Palenque, Chichen Itza, Tikal, Copan:
Magic cities, already left and fallen victim to the jungle at Columbus´ times.
The ancient maya culture covered territories of todays Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. The hierarchically struktured society was ruled by an aristocracy which controlled the cities with a theocratic gouvernment.
It is widely assumed that the mayas ancestors invaded the land around ca. 250 AC from the north of Mexico, which was the beginning of the classic period of the maya culture. The cultural centers of Tikal, Copan and Palenque date to this time. Writing and the calender of the maya were developed here.
Esthetical sophistication and scientific genius are typical of the maya, therefore renamed the Greeks of the new world. This culture disappeared in the tenth century, perhaps due to military aggression by Toltecs. In the following postclassic period the cities (Chichen Itza, Mayapan, Uxmal) lack religious wealth and the peaceful gods of the priests are replaced by wargods.