The Mayan civilization was at its peak during the Classic Period, beginning ca 250 AD and declining ca 900 AD. During this time, the Mayans worshiped the underworld, also known as Xibalba; sacrificing themselves and the lives of the young to ensure a healthy afterlife. Mayans were incredibly expressive of their beliefs and rituals as they depicted their conquests, sacrificial rituals, and celebrations throughout their artwork. Stela carvings in limestone, paintings on vessels, and instruments made from ceramic and shell, were only a few of the ways that the Mayans used their artistic abilities to showcase their offerings to the Gods of the underworld. Common images viewed in their artwork surrounded bloodletting that was often performed in caves as they were viewed as gateways to the underworld. Additional images of Mayan culture were focused on leadership, and pass-times such as their deadly ball game. Through examining the images found on the following artifacts, one can attest that the Maya were a civilization built around war and worship. Which is undoubtedly expressed throughout the archaeological evidence found today in the areas that make up Central America.