Alvarado then headed upriver into the Sierra Madre mountains towards the K'iche' heartlands, crossing the pass into the valley of Quetzaltenango. Night fell by the time the water casks had been filled and the attempts at communication concluded. After this, Mazariegos and his companions proceeded to Chiapan and set up a temporary camp nearby, that they named Villa Real. , After ten more days, the ships spotted an inlet close Champotón, and a landing party discovered fresh water.  The politically fragmented state of the Yucatán Peninsula at the time of conquest hindered the Spanish invasion, since there was no central political authority to be overthrown; However, the Spanish exploited this fragmentation by taking advantage of pre-existing rivalries between polities. , Montejo the Elder became embroiled in colonial infighting over the right to rule Honduras, a claim that put him in conflict with Pedro de Alvarado, captain general of Guatemala, who also claimed Honduras as part of his jurisdiction.  Itza archers shot at the invaders from the canoes, but the defending Itza soon fled from the withering Spanish gunfire.  Almost a week later, on 18 February 1524, a 30,000-strong K'iche' army confronted the Spanish army in the Quetzaltenango valley and was comprehensively defeated; many K'iche' nobles were among the dead. He sent his brother Bartholomew to scout the island.  The Kowoj were the second in importance; they were hostile towards their Itza neighbours. , After the battle of Quetzaltepeque, Villa Real was still short on food and Mazariegos was ill; he retreated to Copanaguastla against the protests of the town council, which was left to defend the fledgling colony. Cortés left Tenochtitlanon 12 October 1524 with 140 Spanish soldiers, 93 of them mounted, 3,000 Mexi… In Montejo the Elder's absence, first in central Mexico, and then in Honduras, Montejo the Younger acted as lieutenant governor and captain general in Tabasco. The Spanish conquest of the Maya was a prolonged affair; the Maya kingdoms resisted integration into the Spanish Empire with such tenacity that their defeat took almost two centuries.  Martín de Ursúa now began to organise an all-out assault on Nojpetén.  The Maya prepared for battle but the Spanish horses and firearms quickly decided the outcome. The death of their lord only served to inflame Cupul anger and, in mid 1533, they laid siege to the small Spanish garrison at Chichen Itza.  It is estimated that 90% of the indigenous population had been eliminated by disease within the first century of European contact. He also had with him the captured Aztec emperor Cuauhtemoc, and Cohuanacox and Tetlepanquetzal, the captive Aztec lords of Texcoco and Tlacopan. However, the Spanish were also able to exploit this fragmentation by taking advantage of pre-existing rivalries between polities. By sunrise the Spanish had been surrounded by a sizeable army. In Prudence M. Rice and Don S. Rice (eds.). The Spanish named the headland Cape Catoche, after some words spoken by the Maya leader, which sounded to the Spanish like cones catoche. It incorporates the modern Mexican states of Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Campeche, the eastern portion of the state of Tabasco, most of the Guatemalan department of Petén, and all of Belize. The battle eventually resulted in a Spanish victory, but the rest of the province of Chiapa remained rebellious.  Alonso d'Avila was sent overland to the east of the peninsula, passing through Maní where he was well received by the Xiu Maya. As a result of these rumours, Hernán Cortés set sail with another fleet. After this, Montejo led his men to Conil, a town in Ekab, where the Spanish party halted for two months.  As a result of the uprising and the Spanish response, many of the Maya inhabitants of the eastern and southern territories fled to the still unconquered Petén Basin, in the extreme south of the peninsula. In December 1695 the main force was reinforced with 250 soldiers, of which 150 were Spanish and pardo and 100 were Maya, together with labourers and muleteers.  The Kowoj were the second in importance; they were hostile towards their Itza neighbours. Hernán Cortés was placed in command, and his crew included officers that would become famous conquistadors, including Pedro de Alvarado, Cristóbal de Olid, Gonzalo de Sandoval and Diego de Ordaz. He was accompanied by the friendly Chel lord Namux Chel. It is estimated that for every Spaniard on the field of battle, there were at least 10 native auxiliaries. Zubiaur ordered his men to fire a volley that killed between 30 and 40 Itzas. He occupied his post for a year, during which time he attempted to reestablish Spanish control over the province, especially the northern and eastern regions, but was unable to make much headway.  The Maya inhabitants of Cozumel fled the Spanish and would not respond to Grijalva's friendly overtures. The Spanish spotted three large Maya cities along the coast, but Grijalva did not land at any of these and turned back north to loop around the north of the peninsula and sail down the west coast. The battle lasted several days, and the Spanish were supported by indigenous warriors from central Mexico. The attack boat was rowed east towards the Itza capital; half way across the lake it encountered a large fleet of canoes spread in an arc across the approach to Nojpetén – Ursúa simply gave the order to row through them. This second group was headed by friar Andrés de Avendaño.  The Chuj of San Mateo Ixtatán remained rebellious and resisted Spanish control for longer than their highland neighbours, resistance that was possible owing to their alliance with the lowland Lakandon Ch'ol to the north. Spanish weaponry included broadswords, rapiers, lances, pikes, halberds, crossbows, matchlocks and light artillery. Once ashore, the Spaniards clustered loosely together and advanced towards the city along a path among low, scrub-covered hillocks. Schele and Fahsen calculated all dates on the more securely dated Kaqchikel annals, where equivalent dates are often given in both the Kaqchikel and Spanish calendars.  The inhabitants of Chajul immediately capitulated to the Spanish as soon as news of the battle reached them. He crossed the Dulce River to the settlement of Nito, somewhere on the Amatique Bay, with about a dozen companions, and waited there for the rest of his army to regroup over the next week. Pak'ek'em was sufficiently far from the new Spanish road that it was free from military interference, and the friars oversaw the building of a church in what was the largest mission town in Kejache territory. In Prudence M. Rice and Don S. Rice (eds.). Before the conquest, Maya territory contained a number of competing kingdoms. The Poqomam warriors fell back in disorder in a chaotic retreat through the city. , From the lake, Cortés continued south along the western slopes of the Maya Mountains, a particularly arduous journey that took 12 days to cover 32 kilometres (20 mi), during which he lost more than two-thirds of his horses. It can be delimited by a line running from the Laguna de Términos on the Gulf coast through to the Gulf of Honduras on the Caribbean coast. In the decades before the Spanish invasion the Kaqchikel kingdom had been steadily eroding the kingdom of the K'iche'. With no word from Delgado's escort, Mirones sent two Spanish soldiers with a Maya scout to learn their fate.  