PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mayan stone carving. Close-up of glyphs on a stele (carved standing stone). The stele was found at Dos Pilas, a city located in El Peten, Guatemala. Dos Pilas was initially founded as a secondary site to the great city of Tikal in 629 AD. It grew in power by forming an alliance with Tikal's enemy city Kalakmul and began a protracted war against Tikal, eventually sacking the city. Dos Pilas's power then waned after its Kalakmul allies were defeated, which led to it being abandoned in 760 AD.
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