The Mayan civilization is one of the most mysterious and fascinating in history. There is much we still don’t know, but they are much-admired for their fully developed writing system, their art, mathematical and astronomical systems , and of course, their architectural genius, building thriving cities in extreme environments. El Mirador has the largest pyramid ever built in all of pre-Columbian America , possibly in all the world. Set in a remote jungle, many people still make the arduous trek to visit the phenomenal wonders at this Mayan site.
The History of El Mirador
The city was founded sometime in the 6 th century BC and flourished until the 3 rd century AD with a population who were sophisticated for the period.
One of the remarkable discoveries about El Mirador is that it is located in the jungle and even when cleared, the land is not typically suitable for agriculture. The Maya had an ingenious solution – importing nutrient-rich mud from the many bajos, or seasonal swamps. This enabled them to turn former jungle into healthy farming land that sustained a large population. As a result, the El Mirador basin was densely populated in the early history of the Maya.
The city was the dominant political entity in the region and during the period of societal collapse associated with the Mid-Classical period in Mesoamerica, the city came under attack. Evidence of this can be seen in the large wall that was built around the site at this time.
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