Maya Prehistory and Caracol

MAH1200 B.C.-250 A.D.

Preclassic small sedentary villages followed by development of monumentality and larger centers.

ca. 600-900 B.C.

Earliest known habitation at Caracol.

ca. A.D. 41

Structure A6-1st, “Temple of the Wooden Lintel,” constructed and consecrated; full Maya ritual complex present at Caracol.

ca. A.D. 150

Elaborate burial placed in Structure B34 locus.

A.D. 250-900

Classic “Peak” of Maya civilization; pyramids, tombs, inscriptions, widespread trade; by A.D. 800 Maya “collapse” is underway.

A.D. 331

Caracol Royal dynasty “officially” founded.

ca. A.D. 480

Unknown ruler’s tomb placed in Structure D16.

A.D. 531

Accession of Lord Water’s predecessor.

A.D. 537

Use of initial tomb in Structure B20-3rd.

A.D. 553

Accession of Caracol Ruler Lord Water.

A.D. 556

“Axe-Event” involving Tikal.

A.D. 562

“Star-War” defeat of Tikal by Caracol.

A.D. 575

Birth of Smoke Ahau.

A.D. 577

One of three tombs in Structure B20-2nd used.

A.D. 577 or 582

Front tomb in Structure A34 consecrated.

A.D. 588

Birth of Caracol Ruler Kan II.

A.D. 599

Accession of Caracol Lord Smoke Ahau.

A.D. 614

Tomb in Structure L3-2nd covered.

A.D. 618

Accession of Kan II.

A.D. 626-636

Naranjo wars; major expansion of Caracol follows.

A.D. 634

Woman’s tomb in Structure B19-2nd closed.

A.D. 658

Accession of Caracol Ruler Smoke Skull; Death of Kan II.

A.D. 680

Naranjo’s war of independence.

A.D. 696

Tomb in Structure A3-1st covered.

A.D. 702

Capture of Ixkun lord noted on Stela 21.

A.D. 800

Capture of 3 prisoners, including Ucanal lord, by Caracol Ruler Hok K’awil or his underlings.

A.D. 883

Last recorded date at Caracol on Altar 26.

A.D. 900-1500

Postclassic Most major sites located away from Classic Period centers, but near water. Sites are generally characterized by low-lying as opposed to monumental architecture.

ca. A.D. 950

Last use of Caracol Structures A6 and A31; Caracol totally abandoned.

A.D. 1500-present

“Historic” Europeans arrive in the New World; most native Maya populations disseminated by disease; others disrupted by warfare and forced population movements. Native populations still comprise over 50% of Guatemala and Yucatan.

*Timeline revised from A. Chase & D. Chase 1996; D. Chase & A. Chase 2017