Governor Velázquez provided all four ships, in an attempt to protect his claim over the peninsula. Around this time, the news began to arrive of Francisco Pizarro's conquests in Peru and the rich plunder that his soldiers were taking there, undermining the morale of Montejo's already disenchanted band of followers. Clendinnen 2003, p. 21. In 1511, Spanish survivors of the shipwrecked caravel called Santa María de la Barca sought refuge among native groups along the eastern coast of the peninsula. The Cupul Maya also rose up against the newly imposed Spanish domination, and also their opposition was quickly put down.  However, the region was not considered fully conquered until a campaign by Jorge de Bocanegra in 1531–1532 that also took in parts of Jalapa.  The Yalain appear to have been one of the three dominant polities in Postclassic central Petén, alongside the Itza and the Kowoj. , The first large Maya cities developed in the Petén Basin in the far south of the Yucatán Peninsula as far back as the Middle Preclassic (c. 600–350 BC), and Petén formed the heartland of the ancient Maya civilization during the Classic period (c. AD 250–900). Conquistador Diego Godoy wrote that the Indians killed or captured at Huixtan numbered no more than 500. , A single soldier arriving in Mexico in 1520 was carrying smallpox and thus initiated the devastating plagues that swept through the native populations of the Americas. Cortés and his army left Acalan on 5 March 1525. Jones, Grant D. (2000). By 1574 it was the most important staging post for European expeditions into the interior, and it remained important in that role until as late as 1630, although it was abandoned in 1631.  As a result the Dominicans met substantial resistance from the Spanish colonists; this distracted the Dominicans from their efforts to establish peaceful control over the Land of War. A contemporary account described the slaughter of over 400 allied Maya, as well as livestock.  The highland K'iche' dominated the Pacific coastal plain of western Guatemala. , The following morning, the Spanish sent the two ships with a shallower draught to find a safe approach through the shallows.  In 1522 Cortés sent Mexican allies to scout the Soconusco region of lowland Chiapas, where they met new delegations from Iximche and Q'umarkaj at Tuxpán; both of the powerful highland Maya kingdoms declared their loyalty to the King of Spain. Champoton was the last Spanish outpost in the Yucatán Peninsula; it was increasingly isolated and the situation there became difficult.  The Dominicans were the first religious order to attempt the evangelisation of the native population.  The Lakandon were aggressive, and their numbers were swelled by refugees from neighbouring indigenous groups fleeing Spanish domination. Pedro de Alvarado (1485-1541) was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the Conquest of the Aztecs in Central Mexico in 1519 and led the Conquest of the Maya in 1523. The Spanish overran Uspantán and again branded all surviving warriors as slaves. , From Cozumel, the fleet looped around the north of the Yucatán Peninsula and followed the coast to the Grijalva River, which Cortés named in honour of the Spanish captain who had discovered it.  The native population of the northeastern portion of the peninsula was almost completely eliminated within fifty years of the conquest.  Among these women was a young Maya noblewoman called Malintzin, who was given the Spanish name Marina.  Once inside the city, the Maya leaders made it clear that the Spanish would be killed if they did not withdraw immediately. , In 1533 Pedro de Alvarado ordered de León y Cardona to explore and conquer the area around the Tacaná, Tajumulco, Lacandón and San Antonio volcanoes; in colonial times this area was referred to as the Province of Tecusitlán and Lacandón.  On 23 February 1517, the day of Saint Lazarus, another city was spotted and named San Lázaro by the Spanish – it is now known by its original Maya name, Campeche. The second group was to head for Lake Petén Itza independently. Sometimes there were as many as 30 indigenous warriors for every Spaniard, and the participation of these Mesoamerican allies was decisive. , In 1692 Basque nobleman Martín de Ursúa y Arizmendi proposed to the Spanish king the construction of a road from Mérida southwards to link with the Guatemalan colony, in the process "reducing" any independent native populations into colonial congregaciones; this was part of a greater plan to subjugate the Lakandon and Manche Ch'ol of southern Petén and the upper reaches of the Usumacinta River. Montejo continued to the eastern Ekab province, reaching the east coast at Pole.  Those areas of the peninsula that experience damper conditions, particularly those possessing swamplands, became rapidly depopulated after the conquest with the introduction of malaria and other waterborne parasites.  At this point Alvarado had the captured K'iche' lords burnt to death, and then proceeded to burn the entire city.  In Tabasco, Cortés anchored his ships at Potonchán, a Chontal Maya town.  Ten large canoes powered by both sails and oars rowed out to meet the Spanish ships.  After the battle the surviving defenders melted away into the forests, leaving the Spanish to occupy an abandoned Maya town. The Tz'utujil kingdom had its capital on the shore of Lake Atitlán.  The Roman Catholic priests accompanying the expedition celebrated mass in the presence of Aj Kan Ekʼ, the king of the Itza, who was said to be so impressed that he pledged to worship the cross and to destroy his idols.  The Dominicans promoted the veneration of Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moor-slayer) as a readily identifiable image of Spanish military superiority.  Las Casas was instrumental in the introduction of the New Laws in 1542, established by the Spanish Crown to control the excesses of the colonists against the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas. When they arrived upon the shore of Lake Petén Itzá, the Itza took them across to their island capital and imprisoned them. Guatemala City, Guatemala: Gómez Coutiño, José Francisco (2014) (in es). The Spanish Conquest had begun. In … In 1524, after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, Hernán Cortés led an expedition to Honduras over land, cutting across Acalan in southern Campeche and the Itza kingdom in what is now the northern Petén Department of Guatemala. In 1618 two Franciscan friars set out from Mérida on a mission to attempt the peaceful conversion of the still pagan Itza in central Petén.  