Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in North America. It extends from central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and northern Costa Rica, within this region pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century, European diseases like smallpox and measles caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people, it is one of five areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico in present-day Peru, in the northern coastal region. As a cultural area, Mesoamerica is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits developed and shared by its indigenous cultures. Beginning as early as 7000 BCE, the domestication of cacao, beans, avocado, vanilla and chili, as well as the turkey and dog, caused a transition from paleo-Indian hunter-gatherer tribal grouping to the organization of sedentary agricultural villages. In the subsequent Formative period and cultural traits such as a complex mythological and religious tradition, a vigesimal numeric system, a complex calendric system, a tradition of ball playing, a distinct architectural style, were diffused through the area.
In this period, villages began to become stratified and develop into chiefdoms with the development of large ceremonial centers, interconnected by a network of trade routes for the exchange of luxury goods, such as obsidian, cacao, Spondylus shells and ceramics. While Mesoamerican civilization did know of the wheel and basic metallurgy, neither of these technologies became culturally important. Among the earliest complex civilizations was the Olmec culture, which inhabited the Gulf Coast of Mexico and extended inland and southwards across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Frequent contact and cultural interchange between the early Olmec and other cultures in Chiapas and Oaxaca laid the basis for the Mesoamerican cultural area. All this was facilitated by considerable regional communications in ancient Mesoamerica along the Pacific coast; this formative period saw the spread of distinct religious and symbolic traditions, as well as artistic and architectural complexes. In the subsequent Preclassic period, complex urban polities began to develop among the Maya, with the rise of centers such as El Mirador and Tikal, the Zapotec at Monte Albán.
During this period, the first true Mesoamerican writing systems were developed in the Epi-Olmec and the Zapotec cultures, the Mesoamerican writing tradition reached its height in the Classic Maya hieroglyphic script. Mesoamerica is one of only three regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed. In Central Mexico, the height of the Classic period saw the ascendancy of the city of Teotihuacan, which formed a military and commercial empire whose political influence stretched south into the Maya area and northward. Upon the collapse of Teotihuacán around 600 AD, competition between several important political centers in central Mexico, such as Xochicalco and Cholula, ensued. At this time during the Epi-Classic period, the Nahua peoples began moving south into Mesoamerica from the North, became politically and culturally dominant in central Mexico, as they displaced speakers of Oto-Manguean languages. During the early post-Classic period, Central Mexico was dominated by the Toltec culture, Oaxaca by the Mixtec, the lowland Maya area had important centers at Chichén Itzá and Mayapán.
Towards the end of the post-Classic period, the Aztecs of Central Mexico built a tributary empire covering most of central Mesoamerica. The distinct Mesoamerican cultural tradition ended with the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Over the next centuries, Mesoamerican indigenous cultures were subjected to Spanish colonial rule. Aspects of the Mesoamerican cultural heritage still survive among the indigenous peoples who inhabit Mesoamerica, many of whom continue to speak their ancestral languages, maintain many practices harking back to their Mesoamerican roots; the term Mesoamerica means "middle America" in Greek. Middle America refers to a larger area in the Americas, but it has previously been used more narrowly to refer to Mesoamerica. An example is the title of the 16 volumes of The Handbook of Middle American Indians. "Mesoamerica" is broadly defined as the area, home to the Mesoamerican civilization, which comprises a group of peoples with close cultural and historical ties. The exact geographic extent of Mesoamerica has varied through time, as the civilization extended North and South from its heartland in southern Mexico.
The term was first used by the German ethnologist Paul Kirchhoff, who noted that similarities existed among the various pre-Columbian cultures within the region that included southern Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, western Honduras, the Pacific lowlands of Nicaragua and northwestern Costa Rica. In the tradition of cultural history, the prevalent archaeological theory of the early to middle 20th century, Kirchhoff defined this zone as a cultural area based on a suite of interrelated cultural similarities brought about by millennia of inter- and intra-regional interaction. Mesoamerica is recognized as a near-prototypical cultural area, the term is now integrated in the standard terminology of pre-Columbian anthropological studies. Conversely, the sister terms Aridoamerica and Oasisamerica, which refer to northern Mexico and the western United States have not entered into widespread usage; some of the significant cultural traits defining the Mesoamerican cultural tradition are: sedentism based on maize agricultu
Honduras the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. In the past, it was sometimes referred to as "Spanish Honduras" to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became modern-day Belize; the republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea. Honduras was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya, before the Spanish invaded in the sixteenth century; the Spanish introduced Roman Catholicism and the now predominant Spanish language, along with numerous customs that have blended with the indigenous culture. Honduras became independent in 1821 and has since been a republic, although it has endured much social strife and political instability, remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. In 1960, the northern part of what was the Mosquito Coast was transferred from Nicaragua to Honduras by the International Court of Justice.
