of the Mayan civilization, which was never to be recovered. It is extremely difficult for any nation to survive after such an incident. This is because the ancestors who ensured that the cultures and beliefs were nurtured into other generations have no longer existed. This could only bring fear and misunderstandings among the people that decided to remain in the state. These were the die-hards, although the conditions were not favorable for any progress.”
It means that those few people who remained might not have any power and courage to entice the future generation into their once observed beliefs. Their children would definitely question the credentials about their earlier culture and beliefs by observing the weaknesses that led to their world’s failure. “It could only convince a young person grown up in a certain way that the desired cultures have once been and are still prosperous and cherished in many nations. Most of the young people lean towards the Western world practices and may view the Mayan culture as archaic and one that lacks a formidable ground. “Very few Maya people survived the tragedy and were out to face the feared Spanish conquistadors that happened in the sixteenth century. This was only the beginning of problems and downfall of Maya.” The moment when people migrated from their motherland, they caused the eventual downfall of that nation. Patience and persistence would be the solution to the prosperity of Maya, but people decided to evade any further tranquility.
The researches of many archaeologists have elicited a line of controversial issues regarding the best and most conclusive evidence. There are also many theories that have been brought up, which range from those basing on warfare and invasion to mild extents of migration, disease outbreak and over-farming. The assumption that any nation that is not well ruled may succumb to such conditions has been applied by many researchers to discover the main reasons of the Mayan civilization fall. Most scientists believe that the truth about the main issue behind the downfall may lie in a combination of any of those listed factors.
Further, Dr. Richardson B. Gill considers that the Maya of Petén, who survived, most likely headed north of Yucatan, or south to the upper lands of Guatemala, not so dry, where they can escape from hunger. However, it not worth thinking that pre-Hispanic America knew nothing of drought and was not ready for it. Certainly, there were times when the entire crop was lost due to the lack of moisture. Moreover, the social system developed at this time throughout Mesoamerica assumed that option. That is why the barns and attics in many cities were filled with corn, which could remain up to 400 years without any harmful changes. Thus, it was the main mean of nutrition during the less productive years when the main supply of food was eaten.
Different scientists came to the same conclusion simultaneously: the period from 800 to 1000 AD war really drier that the others. However, could this draught be deadly for the Mayan civilization? It is obvious that a considerable river system, groundwater and artificial hydraulic structures disprove the climatic theory of Mayan disappearance.
It seems correct to assume that the Maya have been a victim of some nomadic people. This time the invaders came from central Mexico. They are known in history as the Toltec. Toltec created a kind of federal state and devoured the Maya.
Multiple destruction of the Mayan cities testifies that the new government tried to suppress the resistance of the indigenous population. Military victories of the enemy are always accompanied by migration of civilians. Thus, we could see that the Maya had not disappeared overnight from the Earth. The symbols of their civilization were destroyed: the pyramids, palaces, and sacred stone scrolls, on which were inscribed the victories of the Maya. Between 850 and 900 AD, Maya assimilated, dispersed and mixed with other people.