At Joya de Cerén, a volcanic eruption preserved a record of foodstuffs stored in Maya homes, among them were chilies and tomatoes. yas.  This period was characterised by sedentary communities and the introduction of pottery and fired clay figurines.  The Maya city of Chichen Itza and the distant Toltec capital of Tula had an especially close relationship. The city of Izamal was founded, according to this legend, by Zamna (associated with the deity Itzamna) of the Itzas who placed the sacred writings under the central temple. , The Maya were keen observers of the sun, stars, and planets. You can see the rough outline here on this map of where the Mayan civilization occurred.  By the Postclassic period, Yucatec was also being written in Maya codices alongside Chʼolan.  Kukulkan had his origins in the Classic period War Serpent, Waxaklahun Ubah Kan, and has also been identified as the Postclassic version of the Vision Serpent of Classic Maya art. , Marketplaces are difficult to identify archaeologically. 179, 182–83. Small sections of a main sign could be used to represent the whole main sign, and Maya scribes were highly inventive in their usage and adaptation of glyph elements. The most popular says that the Maya sacrificed the winners so as to give a perfect gift to the gods. Stelae were no longer raised, and squatters moved into abandoned royal palaces. Two opposing teams of seven men each would face each other on a ball court and try to score a small rubber ball through a vertical hoop affixed to a wall (sometimes as high as twenty feet in the air, sometimes higher) while defending their own goal.  The titles of ah tzʼihb and ah chʼul hun are both related to scribes.  Mesoamerica is linguistically diverse, with most languages falling within a small number of language families—the major families are Mayan, Mixe–Zoquean, Otomanguean, and Uto-Aztecan; there are also a number of smaller families and isolates. Maya deities governed all aspects of the world, both visible and invisible.  Copán reached the height of its cultural and artistic development during the rule of Uaxaclajuun Ubʼaah Kʼawiil, who ruled from 695 to 738. Generally only high status prisoners of war were sacrificed, with lower status captives being used for labour.  There was no universal structure for the Maya royal court, instead each polity formed a royal court that was suited to its own individual context. The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system. It includes the northern lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula and the highlands of the Sierra Madre, the Mexican state of Chiapas, southern Guatemala, El Salvador, and the southern lowlands of the Pacific littoral plain.  Some buildings contained interior stairways that accessed different levels. It is not known if all members of the aristocracy could read and write, although at least some women could, since there are representations of female scribes in Maya art. Sharer & Traxler 2006, p. 387. From this, it is known that at least some traders were members of the elite.  It is one of the most outstanding works of indigenous literature in the Americas.  Epigraphers Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube argue for a two-day shift from the standard GMT correlation.  Examples of Chenes sites include Dzibilnocac, Hochob, Santa Rosa Xtampak, and Tabasqueño.  The Maya valued Spondylus shells, and worked them to remove the white exterior and spines, to reveal the fine orange interior.  Deities recorded in the Popul Vuh include Hun Hunahpu, the Kʼicheʼ maize god, and a triad of deities led by the Kʼicheʼ patron Tohil, and also including the moon goddess Awilix, and the mountain god Jacawitz. The king of Tikal, Chak Tok Ichʼaak I, died on the same day, suggesting a violent takeover. The Zapotec Period: 600 BCE-800 CE – In the region surrounding modern-day Oaxaca, the cultural center now known as Monte Alban was founded which became the capital of the Zapotec kingdom.  Political power was reinforced by military power, and the capture and humiliation of enemy warriors played an important part in elite culture.  Titled elites were often associated with particular structures in the hieroglyphic inscriptions of Classic period cities, indicating that such office holders either owned that structure, or that the structure was an important focus for their activities. , In the highlands, Kaminaljuyu emerged as a principal centre in the Late Preclassic. The priests performed public ceremonies that incorporated feasting, bloodletting, incense burning, music, ritual dance, and, on certain occasions, human sacrifice. These were the 260-day tzolkʼin, the 365-day haabʼ, and the 52-year Calendar Round, resulting from the combination of the tzolkʼin with the haab'. The priestly interpretation of astronomical records and books was therefore crucial, since the priest would understand which deity required ritual propitiation, when the correct ceremonies should be performed, and what would be an appropriate offering.  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