Kingdom of Itza
|Government||Unitary Semi-Constitutional Monarchy|
• Prime Minister
|344,600 km2 (133,100 sq mi)|
• 2023 estimate
• 2020 census
|115/km2 (297.8/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2023 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2023 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Itzan quetzal (ʠ)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (IST)|
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Itza, formally the Kingdom of Itza (Itzan: Kaan Itza) is a sovereign nation in Alharu on Eurth. It is situated in the Mesothalassa subcontinent on western edge of the Tapatepetli Mountains. It is touched to the north by the Synthe Sea and to the south by the Typhon Sea. Distant neighbors include Pecario to the west, Mesothalasa to the east, Montedica and Kertosono to the north and Advocatius and the Pretanic Isles to the south. Itzal is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Tapatan, Yaxa, and Kayochtal.
With an estimated population of around 39.6 million and a total land area of 344,600 square kilometers (133,100 square miles), Itza is one of the most populous countries in Alharu and the largest in Mesothalassa. The unitary semi-constitutional monarchy is divided into thirteen historical provinces with executive power centralized in the capital Itzal province. The population is composed primarily of ethnic Itzans descended from the original habitants of the region with a small but growing Winikal[a] community.
Itza is rated as a developing country.
Archaeological evidence suggests the lands that would become Itza had been inhabited by nomadic human tribes as early as 11,000 BC. Primitive obsidian and pyrite arrowheads uncovered in the region indicate these were hunter-gatherer groups that migrated between the continents of Alharu and Aurelia following game and seasonal plants.
The earliest known permanent settlements discovered near the base of the Tapatepetli Mountains have been dated to approximately 3000 BC. These early farming hamlets grew modest subsistence crops like maize, beans and squash. They utilized companion planting techniques, interspersing the different crops together, which enriched the soil and helped deter pests.
More sophisticated agricultural practices developed over the next thousand years. By 2000 BC, settlements showed evidence of animal domestication. Rudimentary terracing and irrigation canals were built to expand arable farmland and increase crop yields. This agricultural surplus allowed populations to expand and settle in permanent villages.
Pottery and weaving developed as specialized crafts by 1500 BC. Distinct cultural groups with unique artistic styles and burial practices emerged across different regions. Long-distance trade routes were established, linking coastal and inland settlements and spreading cultural influences. Ritual centers with earthen pyramid mounds increasingly acted as hubs for religious and economic activity.
Around 500 BC, larger, more complex and socially stratified societies formed throughout the region. Sophisticated arts, writing, mathematics, and astronomy flourished. Lavish tombs filled with ornate goods suggest the rise of powerful rulers and wealthy elites. This flowering of culture paved the way for the ascendance of the first great Itzan city-states by 300 AD.
Classical to post-classical era
The Classical Era saw the formation of larger settlements and ceremonial centers across the lands surrounding Lake Yaxa and Lake Itzal. Sophisticated terraced architecture and deliberate housing segregation indicated increasing societal stratification and political complexity. Highly developed arts, astronomy, mathematics and writing also arose during this fertile period. Elaborately carved stone pyramids, palaces, ball courts and plazas were constructed while intricate hieroglyphics recorded historic events and mythology. The early iterations of the complex Itzan calendar were codified and used during this time, which allowed for accurate tracking of solar and lunar cycles. Variations of this calendar system remained in use by the Itza civilization until the mid-19th century.
By 900 AD, powerful independent city-states had emerged across the region, controlling vital trade routes and vying for dominance. Shifting alliances and near constant wars were common as dynasties rose and fell, borders expanded and retracted. In 1203, when the aging king of the city-state of Itza died without leaving an heir, a chaotic power vacuum formed. Ambitious local lords immediately took up arms against each other, plunging the core Itza lands into civil war. One of the warring nobles, Itzamna, managed to persuade the nearby city-state of Chaktemal to ally with him through the marriage of Itzamna's daughter. Their combined armies overwhelmed the other factions, allowing Itzamna to consolidate control and crown himself the first king of a unified Itza kingdom.
The newly crowned King Itzamna I wasted no time launching a ruthless campaign of conquest and expansion to subjugate neighboring city-states that had opposed him or taken advantage of the civil war. Leveraging mercenary forces from western Mesothalassa, Itzamna I rapidly expanded his realm east towards the strategic Tapatepetli Mountains over the next 15 years. Some city-states immediately pledged fealty while others were forced to become unwilling tributaries facing eventual annexation. By 1210, Itzamna I had increased the lands under Itza control nearly tenfold. In 1218, surrounded by his war chiefs and priests at the sacred base of Mount Tzekam, Itzamna I was declared K'inich ti' K'inicho'ob ("king of kings") codifying his absolute imperial authority over the region and marking the foundation of the Itza Empire.
