A complex, fairly sophisticated Mayan culture lived in the highlands of El Salvador in the third century. The violent eruption at Ilopango destroyed the land for a 60 mile (100 km) radius around the volcano. Thousands of people died. Excavations, like the one in this photo, are providing new insights into Mayan culture. The eruption ended the presence of Mayan society in the highlands. Large numbers of refugees fled to lowland areas in Guatemala and Belize. A major trade route was abandon. Rulers at Tikal gained control of commerce. Photograph copyrighted and provided by Steve O'Meara of Volcano Watch International.
The main volcanoes in the Central American arc in El Salvador.
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