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The Maya Civilization *

1200-1000 Olmec
1800-900 Early Preclassic Maya
900-300 Middle Preclassic Maya
300 B.C. - A.D. 250 Late Preclassic Maya

250-600 Early Classic Maya
600-900 Late Classic Maya
900-1500 Post Classic Maya
1521-1821 Colonial period
1821- today Independent Mexico

11,000 The first hunter-gatherers settle in the Maya highlands and lowlands.
3114-3113 The creation of the world takes place, according to the Maya Long Count calendar.
2000 The rise of the Olmec civilization, from which many aspects of Maya culture are derived. Village farming becomes established throughout Maya regions.
700  Mayan Writing is developed.
400 The earliest known solar calendars are carved in stone.
300 The Maya adopt the idea of a society ruled by nobles and kings.
100 The city of Teotihuacán is founded in the rainforest and for hundreds of years is the cultural, religious and trading centre
100  Decline of the Olmecs.
400 Maya highlands are under the domination of Teotihuacán The end of Maya culture and language begins in some parts of the region
500 Tikal becomes the first great Maya city. Citizens from Teotihuacán arrive, with new ideas for weapons, and human devotion.
600 A mysterious event destroys Teotihuacán. Tikal becomes the largest city in Mesoamérica. Tours still run to Tikal today.
683 At age 80, The Emperor Pacal dies . He is buried in the Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque. Mayan Pyramids can still be seen today
751 Trade between Maya areas declines and conflict increases.
869 In Tikal, construction stops and the city begins to come to an end.
899  Tikal is abandoned.
900 The Classic Period of Maya history ends, with the collapse of the southern lowland cities. Maya cities in the northern Yucatán continue to thrive. Development of the Puuc style in Uxmal, Kabah and Labná.
1200 Northern Maya cities begin to be abandoned.
1224 The city of Chichén Itzá in Yucatan is abandoned by the Toltecs. The Itzá people settle in the deserted area.
1244 The Itzá leave Chichén Itzá Mexico for unknown reasons
1263 The Itzá begin building the city of Mayapán.
1283  Mayapán becomes the capital of Yucatán
1441 Mayapán is abandoned by 1461. After this, warring groups compete to rule over the others.
1517 The Spanish first arrive on the shores of Yucatán under Hernández de Córdoba, The arrival of the Spanish brings diseases to the Maya including smallpox, influenza and measles. Within a century, 90 per cent of Mesoamérica's native populations will have died.
1519 Hernán Cortés begins exploring Yucatán.
1524 Cortés meets the Itzá people, the last of the Maya to remain free of the Spanish.
1528 The Spanish begin their conquest of the northern Maya. The Maya fight back
1541 The Spanish conquer the Maya.
1542 The Spanish establish a capital city at Mérida in Yucatán.
1695 The ruins of Tikal in Guatamela are discovered by a Spanish priest, who had become lost in the jungle.
1697 The city of Tayasal, capital of the Itzá in the Petén, is taken by the Spanish. It was the last Maya independent political entity
1712 The Maya of the Chiapas highlands rise against the Mexican government. They continue to do so off and on until today. 
1821  Mexico becomes independent from Spain.
1839 American diplomat and amateur archaeologist John Lloyd Stephens and English artist Frederick Catherwood begin exploring Maya regions
1847 The Yucatán Maya rise up against the Mexican government. The rebellion is so successful that the Maya almost take over the entire peninsula in the "War of the Castes".
1910  The Mexican Revolution begins.
1952 The Priest-king Pacal's tomb at Palenque is discovered

Maya hieroglyphic signs are first catalogued . Looting of Maya tombs and sites begins around this time in the southern lowlands.

(based on the book 'Mystery of the Maya')