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The Snake Kingdom and Tikal Part II

For almost 300 years, the conflict between the Snake Kingdom and Tikal defined the Late Classic Period. Tikal gained power over the a very large area of the Maya Lowlands in large measure because of their strategic alliance with Teotihuacan (outside of current Mexico City). This alliance brought prestige, long range trade routes and a new ideology and new forms of warfare.

Calakmul used a different approach. Little by little the Snakes created alliances with smaller city states to the north of and then finally surrounding Tikal. If diplomacy didn't work, warfare did. With its ally Caracol (in Belize) and others the Snakes defeated Tikal in 562. After 100 more years of warfare, the Snakes directly attacked Tikal, killed the ruler and put its own ally on the Tikal throne. It was a hugely bloody and long conflict.

Tikal took almost 100 years to make its comeback. In 744 after regaining territory and reforging alliances Tikal conquered Calakmul. This was the final act in the conflict and led to the gradual downfall of Calakmul.

The Tikal Emblem Glyph:

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