The nation's economy is agricultural, making it vulnerable to natural disasters such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The lower class is agriculturally based while wealth is concentrated in the country's urban centers. Honduras has a Human Development Index of 0.625, classifying it as a nation with medium development. When the Index is adjusted for income inequality, its Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index is 0.443. Honduran society is predominantly Mestizo; the nation had a high political stability until its 2009 coup and again with the 2017 presidential election. Honduras has high levels of sexual violence. Honduras has a population exceeding 9 million, its northern portions are part of the Western Caribbean Zone, as reflected in the area's demographics and culture. Honduras is known for its rich natural resources, including minerals, tropical fruit, sugar cane, as well as for its growing textiles industry, which serves the international market; the literal meaning of the term "Honduras" is "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 Columbus's alleged quote that "Gracias a Dios que hemos salido de esas Honduras". It was not until the end of the 16th century. Prior to 1580, Honduras referred to only the eastern part of the province, Higueras referred to the western part. Another early name is Guaymuras, revived as the name for the political dialogue in 2009 that took place in Honduras as opposed to Costa Rica. Hondurans are referred to as Catracho or Catracha in Spanish; the word was coined by Nicaraguans and derives from the last name of the Spanish Honduran General Florencio Xatruch, who in 1857 led Honduran armed forces against an attempted invasion by North American adventurer William Walker. The nickname is considered not derogatory. In pre-Columbian times, modern Honduras was part of the Mesoamerican cultural area. In the west, Mayan civilization flourished for hundreds of years; the dominant state within Honduras' 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 Ch'orti', isolated from their Choltian linguistic peers to the west. Remnants of other Pre-Columbian cultures are found throughout the country. Archaeologists have studied sites such as Naco and La Sierra in the Naco Valley, Los Naranjos on Lake Yojoa, Yarumela in the Comayagua Valley, La Ceiba and Salitron Viejo, Selin Farm and Cuyamel in the Aguan valley, Cerro Palenque, Curruste, Despoloncal in the lower Ulua river valley, many others. On his fourth and the final voyage to the New World in 1502, Christopher Columbus landed near the modern town of Trujillo, near Guaimoreto Lagoon, becoming the first European to visit the Bay Islands on the coast of Honduras. 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.
Bartholomew's men stole the cargo they wanted and kidnapped the ship's elderly captain to serve as an interpreter in 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, who had brought forces down from Mexico. Much of the conquest took place in the following two decades, first by groups loyal to Cristóbal de Olid, by those loyal to Francisco de Montejo but most by those following Alvarado. In addition to Spanish resources, the conquerors relied on armed forces from Mexico—Tlaxcalans and Mexica armies of thousands who remained garrisoned in the region. Resistance to conquest was led in particular by Lempira. Many regions in the north of Honduras never fell to the Spanish, notably the Miskito Kingdom. After the Spanish conquest, Honduras became part of Spain's vast empire in the New World within the Kingdom of Guatemala. Trujillo and Gracias were the first city-capitals.
