Background: The ancient Mayan world During the classical Mayan period, many cities grew and created monumental architecture, such as the pyramids. The period ended somewhere between 900AD and 1000 AD, although these large cities, the main two having been Chichen Itza and Mayapan had both fallen before the end of this period, and well before the Spanish conquest. Although there were some very large cities, some with a population of up to 150,000; the vast majority of Mayan people did not even visit them. No large cities in the Mayan culture ever had sole domination of the empire. There was a great deal of fighting within the city states and marriage of the elites was often used as a peace treaty. When the Spaniards arrived in the 16 th Century, they found the Mayan civilization living in a much more dispersed way, if still relatively densely populated. The Spaniards bought with them Christianity and smallpox. Some sources say that only 10% of the Mayan population was able to survive the epidemic the swept through the region,
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Maya civilization, Mayan culture, Diego de Landa, ancient Mayan world, classical Mayan period