Research, Technology

What is the secret of Thayasal - the most invincible city of the Maya

The Maya civilization is famous for its writing,architecture, science and generally rich culture. At the same time, it is the most mysterious and scientists do not even know when it was formed - most likely, this event occurred between 7000 and 2000 BC. Also, science does not know why it suddenly fell into decline, although there are a lot of interesting assumptions. The Maya civilization developed on the territory of present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras, therefore archaeological excavations are actively conducted in these territories. Scientists have already managed to unearth about 1000 ancient cities. One of them is Tayasal - it is notable for the fact that it held out to the last, when European invaders penetrated the lands of a not so prosperous civilization.

The city of Flores, built on the ruins of ancient Tayasal

The most protected city of the Maya

The ancient city of Thayasal is located in the northernterritory of present-day Guatemala. It was built on an island in the middle of the Peten Itza River. Construction began in the 13th century, when the Mayan civilization was already in decline and the people left the Yucatan. Representatives of the Mayan people called the new city No Peten, which literally translated as "island-city". The name Tayasal was used only by the Spaniards, but it is still considered more preferable. Today, in its place is the city of Flores.

The city of Thayasal is located somewhere here

But the Spanish conquerors gained control overcity ​​not immediately. The campaign to conquer Mexico began in 1519, and the well-armed Spaniards easily dealt with the tribes. The advantage of Thayasal was its location - not only was it located on the island, but the dense jungle blocked the passage to it. Representatives of the Mayan people were perfectly oriented in them, which the Spanish conquerors could not boast of.

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The story of the capture of the city of Tayasal

So, in 1541, the conqueror Hernan Cortes learnedabout this city on the way to Honduras. He immediately realized that they could not defeat this place, so he simply walked past him. Several decades have passed since then, and over time, the Spaniards nevertheless decided to try to capture Tayasal. The first attacks were made in 1629, but were unsuccessful. Serious passions were in full swing - most of Mexico was already under the control of the Spaniards, but the inhabitants of Tayasal did not give up and killed everyone who wanted to conquer them. Because of this, a large reward was even appointed for their heads.

Capture of the city of Tenochtitlan

It was possible to capture the city of Tayasal only in 1697year. First, the Spaniards fired on him with cannons, and then launched an assault. Many representatives of the Mayan people died, and some managed to escape into the jungle. The almost completely destroyed city went to the invaders, but they did not stop there. They went in search of the escaped people and were able to find the leader and his son - they were under arrest for the rest of their lives. Before the capture, the population of the city of Tayasal was 60,000 people - 90% of them died over the next ten years. Someone was killed, but the main cause of death was various diseases. There is a possibility that they were transmitted from the Spaniards, and the Mayan people did not have immunity to them.

Traces of children's hands were found in an ancient cave of the Mayan people. What do they stand for?

Excavations of the ancient city of Thayasal

Yes today in the city of Flores is activearchaeological excavations are underway. Scientists are excavating an area of ​​7 square kilometers - some buildings are already partially on the surface.

Mound near Tayasal

Researchers already know that in the citythere was a 30-meter acropolis - an elevated and fortified part of the ancient Greek city, which served as the residence of the authorities. They were also lucky enough to find a well that was used to get water long before the attack of the Spanish invaders. Researchers from time to time discover small pottery - because of their antiquity and rarity, they are valuable and are considered almost treasures. The most interesting thing is that sometimes bullets from firearms lie in the ground, which helped the Spaniards capture the impregnable city.

Mayan vase

Ceramic snake found in Tayasala

According to the representative of the GuatemalanMinistry of Culture and Sports Jenny Barrios, at the moment the main task of archaeologists is to bring this historically important site in the best view. This is necessary so that tourists can better appreciate the archaeological value of the habitats of the Maya civilization.

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