The Spanish ruled the region for three centuries. Honduras was organized as a province of the Kingdom of Guatemala and the capital was fixed, first at Trujillo on the Atlantic coast, at Comayagua, final
The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, mathematics and astronomical system. The Maya civilization developed in an area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador; this region consists of the northern lowlands encompassing the Yucatán Peninsula, the highlands of the Sierra Madre, running from the Mexican state of Chiapas, across southern Guatemala and onwards into El Salvador, the southern lowlands of the Pacific littoral plain. The Archaic period, prior to 2000 BC, saw the first developments in agriculture and the earliest villages; the Preclassic period saw the establishment of the first complex societies in the Maya region, the cultivation of the staple crops of the Maya diet, including maize, beans and chili peppers. The first Maya cities developed around 750 BC, 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, the city of 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 large number of city-states linked by a complex trade network. In the Maya Lowlands two great rivals, the cities of Tikal and Calakmul, became powerful; the Classic period saw the intrusive intervention of the central Mexican city of Teotihuacan in Maya dynastic politics. In the 9th century, there was a widespread political collapse in the central Maya region, resulting in internecine warfare, the abandonment of cities, a northward shift of population; the Postclassic period saw the rise of Chichen Itza in the north, the expansion of the aggressive Kʼicheʼ kingdom in the Guatemalan Highlands. In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire colonized the Mesoamerican region, 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", who acted as a mediator between mortals and the supernatural realm. Kingship was patrilineal, power would pass to the eldest son. A prospective king was expected to be a successful war leader. Maya politics was dominated by a closed 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 increased, resulting in the corresponding reduction in the exclusive power of the divine king; the Maya civilization developed sophisticated artforms, the Maya created art using both perishable and non-perishable materials, including wood, obsidian, sculpted stone monuments and finely painted murals. Maya cities tended to expand haphazardly, the city centre would be occupied by ceremonial and administrative complexes, surrounded by an irregular sprawl of residential districts. Different parts of a city would be linked by causeways; the principal architecture of the city consisted of palaces, pyramid-temples, ceremonial ballcourts, structures aligned for astronomical observation.
The Maya elite were literate, developed a complex system of hieroglyphic writing, the most advanced in the pre-Columbian Americas. The Maya recorded their history and ritual knowledge in screenfold books, of which only three uncontested examples remain, the rest having been destroyed by the Spanish. There are a great many examples of Maya text found on stelae and ceramics; the Maya developed a complex series of interlocking ritual calendars, employed mathematics that included one of the earliest instances of the explicit zero in the world. 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, cities, monumental architecture and calendrical systems. The set of traits shared by Mesoamerican cultures included astronomical knowledge and human sacrifice, a cosmovision that viewed the world as divided into four divisions aligned with the cardinal directions, each with different attributes, a three-way division of the world into the celestial realm, the earth, the underworld.
By 6000 BC, the early inhabitants of Mesoamerica were experimenting with the domestication of plants, a process that led to the establishment of sedentary agricultural societies. The diverse climate allowed for wide variation in available crops, but all regions of Mesoamerica cultivated the base crops of maize and squashes. All Mesoamerican cultures used Stone Age technology. Mesoamerica lacked draft animals, did not use the wheel, possessed few domesticated animals. Mesoamericans viewed the world as hostile and governed by unpredictable deities; the ritual Mesoamerican ballgame was played. Mesoamerica is linguistically diverse, with most languages falling within a small number of language families—the major families are Mayan, Mixe–Zoquean and Uto-Aztecan.
Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD; the city was in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region, on the frontier with the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region, was surrounded by non-Maya peoples. Copán was occupied for more than two thousand years, from the Early Preclassic period to the Postclassic; the city developed a distinctive sculptural style within the tradition of the lowland Maya to emphasize the Maya ethnicity of the city's rulers. The city has a historical record that spans the greater part of the Classic period and has been reconstructed in detail by archaeologists and epigraphers. Copán was a powerful city ruling a vast kingdom within the southern Maya area; the city suffered a major political disaster in AD 738 when Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil, one of the greatest kings in Copán's dynastic history, was captured and executed by his former vassal, the king of Quiriguá.
This unexpected defeat resulted in a 17-year hiatus at the city, during which time Copán may have been subject to Quiriguá in a reversal of fortunes. A significant portion of the eastern side of the acropolis was eroded away by the Copán River, it is thought that the ancient name of Copán was Oxwitik, meaning the "Three Witiks", although the meaning of the word witik itself remains obscure. Copán is in western Honduras close to the border with Guatemala, it lies within the municipality of Copán Ruinas in the department of Copán. It is in a fertile valley among foothills at 700 meters above mean sea level; the ruins of the site core of the city are 1.6 kilometers from the modern village of Copán Ruinas, built on the site of a major complex dating to the Classic period. In the Preclassic period the floor of the Copán Valley was undulating and prone to seasonal flooding. In the Early Classic, the inhabitants flattened the valley floor and undertook construction projects to protect the city's architecture from the effects of flooding.