The afflictions of Old World diseases, war and overwork in the mines and encomiendas took a heavy toll on the inhabitants of eastern Guatemala, to the extent that indigenous population levels never recovered to their pre-conquest levels.. ", http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/dcfichero_articulo?codigo=2775037, Sociedad de Geografía e Historia de Guatemala, "Material Culture and Colonial Indian Society in Southern Mesoamerica: The View from Coastal Chiapas, Mexico", "Consolidation of the Colonial Regime: Native Society in Western Central America", http://web.archive.org/web/20141002070945/http://www.chiapas.gob.mx/ubicacion, http://www.textosdeinvestigacion.unach.mx/ebooksbd/20140927_0954/, http://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/4502253.pdf, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=I0SkqcbLubAC, http://www.uni-hamburg.de/mesoamerikanistik/eike_hinz/quanjobal.pdf, "Mapa y Descripción de la Montaña del Petén e Ytzá. , While his son had been attempting to consolidate the Spanish control of Cupul, Francisco de Montejo the Elder had met the Xiu ruler at Maní. Referred to as "Tonatiuh" or "Sun God" by the Aztecs because of his blonde hair and white skin, Alvarado was violent, cruel and ruthless, even for a conquistador for whom such traits were practically a given. The Spanish regrouped in a defensive formation and forced passage to the shore, where their discipline collapsed and a frantic scramble for the boats ensued, leaving the Spanish vulnerable to the pursuing Maya warriors who waded into the sea behind them. They were well received at Nojpetén by the current Kan Ek'. Among the Maya, ambush was a favoured tactic. On 6 January 1542 he founded the second permanent town council, calling the new colonial town Mérida. "Los Gonzalo de Alvarado, Conquistadores de Guatemala" (in es). The Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro invaded the Incan Empire in 1532, seeking riches.  They were approached by about 300 canoes carrying approximately 2,000 Itza warriors. The expedition continued far enough to confirm the reality of the gold-rich empire, sailing as far north as Pánuco River. , In the late 17th century the small population of Ch'ol Maya in southern Petén and Belize was forcibly removed to Alta Verapaz, where the people were absorbed into the Q'eqchi' population. Canpech (modern Campeche) was to the south of it, followed by Chanputun (modern Champotón). This style of settlement can still be seen in the villages and towns of the area. Mam warriors initially held firm against the Spanish infantry but fell back before repeated cavalry charges. Montejo the Younger abandoned Ciudad Real by night after arranging a distraction for their attackers, and he and his men fled west, where the Chel, Pech and Xiu provinces remained obedient to Spanish rule. In 1797, the Spanish conquered the last independent Maya kingdom in Central America, at a place called Lago Peten Itza in the Peten jungle of northern Guatemala. Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas promoted the peaceful conversion of the native peoples. , Map of the principal entry routes and battle sites of the conquest of Guatemala, In 1525 Pedro de Alvarado sent a small company to conquer Mixco Viejo (Chinautla Viejo), the capital of the Poqomam.  From Tabasco, Cortés continued to Cempoala in Veracruz, a subject city of the Aztec Empire, and from there on to conquer the Aztecs.  The Land of War, from the 16th century through to the start of the 18th century, included a vast area from Sacapulas in the west to Nito on the Caribbean coast and extended northwards from Rabinal and Salamá, and was an intermediate area between the highlands and the northern lowlands. Several musketeers were injured in the ensuing skirmish and, the Kejache retreated along a forest path without injury. A second group of Franciscans would continue onwards independently to Nojpetén to make contact with the Itzas; it was led by friar Andrés de Avendaño, who was accompanied by another friar and a lay brother. , Based upon Hernández de Córdoba's report and the testimony of the interrogated Indian prisoners, Governor Velázquez wrote to the Council of the Indies notifying it of "his" discovery. , The climate becomes progressively drier towards the north of the peninsula.  Soon after their arrival at the Itza capital, the Itza seized and sacrificed the Spanish party. Cortés then returned to Mexico by sea. Votes: 39  In order to counter Spanish encroachment into their territory, the local Maya maintained an uneasy friendship with British loggers operating in central Belize.  As a result of the uprising and the Spanish response, many of the Maya inhabitants of the eastern and southern territories fled to the still unconquered Petén Basin, in the extreme south. His initial efforts were proving successful when Captain Lorenzo de Godoy arrived in Champoton at the command of soldiers despatched there by Montejo the Younger.  At San Pedro Martír he received news of an Itza embassy to Mérida in December 1695, and an apparent formal surrender of the Itza to Spanish authority.  Those that remained behind in the reducciones often fell victim to contagious diseases. Articles containing Spanish-language text, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Pages containing cite templates with deprecated parameters, Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España, "The Political Geography of the Sixteenth Century Yucatan Maya: Comments and Revisions", "Historia y Evolución del Curato de San Pedro Sacatepéquez San Marcos, desde su origen hasta 1848", http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=MPt5AAAAMAAJ, "Relaciones de Verapaz y las Tierras Bajas Mayas Centrales en el siglo XVII", Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, http://asociaciontikal.com/pdf/04_-_Caso.06_-_www.pdf, "El Santo Ángel. In Prudence M. Rice and Don S. Rice (eds.). Rice, Prudence M. (2009a). 1795–1828. In early 1541, Montejo the Younger joined his cousin in Champoton; he did not remain there long, and quickly moved his forces to Campeche. Hernández died soon after from his wounds. Lexile Levels 560L - 740L 750L - 890L 900L - 1040L . In the southwest of the peninsula, the San Pedro River, the Candelaría River and the Mamantel River, which all form a part of the Gulf of Mexico drainage. Many K'iche' and Tz'utujil also died; in this way the Kaqchikel destroyed all these peoples.  By now, Nuño de Guzmán was governor in Mexico, and he despatched Juan Enríquez de Guzmán to Chiapa as end-of-term judge over Mazariegos, and as alcalde mayor (a local colonial governor).  Dense forest covers northern Petén and Belize, most of Quinatana Roo, southern Campeche and a portion of the south of Yucatán state.  