Hidden under the wild growth of the jungles of Mesoamerica, lay ancient Utopias that have been lost for centuries. Mayan cities were located in Mesoamerica. In Honduras one of the only Mayan Cities is Copan, but it was a major city. In Guatemala the Mayan city of Tikal has a very classic Mayan style. Belize had many cities, it was home to around 20,000 Mayans. These are only a few examples of Mayan cities and locations. Other cities include Palenque, Uxmal, Habah, Tulum, Chichen Itza, Calakum, Becan, Xel Ha, Coba, Labna, and many, many more. That is just some basic background on Mayan Cities. Let us go into further detail about the Mayans because diving into ancient history is time traveling into an amazing place filled with awe inspiring arts, cultures, and much, much more.
The Mayans had a very complex religious system. The Mayans had a polytheistic religion, meaning that they believed in more than one god. Their calendar played a hug part in their religion. They needed the calendars that they made to know when to celebrate religious ceremonies and when to plant crops and harvest them. Their calendars were very accurate which helped with crops. Geography played a part in their religion too. They thought that caves lead to the underworld and that the skies were the heavens. Many landforms, like caves and mountains, were considered sacred. One example of very sacred landforms was cenotes. Cenotes are huge pools of fresh water that form after rock has eroded. They are very similar to lakes. Many Mayan cities had cenotes. For example, Chichen Itza had two cenotes. One of the cenotes was considered sacred but the other was used as a natural resource. When they would use a cenote for religion, they would throw young children into it and see if they would sink or not. They believed that these cenotes were entrances to Xibalba or the "under world". If the child did not sink and came back to them they would ask they child what they saw because it was believed that the child would be given a vision from the gods. The other one that they used as a natural resource they would get clean drinking water from it.
The Mayans are known for their awe-inspiring art and architecture. They built massive temples in the center of their cities. They were built for religious purpose. They were built on top of huge step pyramids. The Mayans started building step pyramids in the Terminal Preclassic period. The Mayans built the temples very tall because they believed that, that made the temple closer to the heavens, therefore more holy. Each temple was built for a specific god and built accordingly. For example, they would build sun temples for the sun god. Inside of the temples, the Mayans painted huge, beautiful murals. The Mayans would make large religious centers that would eventually turn into cities. Tikal, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza all started off as religious centers. These cities have been lost in the jungles of ancient Mesoamerica for many years. Modern archeologists didn't even know they were there until recently. We have yet to uncover all of the hidden secrets of these Mayan cities. Only time will tell what other things are hidden in the heart of these amazing Mayan cities.