Copán had a major influence on regional centres across western and central Honduras, stimulating the introduction of Mesoamerican characteristics to local elites. At the peak of its power in the Late Classic, the kingdom of Copán had a population of at least 20,000 and covered an area of over 250 square kilometers; the greater Copán area consisting of the populated areas of the valley covered about a quarter of the size of the city of Tikal. It is estimated that the peak population in central Copán was between 6000 and 9000 in an area of 0.6 square kilometers, with a further 9,000 to 12,000 inhabitants occupying the periphery—an area of 23.4 square kilometers. Additionally, there was an estimated rural population of 3,000 to 4,000 in a 476-square-kilometer area of the Copán Valley, giving an estimated total population of 18,000 to 25,000 people in the valley during the Late Classic period. Little is known of the rulers of Copán before the founding of a new dynasty with its origins at Tikal in the early 5th century AD, although the city's origins can be traced back to the Preclassic period.
After this, Copán became one of the more powerful Maya city states and was a regional power in the southern Maya region. However, it suffered a catastrophic defeat at the hands of its former vassal state Quirigua in 738, when the long-ruling king Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil was captured and beheaded by Quirigua's ruler K'ak' Tiliw Chan Yopaat. Although this was a major setback, Copán's rulers began to build monumental structures again within a few decades; the area of Copán continued to be occupied after the last major ceremonial structures and royal monuments were erected, but the population declined in the 8th and 9th centuries from over 20,000 in the city to less than 5,000. This decrease in population took over four centuries to show signs of collapse, showing the stability of this site after the fall of the ruling dynasties and royal families; the ceremonial center was long abandoned and the surrounding valley home to only a few farming hamlets at the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.
References to the predynastic rulers of Copán are found in texts, but none of these texts predate the refounding of Copán in AD 426. The fertile Copán River valley was long a site of agriculture before the first known stone architecture was built in the region about the 9th century BC; the city was important before its refounding by a foreign elite. There is an inscription that refers to the year 321 BC, but no text explains the significance of this date. An event at Copán is linked to another event that happened 208 days before in AD 159 at an unknown location, mentioned on a stela from Tikal, suggesting that it is a location somewhere in the Petén Basin the great Preclassic Maya city of El Mirador; this AD 159 date is mentioned in several texts and is linked to a figure known as "Foliated Ajaw". This same person is mentioned on the carved skull of a peccary recovered from Tomb 1, where he is said to perform an action with a stela in AD 376; the city was refounded by K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo', establishing it as the capital of a new Maya kingdom.
This coup was organized and launched from Tikal. Texts record the arrival of a warrior named K'uk' Mo' Ajaw, installed upon the throne of the city in AD 426 and given a new royal name, K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo' and the ochk'in kaloomte "Lord
Copán Altar Q
Altar Q is the designation given to one of the most notable of the rectangular sculpted stone blocks recovered at the Mesoamerican archaeological site of Copán, present-day Honduras. Copán was a major Maya civilization center during the Classic period of Mesoamerican chronology, Altar Q records a dynastic lineage for the Copán-based polity in the Maya script, it was created during the rule of King Yax Pac in 776. Each of the sixteen leaders of Copan are shown with a full body portrait, four on each side of the monument, it starts with Yax K'uk' Mo', who ruled starting in 426 AD, extends through 763 AD, ending with Yax Pasaj Chan Yoaat. Therefore, the monument's depictions span fifty years of time; each ruler is seated on a glyph that represents his name, except for the dynastic founder Yax K'uk' Mo', seated on the glyph for "lord", whose name is given in his headdress. Yax Kuk Mo is shown handing down the insignia of reign to Yax Pac; this was a form of propaganda, intended to show that Yax Pac was just as worthy of rule as the first leader.
The name Altar Q was given by Alfred P. Maudslay who conducted the first archeological exploration of the site in 1886. At that time the altar was located at the bottom of the staircase in Structure 16, the central pyramid in Copán's acropolis, it has subsequently been moved to the Copán Sculpture Museum. According to David Stuart: The inscription on the top of Altar Q tells the story about Yax K'uk Mo' and how he came to Copan, it begins with a reference to a day in the early 400s, when it says that he took the emblems of office at a place that we think is connected somehow to Teotihuacan or with Central Mexico somewhere. Three days it says, he comes from that place, he leaves that spot. And the inscription goes on to say something remarkable. A hundred and fifty three days after he leaves Central Mexico, he rests his legs, and it says he is a West Lord, that's a title that he has throughout the Copan inscriptions throughout history. And finally, the last two glyphs of the passage read "Hu'li Uxwitikî," "he arrived at Copan."
