Early Preclassic 2000 BC to 1000 BC

During the Early Preclassic Period about 2000 BC the known development of Mayan culture began. The Maya established coastal villages at locations on both the east and west coast of Central America that provided fish, water, and fertile land. The Mayan then slowly extended their range inland.

Middle Preclassic 1000 BC to 400 BC

In the Middle Preclassic, Mayan civilisation and cities emerges as a growth in production and increasing fosters trade and the development of a governing elite. Mayan writing from 400-200 BC is not yet decipherable.

War was constant in the Mayan civilisation from probably the late Middle Preclassic right up to the European occupation.

Late Preclassic 400 BC to 250 AD

The Late Preclassic provides the largest Mayan cities including El Mirador on the northern Guatemala that includes the largest pyramid by volume in the world. The Mayan relate to the ancient Olmec Civilisation, through cultural references, that show a similarity to relation of European City Sates and thier decendents to Greeks and Roman civilisation for their cultural heritage.

Early Classic 250 AD to 600 AD

During the Early Classic the Mayan states grew in size and importance.

Late Classic 550 to 800 AD

During the Late Classic the Mayan civilisation grew in size and sophistication. Almost all deciphered scripts come from the Yucatan ie Tikal, and almost none from the highlands.

The Maya may have been somewhat dominated by Mexican civilisations. There is evidence of trade and perhaps a succession of kings that dominated some Maya city states (Copan, Tikal) from the Tuehuwakun Empire next to Mexico City. 

Tuehuwakun chocolate ceremonial vessels used by the ruling elite at sites in the Mayan highlands and lowlands indicate that the Tuehuwakun Empire had control for at least 100 years.

Terminal classic 800 AD to 1000 AD

Many factors together resulted in the demise of Maya civilisation. First collapse from 800 to 900 AD, and in the highlands from 800 to 1100 AD. Destruction everywhere with defacing of monuments. Cities abandoned.

The north did not suffer the disasters of the rest of the Mayan empire at least for a while.  Pouk Hills of Yucatan, Usgmal, Cabush, Alil, Chechiniza also one, with some of the best architecture ever produced. Frank Lloyd Wright. Lots of inscriptions in lintels.

Overpopulation and environmental destruction, drought, increased warfare, foreign invasion and disruption of trade routes, coupled with sociopolitical revolution all contributed. They had cut down almost all forests as shown by high sedimentation in lakes.

Intense warfare with increases barricades and defensive positions with populations protected within them. The Mayan very violent and tor toured people whereas the Aztec's never did. In some sites hundreds of thousands of arrow heads rained down. The elite and the scribes could have been disposed of. Many libraries burned.