Seibal (in Spanish "Ceibal" place with many Ceibas) is a ruined site of the Maya civilization located in the south of the Petén department of Guatemala.

Seibal is located on the La Pasión River, that along with the Salinas and Chixoy rivers forms the Usumacinta River. It was the first capital of Petexbatún State.

The site was occupied from preclassic to late classic times, with a significant hiatus. The site was occupied by the 9th century BC, then started to decline in the 1st century AD, and seems to have been abandoned during the 6th and early 7th century, after which it was reoccupied and grew again. For a time Seibal was a vassal state of Dos Pilas, before regaining its independence. The site was at its peak from about 830 to 890, with a population of some 10,000 people, then was again abandoned about 930. It continued functioning and erecting new monuments for over a generation after many of the other Petén Basin Maya sites, such as Tikal. Many of Seibal's late monuments show artistic influence from central Mexico and from the Gulf of Mexico coast; it may have been a capital of the Putún Maya— "Putún" meaning, "people who speaks poorly our language"— or Toltec Maya. Seibal was explored by Teoberto Maler in 1895 and 1905, and then investigated by Sylvanus Morley in 1914. A Harvard University archeological project excavated the site starting in 1964, led by Gordon R. Willey and A. Ledyard Smith.

External links

* [ Ceibal History and Photo Gallery]
* [ Seibal on]
* [ Seibal on] many good images, may be slow loading

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