By the mid 17th century, the Itza Empire enveloped the entirety of the Tapatepetli Mountains and eastern Mesothalassa. Government reforms over the previous centuries had strengthened imperial rule and centralized power in Itza. Local kings maintained some autonomy over their individual tribes; but, imperial edicts were absolute and kings that did not obey faced harsh judgment. The cooperation of tribal leaders allowed the Itza Empire to create an expansive road system, standardize its currency, and develop massive urban centers.
In the late 17th century, Anglian colonizers arrived on the shores of Mesothalassa. Lured by rumors of gold and riches, they sought to conquer and colonize the lands surrounding the Tapatepetli Mountains. The Itzans initially tried to negotiate and trade with the Anglians, but tensions mounted as the Europans pushed further inland and claimed territory in eastern Mesothalassa.
In 1696, the Anglians landed an army in central Mesothalassa and advanced along the Yaxum river. They sacked and razed the ancient Itzan capital of Yax Itza but were unable to capture the Itzan emperor, Itzamna IV, who managed to escape the city and regroup in the mountain fortress city of Itzal. Itzamna IV rallied a massive army that some experts estimate to have been numbered over half a million warriors and waged a fierce guerrilla war against the colonizers. Though suffering from newly introduced diseases like smallpox that decimated their population, the Itzan's knowledge of the difficult terrain allowed them to gain some key victories. The advanced road system made it possible for the Itzans to move large volumes of supplies and people relatively quickly over large distances.
After years of grueling warfare, the Itzans in 1705 managed to push back the Anglians to the modern day territory of Mesothalasa. An informal ceasefire agreement was reached but no peace treaty was ever signed. The Itzan Empire was left severely weakened, having lost territory in eastern Mesothalassa and with disease ravaging the remaining population; but, their pyrrhic victory had managed to maintain their sovereignty against one of the most powerful colonial empires in the world.
Itza is a continental nation located in central Mesothalassa; geologically, its mainland rests on the Aurelian Plate. It has a total land area of 344,600 km² (133,100 sq mi). The territory lies between the latitutes 0° and 15° S and longitudes 58 and 68° W. It is bordered by the Synthe Sea to the north and the Typhon Sea to the south with access to the Adlantic Ocean. The eastern border of Itza touches the extreme western extensions of the Tapatepetli Mountains. Mount Tzekam (4060m) is the highest peak within the nation and a location of immense cultural important to ethnic Itzans.
Itza has four well defined topographical regions: the dry semi-arid Kayochtal Plateau in the northeast, the wide tropical savannah of western and central Itza which includes the Yaxum Basin, the arid Tapatan shelf along the southern coastline, and the sub-tropical Itzal Highlands to the east.
In terms of hydrography, there are four aboveground rivers in Itza: the Sako River to the northwest, the Chaltun River to the northeast, the Kakawati River to the southeast, and the Yaxum River to the southwest. Underground rivers carved massive cave systems throughout throughout the Yaxum Basin creating sinkholes called cenotes which provide access to the freshwater aquifers. The country's main lakes are Lake Yaxa, which is the source of the Yaxum River, and Lake Itzal in the eastern highlands.
The entirety of Itza is located in the tropics to the south of the Equator. Its climate varies from tropical savannah, which experiences distinct rainy and dry seasons, to tropical hot semi-arid with only a short rainy season. Annual rainfall varies from 871 mm (34.32 in) in the center of the country, to 580.4 mm (22.85 in) in the north and along the southern coastline.
The country has distinct temperature zones primarily based on elevation. In the tropical zone below 800 m (2,625 ft), temperatures are hot with annual highs averaging around 33.5 to 35.1 °C (92.3 to 95.2 °F). The temperate zone ranges between 800 and 2,000 m (2,625 and 6,562 ft) with annual highs averaging 25.5 to 27.9 °C (77.9 to 82.2 °F). The cooler zone is between 2,000 and 3,000 m (6,562 and 9,843 ft) with annual highs averaging 22.5 to 23.4 °C (72.5 to 74.1 °F).
The highest temperature recorded was 43.6 °C (110.5 °F) in Kayochtal, and the lowest temperature was -11.5 °C (11.3 °F) near Mount Tzekam.
- This is a term used to describe individuals of mixed-ancestry.