So there's no question in my mind that K'Inich Yax K'uk Mo' became a king at a far away spot in Central Mexico and brought those emblems of office back here to Copan to found the dynasty. According to Linda Manzanilla: In 378 a group of Teotihuacanos organized a coup d'etat in Tikal, Guatemala; this was not the Teotihuacan state. The Feathered-Serpent Pyramid was burnt, all the sculptures were torn from the temple, another platform was built to efface the facade... Copán Bench Panel Gerd Sdouz: Altar Q – Copan, Honduras. Verlag Berger, Horn/Vienna 2015. ISBN 978-3-85028-680-0. (bilingual. Altar Q facts QuickTime video of all sides of Altar Q 3D model of Altar Q
Palenque anciently known as Lakamha, was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date from ca. 226 BC to ca. AD 799. After its decline, it was absorbed into the jungle of cedar and sapodilla trees, but has since been excavated and restored, it is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen, 150 m above sea level. It averages a humid 26 °C with 2160 mm of rain a year. Palenque is a medium-sized site, smaller than Tikal, Chichen Itza, or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments; the most famous ruler of Palenque was K'inich Janaab Pakal, or Pacal the Great, whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions. By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km², but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle.
Palenque received 920,470 visitors in 2017. Mythological beings using a variety of emblem glyphs in their titles suggests a complex early history. For instance, K'uk' B'ahlam, the supposed founder of the Palenque dynasty, is called a Toktan Ajaw in the text of the Temple of the Foliated Cross; the famous structures that we know today represent a rebuilding effort in response to the attacks by the city of Calakmul and its client states in 599 and 611. One of the main figures responsible for rebuilding Palenque and for a renaissance in the city's art and architecture is one of the best-known Maya Ajaw, K'inich Janaab' Pakal, who ruled from 615 to 683, he is known through his funerary monument, dubbed the Temple of Inscriptions, after the lengthy text preserved in the temple's superstructure. At the time Alberto Ruz Lhuillier excavated Pakal's tomb, it was the richest and best preserved of any scientifically excavated burial known from the ancient Americas, it held this position until the discovery of the rich Moche burials at Sipan and the recent discoveries at Copan and Calakmul.
Beside the attention that K'inich Janaab' Pakal's tomb brought to Palenque, the city is significant for its extensive hieroglyphic corpus composed during the reigns of Janaab' Pakal, his son K'inich Kan B'ahlam, his grandson K'inich Akal Mo' Naab', for being the location where Heinrich Berlin and Linda Schele and Peter Mathews outlined the first dynastic list for any Maya city. The work of Tatiana Proskouriakoff as well as that of Berlin, Schele and others, initiated the intense historical investigations that characterized much of the scholarship on the ancient Maya from the 1960s to the present; the extensive iconography and textual corpus has allowed for study of Classic period Maya mythology and ritual practice. A list of possible and known Maya rulers of the city, with dates of their reigns: The first ajaw, or king, of B'aakal that we know of was K'uk Balam, who governed for four years starting in the year 431. After him, a king came to nicknamed Casper by archaeologists; the next two kings were Casper's sons.
Little was known about the first of these, B'utz Aj Sak Chiik, until 1994, when a tablet was found describing a ritual for the king. The first tablet mentioned his successor Ahkal Mo' Naab I as a teenage prince, therefore it is believed that there was a family relation between them. For unknown reasons, Akhal Mo' Naab I had great prestige, so the kings who succeeded him were proud to be his descendants; when Ahkal Mo' Naab I died in 524, there was an interregnum of four years, before the following king was crowned en Toktán in 529. K'an Joy Chitam I governed for 36 years, his sons Ahkal Mo' Naab II and K'an B'alam I were the first kings who used the title Kinich, which means "the great sun". This word was used by kings. B'alam was succeeded in 583 by Yohl Ik'nal, his daughter; the inscriptions found in Palenque document a battle that occurred under her government in which troops from Calakmul invaded and sacked Palenque, a military feat without known precedents. These events took place in 599. A second victory by Calakmul occurred some twelve years in 611, under the government of Aj Ne' Yohl Mat, son of Yohl Iknal.
