January 25, 2012

An Ancient Mayan Geography Lesson...

For those of you following our missions team trip to Hospital Shalom, Petén, Guatemala, I found a website that gave a nice brief of where the people groups concentrated throughout the Meso-American countries. Our team is working smack dab in the middle of the area previously occupied by the ancient “lowland Mayas” of the rainforest in Guatemala.

“At its peak during the “classic” period (A.D. 250 – 850) the total Mayan population blanketed an area of about 120,000 square miles, covering vast areas of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, but just barely dipping into Honduras and El Salvador.”
“The Mayan territory of that day could be divided into three general areas. First, there was the Yucatán Peninsula, with its cities such as Chichén Itzá and Uxmal. Secondly, there were the Guatemalan  “highland” people whose culture was somewhat different because of heavy influences by the Aztecs. Lastly, there were “lowland Mayas” of the rainforest. This group covered the Guatemala Petén, extended eastward to the coast of Belize, northward into Chiápas, Mexico, and then southward into northern Honduras. The lowland cities included those of Tikal, Palénque, Caracol, Copán, and Chichén Itzá. The northernmost Mayan temple is in the Yucatán, while the southernmost temple is in Copán, Honduras.”
Excerpt taken from Mayan Archaeology Language & Geography website.

[Carpe Vas Note: Use of the geographical excerpt does not imply that I agree with other statements or positions of the author/s of the Mayan Archaeology website.]


The map image above shows the location of Mayan ruins throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, and focuses a bit more on ancient sites in Mexico than Guatemala. However, the “lowlands of the rainforest” in Guatemala are in the northern part of the country -- the part that sticks up like a square-headed bird--  that is the Peten Region where we are currently working.
If you click this link: http://mayaruins.com/yucmap.html – and then click on the red word Tikal on the website’s live map image, you will find more wonderful photos and archaeological history briefs about the Tikal ruins which we tour on Thursday, February 2nd.

Great info over at MayaRuins.com. Check it out. Thank you, Barbara McKenzie and Marion Canavan for your detailed and informative work. (I like history and archaeology stuff, can you tell?)

  Romans 10:17

Today’s Prayer Points for Guatemala Team 2012:
  • That hearts will be opened to hear and receive the message of Jesus Christ
  • For opportunities to share Christ’s love with specific people He would have us to meet in this day.
  • For safety in our construction endeavors. 

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