A.D. 536 AND THE MAYA HIATUS: A RE-CONSIDERATION OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL, ICONOGRAPHIC, AND EPIGRAPHIC RECORDS IN MESOAMERICA
Looking to Mesoamerica, A.D. 536 is within a marked period of change. More specifically, for the Maya A.D. 536 falls generally within the transition from the Early to Late Classic periods. Furthermore, at this time the Maya experienced what Morley named the “Maya Hiatus.” Simply, the hiatus denotes a period of depressed monument dedication. Maya scholars have recently challenged the existence of the Maya hiatus because some areas were more clearly affected than others. Consequently, the question of what, if anything, caused the Maya hiatus, is crucial to understanding why some areas were affected more than others. While the Maya were located relatively near Ilopango, it appears that A.D. 536 was not particularly deleterious to their society as a whole. The answer to why this was lies in the investigation of the archaeological, epigraphic and iconographic records. Only by considering the entire picture can we understand how 536 might have affected the Maya and why they were able to withstand a large-scale sudden environmental disaster.