Archaeological Findings push Mayan Civilizations further back in time
The Ceibal (El Ceibal) archaeological site includes old Mayan Ruins over the west margin of La Passion River, about 12km east of the municipality of Sayaxche in Guatemala. This was the largest Mayan city of the river which was occupied at about 400BC with an estimated population of about 10,000 people. The city was defeated during a war in 700AD and all monuments destroyed but after 830 AD it was again occupied until the 10 th century.
The latest excavations at Ceibal revealed that the ancient Mayans had started building their cities earlier than what it was believed. The ceremonial complex at Ceibal has been dated 200 years earlier than any other monument. Based on a ceremonial platform that was dated to 1000BC, built earlier than the pyramid and the plazas that were built by the Olmecs at the city of La Venta at around 800 BC.
According to the archaeologists, it looks that at that period of time a drastic change made the Maya go from hunter-gatherers to farming and the beginning of their civilization. Of course it is also known that the Mayans were greatly influenced by the mysterious Olmec civilization and shared many of their habits and civilization.
However with this discovery the origins of the Mayan civilization goes even further back in time, approaching a time very close to the Olmecs civilization. And then the question will be whether ‘uncivilized’ Mayans became ‘civilized’ with the help of the Olmecs? But how did the Olmecs became civilized in the first place and where did they go?
By John Black