Spanish for "place of the ceiba tree," Seibal had a checkered history. First inhabited in the Middle Preclassic Period around 800 B.C., the city grew until about the time of Christ, when it began a long decline. It was apparently abandoned between roughly A.D. 500 and 690, when it was reoccupied. In 735, Ruler 3 from the Maya city known today as Dos Pilas, captured the ruler of Seibal, Yich'ak Balam, and his city, leading to about 60 years of foreign rule. Around 830, a non-Classic Maya group settled in Seibal, which witnessed its greatest florescence over the next century, its population reaching about 10,000. The city was permanently abandoned in 930 and not rediscovered until about 1890. Today, it is noted for its beautiful carved stelae sculpted from high-quality limestone.

Seibal Stela 10 at Seibal.

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