On 8 February 1524 Alvarado's army fought a battle at Xetulul, (modern San Francisco Zapotitlán). The rebellious populations concentrated themselves on easily defended mountaintops.  The Spanish did not officially contact the Itza again until the arrival of Franciscan priests in 1618, when Cortés' cross was said to still be standing at Nojpetén.  Likewise, in Tabasco the population of approximately 30,000 was reduced by an estimated 90%, with measles, smallpox, catarrhs, dysentery and fevers being the main culprits.  Tases was a small landlocked province south of Chikinchel.  He organised a new expedition consisting of four ships and 260 men.  The Coxoh Maya held territory in the upper reaches of the Grijalva drainage, near the Guatemalan border, and were probably a subgroup of the Tojolabal.  The climate of Petén varies from tropical in the south to semitropical in the north; temperature varies between 12 and 40 °C (54 and 104 °F), although it does not usually drop beneath 18 °C (64 °F). Clendinnen 2003, p. 20.  Cortés accepted an invitation from Kan Ek' to visit Nojpetén. , The city fell after a brief but bloody battle in which many Itza warriors died; the Spanish suffered only minor casualties.  Bacalar Lake empties into Chetumal Bay. , The Franciscan friar Jacobo de Testera arrived in Champoton in 1535 to attempt the peaceful incorporation of Yucatán into the Spanish Empire. Mérida and Campeche were forewarned of the impending attack; Montejo the Younger and his cousin were in Campeche.  They were approached by about 300 canoes carrying approximately 2,000 Itza warriors. The original plan was for the province of Yucatán to build the northern section and for Guatemala to build the southern portion, with both meeting somewhere in Chʼol territory; the plan was later modified to pass further east, through the kingdom of the Itza. The Spanish stormed the wall, to find that the inhabitants had withdrawn under cover of torrential rain that had interrupted the battle.  Most of the peninsula is formed by a vast plain with few hills or mountains and a generally low coastline. As they scouted along the south shore near Nojpetén they were shadowed by about 30 Itza canoes and more Itzas approached by land but kept a safe distance. From the natives they received a few gold trinkets and news of the riches of the Aztec Empire to the west. The Europeans looted whatever took their interest from amongst the cargo and seized the elderly Maya captain to serve as an interpreter; the canoe was then allowed to continue on its way. The Spanish party then accepted an invitation to enter the city.  In early November 1695, friar Tomás de Alcoser and brother Lucas de San Francisco were sent to establish a mission at Pakʼekʼem, where they were well received by the cacique (native chief) and his pagan priest. When nine Spaniards were drowned in a storm off Cozumel and another was killed by hostile Maya, rumours grew in the telling and both the Cupul and Cochua provinces once again rose up against their would-be overlords. This strategy resulted in the gradual depopulation of the forest, simultaneously converting it into a wilderness refuge for those fleeing Spanish domination, both for individual refugees and for entire communities.  They were led amongst large buildings until they stood before a blood-caked altar, where many of the city's inhabitants crowded around.  At the mouth of the Tabasco River the Spanish sighted massed warriors and canoes but the natives did not approach. On 23 January, Tutul Xiu, the lord of Mani, approached the Spanish encampment at Mérida in peace, bearing sorely needed food supplies.  To the south the plain gradually rises towards the Guatemalan Highlands. After two Kaqchikel messengers sent by Pedro de Alvarado were killed by the Tz'utujil, the conquistadors and their Kaqchikel allies marched against the Tz'utujil.  The Sibun River flows from west to east from south central Quintana Roo to Lake Bacalar on the Caribbean Coast; the Río Hondo flows northwards from Belize to empty into the same lake. The ships finally made port in Cuba, where Hernández de Cordóba wrote a report to Governor Velázquez describing the voyage, the cities, the plantations, and, most importantly, the discovery of gold. Maya civilization thrived for many centuries. The defending Itza soon fled from the withering Spanish gunfire.  Many of the Spanish were already experienced soldiers who had previously campaigned in Europe. , We came here to serve God and the King, and also to get rich.  In the early hours of the morning he ordered a retreat by moonlight. Juan de Grijalva explored the coast in 1518, and heard tales of the wealthy Aztec Empire further west. They were mutually hostile; the Xiu Maya of Mani allied themselves with the Spanish, while the Cocom Maya of Sotuta became the implacable enemies of the European colonisers. , In 1511 the Spanish caravel Santa María de la Barca sailed along the Central American coast under the command of Pedro de Valdivia.  The introduction of Catholicism was the main vehicle for cultural change, and resulted in religious syncretism.  The population of the Cuchumatanes is estimated to have been 260,000 before European contact.  There was a drastic depopulation of Lake Izabal and the Motagua Delta due to constant slave raids by the Miskito Sambu of the Caribbean coast that effectively ended the Maya population of the region; the captured Maya were sold into slavery in the British colony of Jamaica. The Indians abandoned their towns and hid their women and children in caves. The Spanish engaged in a strategy of concentrating native populations in newly founded colonial towns. Eventually an agreement was reached, and the encomiendas of Espíritu Santo that lay in the highlands were merged those of San Cristóbal to form the new province.  Grijalva did not land at any of these cities and turned back north from Ascensión Bay.  The Itza kingdom centred upon Lake Petén Itzá had been visited by Hernán Cortés on his march to Honduras in 1525. , At Campeche, the Maya amassed a strong force and attacked the city; the Spanish were able to fight them off, a battle in which the elder Montejo was almost killed. The leaders of some Maya states pledged that they would be his allies.  Cortés left Tenochtitlan on 12 October 1524 with 140 Spanish soldiers, 93 of them mounted, 3,000 Mexican warriors, 150 horses, artillery, munitions and other supplies. This included the Spanish use of crossbows, firearms (including muskets, arquebuses and cannon), war dogs and war horses. , Montejo was appointed alcalde mayor (a local colonial governor) of Tabasco in 1529, and pacified that province with the aid of his son, also named Francisco de Montejo.  The survivors were pursued across a causeway to an island on foot before the inhabitants could break the bridges.  