Dating generally from the Mayan Classic period (AD 250 - 900), most Mayan ruins can be found throughout the Yucatán peninsula and Central America. Mayan Temples have steep stone steps and a platform at the top for wooden crowning structures. Mayan architecture is composed with a sophisticated eye to decoration, often using wall paintings and elaborate bas-relief stone carvings. Mayan arches forego the use of a keystone, instead creating a triangle-like arch known as a corbel vault.
(Note: Isn't this the civilization that disappeared for no reason? Or is that the Incas? - RL)
(Note: There are plenty of Mayans still living in that part of the world with their own rich culture, and a modern form of Mayan is still spoken there today. But, yeah, this once thriving civilization reached its height around 900 AD, before collapsing suddenly and declining slowly over the next few hundred years. People say it had to do with drought or short-sighted agricultural practices, but I don't think there's a standard agreement about what exactly happened. In any case, the last Mayan settlement was wiped out at some point in the late 16th century, about 40 years before the period we're studying. - DM)