Ancient Mayan civilization had been flourished at Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize from 1500 BC to 1400 AC. The civilization had basically three development period of Preclassic, Classic and Postclassic. The Classic period is the most developed ...
Ancient Mayan civilization had been flourished at Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize from 1500 BC to 1400 AC. The civilization had basically three development period of Preclassic, Classic and Postclassic. The Classic period is the most developed era in which contains characters that now we recognize as mayan civilization. During the transition time from Classic to Postclassic, a group of mayan people named Itza migrated from unknown somewhere to Chichen Itza, Yucatan of Mexico and made the site as the heart of Postclassic period. But until now, who is the Itzas, where they came from, why they had to return their homeland after 400 years’ settlement in Chichen Itza.
The first question is who are and where they came from the Itzas. In respect of this question, the major ceramic type named as Slate Ware was received attention because of its volcanic glass temper in the lime stone area. The common use of volcanic glass temper was considered as a clear evidence of Postclassical new wave, caused by immigration of Itzas to Chichen Itza, since no volcanic source was found in Yucatan peninsula. So then, finding volcanic glass source of Chichen Slate Ware could reveal the origin of Itzas.
In those books of "Relaciones de las cosas de Yucatan" and "Kanek manuscript" we found some possible relationship between Chichen Itza and Chiapas, and Peten regions.
Since then pottery fragment samples are collected from Chichen Itza and Bonampak and Las Margaritas which are sites of Chiapas, Mexico, and Tayasal of Peten, Guatemala, those are archaeological sites located on the itza migration route. As first step, we did petrological thin section analysis and defined form of volcanic glass as shard. But the glass shard form of Chichen Itza is very homogeneous meanwhile the Chiapas pottery presents some varieties. And then, we applied EPMA(Electron Probe Micro Analysis) method and analyzed chemical element of volcanic glass of selected sites samples. The most noticeable finding was that ratio of SiO2:Al2O3:K2O of Chichen Slate Ware is around 77%: 13%: 5% of total weight of elements. Similar to that of the samples from Tayasal, where was related sites with Itza migration.
On the other side, by thermoluminescence dating method we obtained the firing date of Chichen Slate Ware around 1070-1250 AD. According to Chilam Balam records the Itzas immigrated to Chichen Itza during the decadent time of Classic period. They lived there prosperiously and, when they expelled from Chichen Itza stayed at Mayapan, finally returned to Tayasal around 1400 AD. So that obtained thermoluminescence dating coincides with the process of Itza movement.
. We think that Itza people brought volcanic glass material from their homeland, near from Tayasal, Guatemala during Postclassic time. But the reason of that they had to introduce volcanic glass to Chichen Itza remains still in question. The interdisciplinary study of literature source and material analysis will be great help to solve archaeological problem.