This resistance was sufficiently tenacious that Montejo the Younger sent his cousin from Tabasco to Champoton to take command. After six months of Spanish rule, Cupul dissatisfaction could no longer be contained and Naabon Cupul was killed during a failed attempt to kill Montejo the Younger. , In March 1622, Captain Francisco de Mirones Lezcano set out from Yucatán with 20 Spanish soldiers and 80 Mayas to launch an assault upon the Itza. A variety of halberds and bills were also employed.  On that day 62 Kejache men had voluntarily come to Chuntuki from Pakʼekʼem, where another 300 Kejache resided. The Montejos founded a new Spanish town at Dzilam, although the Spanish suffered hardships there. , After Zaculeu fell to the Spanish, the Ixil and Uspantek Maya were sufficiently isolated to evade immediate Spanish attention. The first encounter with the Yucatec Maya may have occurred in 1502, when the fourth voyage of Christopher Columbus came across a large trading canoe off Honduras.  The expedition advanced south into Kejache territory, which began at Chunpich, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of the modern border between Mexico and Guatemala.  Kan Ekʼ was soon captured with help from the Yalain Maya ruler Chamach Xulu; The Kowoj king (Aj Kowoj) was also soon captured, together with other Maya nobles and their families.  Gonzalo de Alvarado left the Spanish camp at Tecpán Guatemala in July 1525 and marched to Momostenango, which quickly fell to the Spanish after a four-hour battle. Pedro de Alvarado's brother Jorge wrote another account to the king of Spain that explained it was his own campaign of 1527–1529 that established the Spanish colony. The king of the Itza, cited Itza prophecy and said the time was not yet right. He marched his men from Cahabón to Mopán, arriving on 25 February 1696.  In May the expedition advanced to Sakalum, where they waited for reinforcements. There is no such thing as ‘religious’ change that is not also tied to other sorts of changes and indeed to continuity.  At the eastern end of the Central Highlands is the Lacandon Forest, this region is largely mountainous with lowland tropical plains at its easternmost extreme. , Montejo the Younger's cousin met the Canul Maya at Chakan, not far from T'ho.  Two years later, on 9 February 1526, a group of sixteen Spanish deserters burnt the palace of the Ahpo Xahil, sacked the temples and kidnapped a priest, acts that the Kaqchikel blamed on Pedro de Alvarado. The Spanish then continued to Ake, some 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of Tizimín, where they engaged in a major battle against the Maya, killing more than 1,200 of them. The Spanish conquest of the Yucatán Peninsula was hindered by its politically fragmented state. Warriors bore wooden or animal hide shields decorated with feathers and animal skins.  Soon afterwards, on 27 January 1624, an Itza war party led by AjK'in P'ol caught Mirones and his soldiers off guard and unarmed in the church at Sakalum and slaughtered them. , Soconusco was an important communication route between the central Mexican highlands and Central America. D'Avila was sent from eastern Yucatán to conquer Acalan, which extended southeast of the Laguna de Terminos.  The ships spotted an inlet close to another city, Champotón, and a landing party discovered fresh water. The rebellious eastern Maya were finally defeated in a single battle, in which twenty Spaniards and several hundred allied Maya were killed.  By this time, the indigenous population had been greatly reduced by a combination of disease and famine. But then, from about A.D. 800 to 900, nearly all Maya cities in the southern lowlands were abandoned. The conquistadors were met with a barrage of missiles and boiling water, and found the nearby town defended by a formidable 1.2-metre (4 ft) thick defensive wall. By the late 16th century, the reports of high fevers suggest the arrival of malaria in the region, and yellow fever was first reported in the mid-17th century, with a terse mention in the Chilam Balam of Chumayel for 1648. After this Spanish victory, the neighbouring Maya leaders all surrendered. The Spanish conquest of Yucatán was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores against the Late Postclassic Maya states and polities in the Yucatán Peninsula, a vast limestone plain covering south-eastern Mexico, northern Guatemala, and all of Belize.The Spanish conquest of the Yucatán Peninsula was hindered by its politically fragmented state. Montejo returned in 1531 with a force that allied with the Maya port city of Campeche.  Aj Canul, the lord of the attacking Maya, surrendered to the Spanish. , In 1692 Basque nobleman Martín de Ursúa y Arizmendi proposed to the Spanish king the construction of a road from Mérida southwards to link with the Guatemalan colony, in the process "reducing" any independent native populations into colonial congregaciones; this was part of a greater plan to subjugate the Lakandon and Manche Chʼol of southern Petén and the upper reaches of the Usumacinta River. ... we waited until they came close enough to shoot their arrows, and then we smashed into them; as they had never seen horses, they grew very fearful, and we made a good advance ... and many of them died. On Ascension Thursday the fleet discovered a large bay, which the Spanish named Bahía de la Ascensión. The Sajkabʼchen company followed the path and found two more deserted settlements with large amounts of abandoned food. Also aboard were Francisco de Montejo and Bernal Díaz del Castillo, veterans of the Grijalva expedition.  The Franciscans returned to Nojpetén with Kan Ekʼ and baptised over 300 Itza children over the following four days.  From Chuntuki they followed an Indian trail that led them past the source of the San Pedro River and across steep karst hills to a watering hole by some ruins. The town was fortified with a wooden palisade and was surrounded by a moat.  In response to the use of cavalry, the highland Maya took to digging pits on the roads, lining them with fire-hardened stakes and camouflaging them with grass and weeds, a tactic that according to the Kaqchikel killed many horses. The Spanish reducciones created new nucleated settlements laid out in a grid pattern in the Spanish style, with a central plaza, a church and the town hall housing the civil government, known as the ayuntamiento. The Maya governor of Oxkutzcab, Fernando Kamal, set out with 150 Maya archers to track the warleader down; they succeeded in capturing the Itza captain and his followers, together with silverware from the looted Sakalum church and items belonging to Mirones. Maya temples were cast down and a Christian cross was put up on one of them. In 1557 the population was forcibly moved to Tixchel on the Gulf coast, so as to be more easily accessible to the Spanish authorities.  