Search Of Mayan Ruins Inside Chiapas
The first of two parts
By JOHN M. DERBY
March 1, 2018
Chiapas, the most southern state in Mexico, has some of
the most significant Mayan ruins in all of Mexico. We use
the word Mayan, or Maya, loosely as it is meant to cover
all the indigenous peoples who have lived in this area prior
to the Spanish arriving.
people include the Mixtex, Zopotex, Toltec and Olmex, in
addition to dozens of other groups of inhabitants who lived
here since the start of mankind in MesoAmerica. At one time,
we read that there were 27 different languages spoken in
this area — not including Spanish.
of the ruins which have been found are from 100 to 600 AD
when Europe was under Roman rule or in its Dark Ages. The
Maya people were very advanced having reached a high degree
in math, astrology and medications for various ailments.
of the ruins of the Maya people have only been unearthed
recently and there is reason to believe much is still covered
in thick overgrowth. In our travels, we only skim the surface
in what is an abundance of archaeological treasures.
in the capital city, Tuxtla Gutierrez, and then San Cristobal,
we went on to explore the city of Comitan (only 100 miles
from the border of Gutemala, and the ruins at Tenam which
were uncovered in 1925.) Our focus, however, has been the
ruins of Palenque — the Mayan city which at one time
was believed to have controlled most of what is now Chiapas,
as well as the state of Tabasco, and south to Guatemala.
ruins have been explored by the Spanish as early as the
16 century, but some of the most significant finds have
been only in the past 70 years when explorers learned to
translate the language, and found the tomb of King Pakal,
who was buried around 683 AD.
the age of 80, King Pakal and his kingdom at Palenque controlled
the trade routes heading in every direction from South America
to present day Mexico.
every site of ruins, there are several museums and it has
taken a lot of research on the computer to know just where
these ruins fit into the history of Chiapas and Mexico.
has not always wanted to be a part of Mexico, and the indigenous
people have revolted against their treatment controlled
by the government. The people of Chiapas have called themselves
a Free State of Chiapas, and have been forced to remain
under central government rule more than once when their
leaders were arrested, or in one case murdered.
size of the cities in Chiapas are not large by American
standards. The largest, Tuxtla Gutierrez, is over 600,000
people, and San Cristabol is over 150,000, with others nearly
features many mountains, and a coastline which reaches the
length of the state.
is cooler than most of Mexico, and has a good tourist trade
which increases as the drug problems in the country are
is considered one of the safe states, and there is not a
large police force visable within the cities.
be continued …