In this occasion, the king of Calakmul entered Palenque in person, consolidating a significant military disaster, followed by an epoch of political disorder. Aj Ne' Yohl Mat was to die in 612. B'aakal began the Late Classic period in the throes of the disorder created by the defeats before Calakmul; the glyphic panels at the Temple of Inscriptions, which records the events at this time, relates that some fundamental annual religious ceremonies were not performed in 613, at this point states: "Lost is the divine lady, lost is the king." Mentions of the government at the time have not been found. It is believed that after the death of Aj Ne' Yohl Mat, Janaab Pakal called Pakal I, took power thanks to a political agreement. Janaab Pakal never was crowned, he was succeeded in 612 by his daughter, the queen Sak K'uk', who governed for only three years until her son was old enough to rule. It is considered that the dynasty was reestablished from on, so B'aakal retook the path of glory and splendor. T
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants. Although some indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers—and many in the Amazon basin, still are—many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture; the impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time and work in reshaping and cultivating the flora indigenous to the Americas. Although some societies depended on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming and gathering. In some regions the indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, city-states, states and empires. Among these are the Aztec and Maya states that until the 16th century were among the most politically and advanced nations in the world, they had a vast knowledge of engineering, mathematics, writing, medicine and irrigation, mining and goldsmithing. Many parts of the Americas are still populated by indigenous peoples.
At least a thousand different indigenous languages are spoken in the Americas. Some, such as the Quechuan languages, Guaraní, Mayan languages and Nahuatl, count their speakers in millions. Many maintain aspects of indigenous cultural practices to varying degrees, including religion, social organization and subsistence practices. Like most cultures, over time, cultures specific to many indigenous peoples have evolved to incorporate traditional aspects but cater to modern needs; some indigenous peoples still live in relative isolation from Western culture and a few are still counted as uncontacted peoples. Indigenous peoples of the United States are known as Native Americans or American Indians and Alaska Natives. Application of the term "Indian" originated with Christopher Columbus, who, in his search for India, thought that he had arrived in the East Indies; those islands came to be known as the "West Indies", a name still used. This led to the blanket term "Indies" and "Indians" for the indigenous inhabitants, which implied some kind of racial or cultural unity among the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
This unifying concept, codified in law and politics, was not accepted by the myriad groups of indigenous peoples themselves, but has since been embraced or tolerated, by many over the last two centuries. Though the term "Indian" does not include the culturally and linguistically distinct indigenous peoples of the Arctic regions of the Americas—such as the Aleuts, Inuit or Yupik peoples, who entered the continent as a second more recent wave of migration several thousand years before and have much more recent genetic and cultural commonalities with the aboriginal peoples of the Asiatic Arctic Russian Far East—these groups are nonetheless considered "indigenous peoples of the Americas". Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, which includes not only First Nations and Arctic Inuit, but the minority population of First Nations-European mixed race Métis people who identify culturally and ethnically with indigenous peoplehood; this is contrasted, for instance, to the American Indian-European mixed race mestizos of Hispanic America who, with their larger population, identify as a new ethnic group distinct from both Europeans and Indigenous Americans, but still considering themselves a subset of the European-derived Hispanic or Brazilian peoplehood in culture and ethnicity.
The term Amerindian and its cognates find preferred use in scientific contexts and in Quebec, the Guianas and the English-speaking Caribbean. Indígenas or pueblos indígenas is a common term in Spanish-speaking countries and pueblos nativos or nativos may be heard, while aborigen is used in Argentina and pueblos originarios is common in Chile. In Brazil, indígenas or povos indígenas are common if formal-sounding designations, while índio is still the more often-heard term and aborígene and nativo being used in Amerindian-specific contexts; the Spanish and Portuguese equivalents to Indian could be used to mean any hunter-gatherer or full-blooded Indigenous person to continents other than Europe or Africa—for example, indios filipinos. The specifics of Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the exact dates and routes traveled, are the subject of ongoing research and discussion. According to archaeological and genetic evidence and South America were the last continents in the world to gain human habitation.
During the Wisconsin glaciation, 50–17,000 years ago, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the land bridge of Beringia that joined Siberia to northwest North America. Alaska was a glacial refugium; the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered most of North America, blocking nomadic inhabitants and confining them to Alaska for thousands of years. Indigenous genetic studies suggest that the first inhabitants of the Americas share a single ancestral population, one that developed in isolation, conjectured to be Beringia; the isolat