The Cholan Maya-speaking Lakandon (not to be confused with the modern inhabitants of Chiapas by that name) controlled territory along the tributaries of the Usumacinta River spanning southwestern Petén in Guatemala and eastern Chiapas. Aguilar and Guerrero were held prisoner and fattened for killing, together with five or six of their shipmates. Q'umarkaj was the capital of the K'iche' kingdom until it was burnt by the invading Spanish. Their arrival meant that the colonists were no longer free to treat the natives as they saw fit without the risk of intervention by the religious authorities. , Franciscan friar Andrés Avendaño y Loyola recorded his own account of his late 17th century journeys to Nojpetén. He was greatly impressed by a Roman Catholic mass celebrated for his benefit and converted to the new religion.  At the time of the fall of Nojpetén in 1697, there are estimated to have been 60,000 Maya living around Lake Petén Itzá, including a large number of refugees from other areas. There is no such thing as ‘religious’ change The nervous Sajkabʼchen sentries feared that the residents were returning en masse and discharged their muskets at them, with both groups then retreating. The Spanish soldiers opened fire with their muskets, and the Itza retreated across the lake with their prisoners, who included the two Franciscans. , Diego Velázquez, the governor of Cuba, was enthused by Hernández de Córdoba's report of gold in Yucatán. The expedition captured two Mayas to be used as interpreters and retreated to the ships.  García ordered the construction of a fort at Chuntuki, some 25 leagues (approximately 65 miles or 105 km) north of Lake Petén Itzá, which would serve as the main military base for the Camino Real ("Royal Road") project.  In 1641, the Franciscans established two reducciones among the Muzul Maya of central Belize, at Zoite and Cehake; both settlements were sacked by Dutch corsairs within a year.. , On 14 April 1524, the Spanish were invited into Iximche and were well received by the lords Belehe Qat and Cahi Imox. , Maya armies were highly disciplined, and warriors participated in regular training exercises and drills; every able-bodied adult male was available for military service. , The Dominicans established themselves in Xocolo on the shore of Lake Izabal in the mid-16th century. , Oidor Bartolomé de Amésqueta led the next Guatemalan expedition against the Itza. Pugh, Timothy W. (2009). Grijalva put into Havana five months after he had left.. from The Maya; 750L - 890L. In late 1546 an alliance of eastern provinces launched an unsuccessful uprising against the Spanish. Over the following days the Spanish discovered that although the Maya arrows had struck with little force, the flint arrowheads tended to shatter on impact, causing infected wounds and a slow death; two of the wounded Spaniards died from the arrow-wounds inflicted in the ambush.  One of these was built on a rocky outcrop near a lake and a river that fed into it. The rebellious eastern Maya were finally defeated in a single battle, in which twenty Spaniards and several hundred allied Maya were killed. Avendaño was accompanied by another friar, a lay brother, and six Christian Maya. A broad savannah extends south of the central lakes.  These events ended all Spanish attempts to contact the Itza until 1695.  The European diseases that ravaged the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas also severely affected the various Maya groups of the entire Yucatán Peninsula.  Modern knowledge of the impact of these diseases on populations with no prior exposure suggests that 33–50% of the population of the Maya highlands perished.  The Chajoma rebelled against the Spanish in 1526, fighting a battle at Ukub'il, an unidentified site somewhere near the modern towns of San Juan Sacatepéquez and San Pedro Sacatepéquez. Native resistance to the new nucleated settlements took the form of the flight into inaccessible regions such as the forest or joining neighbouring Maya groups that had not yet submitted to the European conquerors. By the latter half of the 18th century, the local inhabitants consisted entirely of Spaniards, mulattos and others of mixed race, all associated with the Castillo de San Felipe de Lara fort guarding the entrance to Lake Izabal. South of Chanputun, and extending west along the Gulf coast was Acalan.  Maya warriors entered battle against the Spanish with flint-tipped spears, bows and arrows and stones. , A page from the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, showing a Spanish conquistador accompanied by Tlaxcalan allies and a native porter, The sources describing the Spanish conquest of Guatemala include those written by the Spanish themselves, among them two letters written by conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1524, describing the initial campaign to subjugate the Guatemalan Highlands.  Most of the peninsula is formed by a vast plain with few hills or mountains and a generally low coastline.  When the Spaniards ransacked nearby temples they found a number of low-grade gold items, which filled them with enthusiasm.  Among these women was a young Maya noblewoman called Malintzin, who was given the Spanish name Marina. Alvarado's claim ultimately turned out successful.  Eighteen Spaniards were surprised in the eastern towns, and were sacrificed, and over 400 allied Maya were killed. The first Easter mass held in Guatemala was celebrated in the new church, during which high-ranking natives were baptised.. Francisco de Montejo, who would eventually conquer much of the peninsula, was captain of one of the ships; Pedro de Alvarado and Alonso d'Avila captained the other ships.  The defeated Chontal Maya lords offered gold, food, clothing and a group of young women in tribute to the victors. Monument in Mérida to Montejo the Elder and his son. , File:Historia de la conquista de la provincia de el Itza.pdf, In 1688 colonial historian Diego López de Cogolludo detailed the expeditions of the Spanish missionaries in 1618 and 1619 in his Los trés siglos de la dominación española en Yucatán o sea historia de esta provincia ("The three centuries of Spanish domination in Yucatán, or the history of this province"); he based it upon Fuensalida's report, which is now lost. His diplomatic overtures to the Champoton Kowoj were successful and they submitted to Spanish rule. This included the Mam inhabitants of the area now within the modern department of San Marcos. This region formed a part of the K'iche' kingdom, and a K'iche' army tried unsuccessfully to prevent the Spanish from crossing the river.  The most important of these was Sakb'ajlan on the Lacantún River, which was renamed as Nuestra Señora de Dolores, or Dolores del Lakandon, in April 1695.  Crossbows were easier to maintain than matchlocks, especially in the humid tropical climate of the Caribbean region that included much of the Yucatán Peninsula.  