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The purpose of this timeline is to give the student the scope and vision of worldwide
events that were simultaneously occurring at the time then the Mayan civilization was developing in Mesoamerica. This knowledge should give the student of the Mayas an insight to
past and perhaps simultaneous links with other parts of the “known world”.
Lets take a brief look at the
Mayans' understanding of time. They used different names for time periods, such as "Katun" for a 20 year period.
They used a total cycle of 25,625 years. This time period was divided into 5 "ages" of 5,125 years
each. As you probably know, we are living in the last part of the 5th and FINAL Age, the Age of the Jaguar
which ends on December 21, 2012 (or in the year 2011). This age began in our year 3113 BC.
curiosity, let me runs the numbers back to the beginning in the First Age. If the 5 age began in 3113 BC, then
the fourth age began in the year 8238 BC. This then places the beginning of the third age in the year 13363 BC.
The second age then began in the year 16488 BC,
beginning of the first age at 23613 BC.
B.C. 3113 - In the year that the Mayan long count calendar
current world and mankind
were created by three
gods, in another part of the world, the Biblical man
Adam was celebrating his 887th birthday in 3113 BC (if
you place him at 4,000
B.C.). Forty-three years later,
B.C. 2000 – archaeologists say that the first
peoples came to the
of present day Mexico and began farming.
During this time others continued to migrate into the
area known as the Yucatán
Peninsula, and on down
into present day Guatemala. At the same time,
there were developed cities in Mesopotamia
such as the City of Ur
of the Chaldees. Its’ ruins can
still be seen from the air. Abraham left this city with
his wife and set course for the modern day site of the
“Holy Land”. Ur was
very developed by this
time. Archaeology shows that
they had a type of
“flush” toilet. Further to the west, Egypt was
already a developed country under the rule of the
B.C. 1250-1000 The Olmec
civilization had developed along with their
religion, along the coastline, just south of the Yucatán
Peninsula. They had carved out stone monoliths with
Negroid facial features. In Europe, the Greeks had
influenced the “known world” with their Helenistic
pantheon of gods, their language, architecture, and art.
The area of Israel had grown prolifically,
drought had caused a famine. Many had migrated to
Egypt and had increased their population to the point
that the Egyptians were afraid they might take over
Thus, the Egyptians made slaves of the Israelites.
After many years of slavery, an adopted son of Pharaoh
decided he would give up his claim to the throne and
help free the slaves. His final decision was made when
he discovered that his real mother was an Israelite.
He was responsible for
the great exodus of the
Israelites from Egypt. His name was Moses.
B.C. 1800-900 –
The Mayan civilization was just now beginning to take
shape. The Greeks were still going strong in Europe.
The Code of Hammurabi was set forth as law.
their two popular kings were King David and King
B.C. 900-300 - During the middle pre-classic period of the Mayans
their villages and small towns
moved from the coast and
spread inland across the lowlands. They traveled along
the rivers, penetrating the center of what would later be
called the “heartland” of the Mayans. Early Mayan
solar calendars were carved in stone.
were still small, but this gave the basic structure for
future growth. Northern present
at this time. In the year B.C. 722, the Northern
Israel was carried off into captivity by the
Assyrians. In B.C. 750, Isaiah
was a prophet to the
northern kingdom of Israel; and in B.C. 563, Buddha
was born. In Europe, by B.C. 333, Alexander
had conquered all of the known world, sat down on
rock and cried because there was nothing else to
conquer. The Romans Empire has
its beginnings. The
first Olympic Games begin in B.C. 750. The Great
Wall of China is built in B.C. 221.
B.C. 300-A.D. 250 During the short time span of the late pre-classic
Mayan period, the Old
Testament Apocryphal writings
took place between B.C. 410-50. The Maccabean Wars
took place. About A.D. 143, the Essene community had
its beginnings. Rome invades Judea
in B.C. 63.
Cleopatra dies B.C. 30. Egypt
becomes a part of the
Christ is born in Bethlehem in B.C. 4.
He is cricified in A.D. 29. In
A.D. 70, Rome invades
Jerusalem and destroys the Jewish Temple. The New
Testament Gospels are written. By A.D. 250, it is a
crime to be
a Christian. General persecution of the
Christians began. Mount
In B.C.. 100 The City of Teotihuacán is founded (later
Mexico City). A.D. 100 - The Olmec civilization
250 – 600 - Mayan Early Classic Period.
Chichén Itzá at its
peak in A.D. 433.
In the 500’s the
sciences of mathematics and astronomy
are flourishing in Copán. The majority of
are sculptured in late 200’s and early 300’s. Written
on these stelae are dates in the long count system.
In Europe, the Roman Empeorer Constantine has a
vision of a cross in the son. At least in name, he
converts to Christianity in A.D. 313. He has his entire
army baptized (sprinkled) and ends
persecution of Christians. Actually, by A.D. 300, there
are so many Christians, and in prominent positions, it
practical to persecute them. It would
vacant too many government positions, it would have
been very difficult to rule. The Council of Nicea meets. A.D. 325. Zen Buddhism
500 - The Mayan center of Tikal,
in the Guatamalan flourishes.
600 – 900 Late Classic Period is marked by increase in stela
production, strong political centers
such as Tikal,
Caracol, Copán, Naranjo, & El Pilar. The Mayan
area now covers about 15,000 square miles. In
Egypt, The Great Library at Alexandria
its’ 300,000 manuscripts. In A.D. 622 the
Muslim period begins by Mohammed. The Hebrew
Masoretic Text (Bible) is completed in A.D. 900.
A.D. 600 - The City of Teotihuacán and its’ influence on surrounding
A.D. 683 - King Pacal dies in Palénque, Mexico, and is buried in the
Temple of the Inscriptions.
869 - Tikal
reaches its’ peak and starts to decline. All
construction is stopped.
899 - Tikal
A.D. 987 - Kulkulkán, the plummed serpent god of the Mayas, (called
Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs) becomes the ruler and
god of the Mayans. There is a brief flourish
culture until the year 1194.
A.D. 988 - Vladimir brings Christianity
A.D. 1000 – 1100
- Terminal Classic Period – Ball courts, temples, and
pyramids at Chichén Itzá. In Europe the first
Crusades begin. There is an East-West
the catholic church.
A.D. 1194 - Chichén Itzá is destroyed. China invents gunpowder for
Late Post Classic Period
1263 - The Itzá Mayans build the City of Mayapán
1283 - Mayapán becomes the Mayan capital in the Yucatán.
A.D. 1441 - Mayapán suffers rebellion, and is destroyed from within
by the rebels. The Yucatán is then divided into many
small groups, and the power of the Mayan Empire is
broken forever. In Europe, the Latin Vulgate is first
printed. It is called the Guttenberg