|Classic Maya collapse|
|Spanish conquest of Yucatán|
|Spanish conquest of Guatemala|
|Spanish conquest of Petén|
According to Maya chronicles (e.g., the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel), Hunac Ceel, ruler of Mayapan, conquered Chichen Itza in the 13th century. Hunac Ceel supposedly prophesied his own rise to power. According to custom at the time, individuals thrown into the Cenote Sagrado were believed to have the power of prophecy if they survived. During one such ceremony, the chronicles state, there were no survivors, so Hunac Ceel leaped into the Cenote Sagrado, and when removed, prophesied his own ascension.
While there is some archaeological evidence that indicates Chichén Itzá was at one time looted and sacked, there appears to be greater evidence that it could not have been by Mayapan, at least not when Chichén Itzá was an active urban center. Archaeological data now indicates that Chichen Itza declined as a regional center by 1250 CE, before the rise of Mayapan. Ongoing research at the site of Mayapan may help resolve this chronological conundrum.
While Chichén Itzá “collapsed” or fell(meaning elite activities ceased) it may not have been abandoned. When the Spanish arrived, they found a thriving local population, although it is not clear from Spanish sources if Maya were living in Chichen Itza or nearby. The relatively high density of population in the region was one of the factors behind the conquistadors' decision to locate a capital there. According to post-Conquest sources, both Spanish and Maya, the Cenote Sagrado remained a place of pilgrimage.
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Famous quotes containing the word decline:
“We can recognize the dawn and the decline of love by the uneasiness we feel when alone together.”
—Jean De La Bruyère (16451696)
“Reckoned physiologically, everything ugly weakens and afflicts man. It recalls decay, danger, impotence; he actually suffers a loss of energy in its presence. The effect of the ugly can be measured with a dynamometer. Whenever man feels in any way depressed, he senses the proximity of something ugly. His feeling of power, his will to power, his courage, his pridethey decline with the ugly, they increase with the beautiful.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“Or else I thought her supernatural;
As though a sterner eye looked through her eye
On this foul world in its decline and fall,
On gangling stocks grown great, great stocks run dry,
Ancestral pearls all pitched into a sty,
Heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave....”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)