By early September he had imposed temporary Spanish authority over the Ixil towns of Chajul and Nebaj. One of the scarce mentions of Portocarrero's campaign suggests that there was some indigenous resistance but its exact form and extent is unknown.  The Roman Catholic priests accompanying the expedition celebrated mass in the presence of the king of the Itza, who was said to be so impressed that he pledged to worship the cross and to destroy his idols.  In the 1640s internal strife in Spain distracted the government from attempts to conquer unknown lands; the Spanish Crown lacked the time, money or interest in such colonial adventures for the next four decades. , The initial shock of the Spanish conquest was followed by decades of heavy exploitation of the indigenous peoples, allies and foes alike. The musketeer company then arrived to reinforce their sentries and charged into battle against approaching Kejache archers. The Río Nuevo flows from Lamanai Lake in Belize northwards to Chetumal Bay.  Superior Spanish weaponry and the use of cavalry, although decisive in the northern Yucatán, were ill-suited to warfare in the dense forests of lowland Petén. By 1514, Guerrero had achieved the rank of nacom, a war leader who served against Nachan Chan's enemies.  Mazariegos proceeded with the policy of moving the Indians into reducciones; this process was made easier by the much reduced indigenous population levels. After this Spanish victory, the neighbouring Maya leaders all surrendered. That particular outbreak was traced back to the island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, from whence it was introduced to the port city of Campeche, and from there was transmitted to Mérida. , Martín de Ursúa was now convinced that Kan Ekʼ would not surrender peacefully, and he began to organise an all-out assault on Nojpetén. With local guides they headed into the hills north of Lake Izabal, where their guides abandoned them to their fate. The Itza were warlike, and their martial prowess impressed both neighbouring Maya kingdoms and their Spanish enemies.  In the southern portion of the peninsula, a number of polities occupied the Petén Basin. Montejo the Younger was received in friendship by Namux Chel, the lord of the Chel province, at Dzilam.  Native resistance to the new nucleated settlements took the form of the flight into inaccessible regions such as the forest or joining neighbouring Maya groups that had not yet submitted to the Spanish. As Bartholomew explored, a large trading canoe approached. The Spanish and native tactics and technology differed greatly. The fledgling Spanish colony was moved to nearby Xamanha, modern Playa del Carmen, which Montejo considered to be a better port. , Pedro de Alvarado passed through Soconusco with a sizeable force in 1523, en route to conquer Guatemala.  Kan Ekʼ learnt of a plot by the Kowoj and their allies to ambush and kill the Franciscans, and the Itza king advised them to return to Mérida via Tipuj. Other conquests followed in the Petén and Guatemala, but the spectacular Conquest of Mexico attracted many historians and chroniclers who recorded the event and what remained of Aztec civilization. , The support ship eventually arrived from Santo Domingo, and Montejo used it to sail south along the coast, while he sent D'Avila over land. Godoy and Testera were soon in conflict and the friar was forced to abandon Champoton and return to central Mexico.  He was unable to find the Kejache but did manage to get information regarding a path that led southwards to the Itza kingdom.  Montejo the Younger remained behind in Dzilam to continue his attempts at conquest of the region but soon retreated to Campeche to rejoin his father and Alonso d'Avila, who had returned to Campeche shortly beforehand. As well as the one-handed broadsword, a 1.7-metre (5.5 ft) long two-handed version was also used. Once across, the conquistadors ransacked nearby settlements. Kowoj and Itza leaders in these mission towns rebelled in 1704, but although well-planned, the rebellion was quickly crushed.  Armed Maya warriors approached from the city, and communication was attempted with signs. Interpretación de un documento de los años un poco después de la conquista de Tayasal", http://www.iai.spk-berlin.de/fileadmin/dokumentenbibliothek/Indiana/Indiana_9/IND_09_von_Houwald.pdf, "Reseña Historia del Municipio de San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango", http://web.archive.org/web/20110607212942/http://www.inforpressca.com/sanmateoi/historia.php, "Qnaab'ila b'ix Qna'b'ila, Our thoughts and our feelings: Maya-Mam women's struggles in San Ildefonso Ixtahuacán", http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/etext/llilas/claspo/fieldreports/jimenez06.pdf, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PeOWl54Mt7UC&pg=RA2-PT82#v=onepage&q&f=false, "The Location of Tayasal: A Reconsideration in Light of Peten Maya Ethnohistory and Archaeology", "The Coxoh Colonial Project and Coneta, Chiapas Mexico: A Provincial Maya Village Under the Spanish Conquest", "La resistencia a la conquista española en Los Altos de Chiapas", http://www.unich.edu.mx/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/LARESI-1.PDF, "La ciudadanía del pueblo chuj en México: Una dialéctica negativa de identidades", http://www.ciesas.edu.mx/proyectos/relaju/cd_relaju/Ponencias/Mesa%20Valladares-Castro/LimonAguirreFernando.pdf, "The Indian Population of Southern Guatemala, 1549–1551: An Analysis of López de Cerrato's Tasaciones de Tributos", "Surviving Conquest: The Maya of Guatemala in Historical Perspective", http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/maya/maya.pdf, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=05wSqQiu52MC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=RVAFbknbo_EC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false, History of the Spanish Conquest of Yucatan and of the Itzas, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, http://www.cdi.gob.mx/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=57&Itemid=200020, "Segundo Asiento Oficial de la Ciudad según Acta", http://web.archive.org/web/20110714085615/http://www.miciudadvieja.com/portal/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1&Itemid=2, "Los primeros contactos lingüísticos de los españoles en Yucatán", http://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/2775333.pdf, "Excavaciones arqueológicas en la Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad de Chiquimula de la Sierra: Rescate del nombre y el prestigio de una iglesia olvidada", http://www.asociaciontikal.com/pdf/90_-_Yvonne_y_Sheila.pdf, http://www.bibliotecabasica.yucatan.gob.mx/archivos_modulos/biblioteca/pdf_201106170236.pdf, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8i-CsXotw1IC, "Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Reports on the Chol Mayas", "The Maya Central Area at the Spanish Conquest and Later: A Problem in Demography", "Native Population Decline in Totonicapan, Guatemala", http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=RhAI3Js9zWcC&pg=PA19&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false, "Política, evangelización y guerra: Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús y la frontera centroamericana, 1684–1706", http://www.hcentroamerica.fcs.ucr.ac.cr/Contenidos/hca/cong/mesas/cong7/docs/1_14.doc, "On the Fringes of Conquest: Maya-Spanish Contact in Colonial Belize", "Encomienda and Settlement: Towards a Historical Geography of Early Colonial Guatemala", A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, Historia de la Conquista de la Provincia de el Itza, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Spanish_conquest_of_the_Maya?oldid=4544205, Pages using duplicate arguments in template calls.  