Ajaw or Ahau is a pre-Columbian Maya political title attested from epigraphic inscriptions. It is also the name of the 20th day of the tzolkin, the word is known from several Mayan languages both those in pre-Columbian use, as well as in their contemporary descendant languages. Ajaw is the orthography in the standard revision of Mayan orthography, put forward in 1994 by the Guatemalan Academia de Lenguas Mayas. Before this standardisation, it was commonly written as Ahau. In the Maya hieroglyphics writing system, the representation of the word ajaw could be as either a logogram, in either case quite a few glyphic variants are known. Not surprisingly, a picture of the king sometimes substitutes for the more abstract day sign. Ajaw, with a meaning variously rendered as lord, ruler, king or leader, since the ajaw performed religious activities, it also designated a member of the Maya priesthood. The title was given to women, though generally prefixed with the sign Ix to indicate their gender. The archaeological site of Ko, associated with the Classic Maya city of Holmul located in modern-day Guatemala and this tomb has been dated to 350-300 BC, and it contains the earliest evidence of the institution of ajaw in the Maya Lowlands. Halach Uinik AJAW, sound file and syllabic glyph example at John Montgomerys Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs, published online at FAMSI http, //www. 4-ahau. com/en/The_13_Numbers. html
The Maya civilization developed in an area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador. The Archaic period, prior to 2000 BC, saw the first developments in agriculture, the first Maya cities developed around 750 BC, and by 500 BC these cities possessed monumental architecture, including large temples with elaborate stucco façades. Hieroglyphic writing was being used in the Maya region by the 3rd century BC, in the Late Preclassic a number of large cities developed in the Petén Basin, and Kaminaljuyu rose to prominence in the Guatemalan Highlands. Beginning around 250 AD, the Classic period is defined as when the Maya were raising sculpted monuments with Long Count dates. This period saw the Maya civilization develop a number of city-states linked by a complex trade network. In the Maya Lowlands two great rivals, Tikal and Calakmul, became powerful, the Classic period also saw the intrusive intervention of the central Mexican city of Teotihuacan in Maya dynastic politics. In the 9th century, there was a political collapse in the central Maya region, resulting in internecine warfare, the abandonment of cities. The Postclassic period saw the rise of Chichen Itza in the north, in the 16th century, the Spanish Empire colonized the Mesoamerican region, and a lengthy series of campaigns saw the fall of Nojpetén, the last Maya city in 1697. Classic period rule was centred on the concept of the divine king, kingship was patrilineal, and power would normally pass to the eldest son. A prospective king was expected to be a successful war leader. Maya politics was dominated by a system of patronage, although the exact political make-up of a kingdom varied from city-state to city-state. By the Late Classic, the aristocracy had greatly increased, resulting in the reduction in the exclusive power of the divine king. Maya cities tended to expand haphazardly, and the city centre would be occupied by ceremonial and administrative complexes, different parts of a city would often be linked by causeways. The principal architecture of the city consisted of palaces, pyramid-temples, ceremonial ballcourts, the Maya elite were literate, and developed a complex system of hieroglyphic writing that was the most advanced in the pre-Columbian Americas. The Maya recorded their history and ritual knowledge in screenfold books, there are also a great many examples of Maya text found on stelae and ceramics. The Maya developed a complex series of interlocking ritual calendars. As a part of their religion, the Maya practised human sacrifice, the Maya civilization developed within the Mesoamerican cultural area, which covers a region that spreads from northern Mexico southwards into Central America. Mesoamerica was one of six cradles of civilization worldwide, the Mesoamerican area gave rise to a series of cultural developments that included complex societies, agriculture, cities, monumental architecture, writing, and calendrical systems
Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a republic in Central America. It has at times referred to as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras. Honduras was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya, the Spanish introduced Roman Catholicism and the now predominant Spanish language, along with numerous customs that have blended with the indigenous culture. Honduras has the worlds highest murder rate, Honduras spans about 112,492 km2 and has a population exceeding 8 million. Its northern portions are part of the Western Caribbean Zone, as reflected in the areas demographics and culture. Honduras is known for its natural resources, including minerals, coffee, tropical fruit, and sugar cane, as well as for its growing textiles industry. Honduras literally means depths in Spanish, the name could either refer to the bay of Trujillo as an anchorage, fondura in the Leonese dialect of Spanish, or to Columbuss alleged quote that Gracias a Dios que hemos salido de esas Honduras. It was not until the end of the 16th century that Honduras was used for the whole province, prior to 1580, Honduras only referred to the eastern part of the province, and Higueras referred to the western part. Another early name is Guaymuras, revived as the name for the dialogue in 2009 that took place in Honduras as opposed to Costa Rica. In pre-Columbian times, modern Honduras was part of the Mesoamerican cultural area, in the west, the Maya civilization flourished for hundreds of years. The dominant state within Hondurass borders was in Copán, Copán fell with the other Lowland centres during the conflagrations of the Terminal Classic in the 9th century. The Maya of this civilization survive in western Honduras as the Chorti, remains of other Pre-Columbian cultures are found throughout the country. On 30 July 1502 Columbus sent his brother Bartholomew to explore the islands and Bartholomew encountered a Mayan trading vessel from Yucatán, carrying well-dressed Maya and a rich cargo. Bartholomews men stole whatever cargo they wanted and kidnapped the elderly captain to serve as an interpreter in what was the first recorded encounter between the Spanish and the Maya. In March 1524, Gil González Dávila became the first Spaniard to enter Honduras as a conquistador, followed by Hernán Cortés, bringing forces down from Mexico. Much of the conquest was done in the two decades, first by groups loyal to Cristóbal de Olid, and then by those loyal of Francisco Montejo. In addition to Spanish resources, the conquerors relied heavily on armed forces from Mexico—Tlaxcalans, resistance to conquest was led in particular by Lempira, and many regions in the north never fell to the Spanish, notably the Miskito Kingdom. After the Spanish conquest, Honduras became part of Spains vast empire in the New World within the Kingdom of Guatemala, Trujillo and Gracias were the first city-capitals
Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica into several periods, the Paleo-Indian, the Archaic, the Preclassic or Formative, the Classic, and the Postclassic. However, this applies to other pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations as well. 3500-2000 BCE During the Archaic Era agriculture was developed in the region, Late in this era, use of pottery and loom weaving became common, and class divisions began to appear. Many of the technologies of Mesoamerica in terms of stone-grinding, drilling. 1800 BCE–200 CE During the Preclassic Era, or Formative Period, large-scale ceremonial architecture, writing, cities, the Olmec civilization developed and flourished at such sites as La Venta and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán. 200–1000 CE The Classic Era was dominated by numerous independent city-states in the Maya region and also featured the beginnings of political unity in central Mexico, regional differences between cultures grew more manifest. The city-state of Monte Albán dominated the Valley of Oaxaca until the late Classic, highly sophisticated arts such as stuccowork, architecture, sculptural reliefs, mural painting, pottery, and lapidary developed and spread during the Classic era. In the Maya region, numerous city states such as Tikal, Calakmul, Copán, Palenque, Uxmal, Cobá, each of these polities was generally independent, although they often formed alliances and sometimes became vassal states of each other. The main conflict during this period was between Tikal and Calakmul, who fought a series of wars over the course of more than half a millennium, each of these states declined during the Terminal Classic and were eventually abandoned. This is sometimes seen as a period of increased chaos and warfare, the Postclassic is often viewed as a period of cultural decline. However, it was a time of technological advancement in architecture, engineering, metallurgy came into use for jewelry and some tools, with new alloys and techniques being developed in a few centuries. The Postclassic was a period of rapid movement and population growth — especially in Central Mexico post-1200 —, for instance, in Yucatán, dual rulership apparently replaced the more theocratic governments of Classic times, whilst oligarchic councils operated in much of Central Mexico. Likewise, it appears that the wealthy pochteca and military orders became more powerful than was apparently the case in Classic times and this afforded some Mesoamericans a degree of social mobility. The Toltec for a time dominated central Mexico in the 11th–13th century, the northern Maya were for a time united under Mayapan, and Oaxaca was briefly united by Mixtec rulers in the 11th–12th centuries. The Aztec Empire arose in the early 15th century and appeared to be on a path to asserting dominance over the Valley of Mexico region not seen since Teotihuacan. Spain was the first European power to contact Mesoamerica, however, and its conquistadores, by the 15th century, the Mayan revival in Yucatán and southern Guatemala and the flourishing of Aztec imperialism evidently enabled a renaissance of fine arts and science. Examples include the Pueblan-Mexica style in pottery, codex illumination, and goldwork, the flourishing of Nahua poetry, arguably, the Post-Classic continued until the conquest of the last independent native state of Mesoamerica, Tayasal, in 1697. Mesoamerican civilization was a network of different cultures
K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo'
His tomb is in the center of the Copán acropolis, he is buried with jade and shell jewelry, including his goggle-eyed headress. His image occupies the first position in the carving on Altar Q and his image is found in significant positions in other monuments of later rulers. Archaeological work done at Copán in 2000 excavated the tomb considered to be that of Kinich Yax Kuk Mo under the Acropolis. The skeleton exhibited a number of traumas including healed fractures of the arm, sternum, Kinich Yax Kuk Mo installed Tok Casper upon the throne of Quirigua. The Arrival of Strangers, Teotihuacan and Tollan in Classic Maya History, PARI Online Publications, Newsletter #25. Lost King of the Maya, Nova, PBS series, accessed April 8,2006
Chichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period. The archaeological site is located in Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán State, Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic and into the early portion of the Postclassic period. The site exhibits a multitude of styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, the ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the sites stewardship is maintained by Mexicos Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. The land under the monuments had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico, an estimated 1.4 million tourists visit the ruins every year. The Maya name Chichen Itza means At the mouth of the well of the Itza and this derives from chi, meaning mouth or edge, and chen or cheen, meaning well. Itzá is the name of an group that gained political. One possible translation for Itza is enchanter of the water, from its, sorcerer, the name is spelled Chichén Itzá in Spanish, and the accents are sometimes maintained in other languages to show that both parts of the name are stressed on their final syllable. Other references prefer the Maya orthography, Chichen Itza and this form preserves the phonemic distinction between ch and ch, since the base word cheen begins with a postalveolar ejective affricate consonant. The word Itza has a high tone on the a followed by a glottal stop, evidence in the Chilam Balam books indicates another, earlier name for this city prior to the arrival of the Itza hegemony in northern Yucatán. While most sources agree the first word means seven, there is debate as to the correct translation of the rest. This earlier name is difficult to define because of the absence of a standard of orthography. This name, dating to the Late Classic Period, is recorded both in the book of Chilam Balam de Chumayel and in texts in the ruins. Chichen Itza is located in the portion of Yucatán state in Mexico. The northern Yucatán Peninsula is arid, and the rivers in the interior all run underground, there are two large, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of the two cenotes, the Cenote Sagrado or Sacred Cenote, is the most famous, according to post-Conquest sources, pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac. Edward Herbert Thompson dredged the Cenote Sagrado from 1904 to 1910, a study of human remains taken from the Cenote Sagrado found that they had wounds consistent with human sacrifice