Much of the highlands of Guatemala contain archaeological remains of populations that have been able to be unrelated to the current Mayan groups. Such is the case of Kaminaljuyu in Guatemala City and the largest pre-Hispanic settlement of the highlands. It was occupied from the Middle pre-classic, and was abandoned at the end of the late classic period. Originally had 260 buildings of earth and mud, placed around a now extinct lake, but the expansion of the city has destroyed them almost in full, since only some 20 buildings in the small park archaeological Kaminaljuyu and some mounds between houses are preserved. It had its peak period in the late pre-classic, as evidenced by the presence of elaborate tombs and a large number of sculptures, some of which have hieroglyphic inscriptions. They also highlight their waterworks, including the Mound of the Snake, which is a more than 2 miles long. Already during the early classic had strong influences from Teotihuacán, evidenced by its architecture style Talud-tablero in mud. The prosperity of Kaminaljuyu was surely due to its strategic position in the Valley of Guatemala, which allowed him to control the trade of products such as jade, obsidian and cacao to the lowlands and other areas of Mesoamerica.

From Paxil, from Cayalá, as they were called, came the yellow ears of corn and the white ears of corn.