The first contact between the Maya and European explorers came in the early 16th century when a Spanish ship sailing from Panama to Santo Domingo was wrecked on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in 1511. , The leaders of Xocolo and Amatique, backed by the threat of Spanish action, persuaded a community of 190 Toquegua to settle on the Amatique coast in April 1604. , one could make a whole book ... out of the atrocities, barbarities, murders, clearances, ravages and other foul injustices perpetrated ... by those that went to Guatemala, In this way they congregated a group of Christian Indians in the location of what is now the town of Rabinal. , Petén has a hot climate and receives the highest rainfall in all Mesoamerica. The Kaqchikel began to fight the Spanish. Hernán Cortés followed the Yucatán coast on his way to conquer the Aztecs. Sixteen Franciscan friars are reported to have died in Mérida, probably the majority of the Franciscans based there at the time, and who had probably numbered not much more than twenty before the outbreak. Hernán Cortés was placed in command, and his crew included officers that would become famous conquistadors, including Pedro de Alvarado, Cristóbal de Olid, Gonzalo de Sandoval and Diego de Ordaz.  Spanish reinforcements arrived too late. The Spanish conquest of the Maya was a protracted conflict during the Spanish colonisation of the Americas, in which the Spanish conquistadores and their allies gradually incorporated the territory of the Late Postclassic Maya states and polities into the colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain.  The Maya prepared for battle but the Spanish horses and firearms quickly decided the outcome.  The expedition sailed west from Cuba for three weeks, and weathered a two-day storm a week before sighting the coast of the northeastern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. In 1535, peaceful attempts by the Franciscan Order to incorporate Yucatán into the Spanish Empire failed after a renewed Spanish military presence at Champotón forced the friars out.  When they drew close to the shore of Lake Petén Itzá, AjKʼixaw was sent ahead as an emissary to Nojpetén. , In March 1695, Captain Juan Díaz de Velasco set out from Cahabón in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, with 70 Spanish soldiers, accompanied by a large number of Maya archers from Verapaz, native muleteers, and four Dominican friars. The Uspantek and the Ixil were allies and in 1529 Uspantek warriors were harassing Spanish forces and the city of Uspantán was trying to foment rebellion among the K'iche'; the Spanish decided that military action was necessary. Lexile Levels 560L - 740L 750L - 890L 900L - 1040L . Wikisource has original text related to this article. Gall, Francis (July–December 1967). Cortés and his army left Acalan on 5 March 1525.  In the late 17th century, Spanish colonial records document hostilities between Maya groups in the lakes region, with the incursion of the Kowoj into former Yalain sites including Zacpeten on Lake Macanché and Ixlu on Lake Salpetén. The phenomenon of the Spanish Conquest of the Maya region suggests strongly that, in the process of socio-cultural transformation, ‘religion’ has no meaning as a concept with its own particular dynamic. Chanputun (modern Champotón) was on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, as was Acalan.  Alvarado was received in peace in Soconusco, and the inhabitants swore allegiance to the Spanish Crown. The Spanish regrouped and forced passage to the shore, where their discipline collapsed and a frantic scramble for the boats ensued, leaving the Spanish vulnerable to the pursuing Maya warriors who waded into the sea behind them.  In early November 1695, two Franciscans were sent to establish a mission at Pak'ek'em, where they were well received by the cacique (native chief) and his pagan priest. One of these was to convert the Kejache in Tzuktokʼ, and the other was to do the same at Chuntuki. , The 16th-century Spanish conquistadors were armed with one- and two-handed broadswords, lances, pikes, rapiers, halberds, crossbows, matchlocks and light artillery. Some of the inhabitants had fled Tixchel for the forest, while others had succumbed to disease, malnutrition and inadequate housing in the Spanish reducción. The prevailing winds are easterly and have created an east-west precipitation gradient with average rainfall in the east exceeding 1,400 millimetres (55 in) and the north and northwestern portions of the peninsula receiving a maximum of 800 millimetres (31 in). Montejo the Elder arrived in Mérida from Chiapas in December 1546, with reinforcements gathered from Champoton and Campeche.  After failing to locate Cortés, the Alvarados returned to Guatemala. The Cupul Maya also opposed Spanish domination, but were quickly defeated. The location of the historical city of Mixco Viejo has been the source of some confusion. , The Spanish engaged in a strategy of concentrating native populations in newly founded colonial towns, or reducciones (also known as congregaciones).  Following the same route used in 1686, they managed on the way to recruit 200 indigenous Maya warriors from Santa Eulalia, San Juan Solomá and San Mateo.  The canopy height of the forest gradually decreases from Petén northwards, averaging from 25 to 35 metres (82 to 115 ft).  From there they followed the small Acté River to a Chakʼan Itza town called Saklemakal. However, in the late 15th century the Kaqchikel rebelled against their former K'iche' allies and founded a new kingdom to the southeast with Iximche as its capital.  The extreme north of the peninsula, roughly corresponding to Yucatán State, has underlying bedrock consisting of flat Cenozoic limestone. 758–759, 760–761.  Those areas of the peninsula that experience damper conditions became rapidly depopulated after the conquest with the introduction of malaria and other waterborne parasites. Hocaba and Sotuta were landlocked provinces north of Mani and southwest of Ah Kin Chel and Cupul.
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