In the seventh century A.D. the Snake rulers presided over this capital city—in what today is southern Mexico—and its largest structure, a pyramid 180 feet tall. From Calakmul they managed an intricate web of alliances.
A fascinating story on Calakmul and the Maya Snake Kingdom appears in the September 2016 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Here is an excerpt.
"At the end of the fifth century, Tikal was one of the most powerful city-states in the region. Archaeologists suspect that it held its position with the help of a much larger city high in the mountains 650 miles to the west called Teotihuacan, near today’s Mexico City. For centuries these two cities shaped Maya painting, architecture, pottery, weapons, and city planning. But all that changed in the sixth century, when Teotihuacan disengaged from the Maya region, leaving Tikal to fend for itself.
Enter the Snakes. No one’s sure where they came from; there’s no evidence of them ruling Calakmul before 635. Some experts imagine th...