The Mayan civilization was located in southeastern Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. One of the first American civilizations, it lasted from about 1000 B.C.-1542 A.D. Their civilization flourished during the Sixth Century. They built many temples and over forty cities. The Mayan population consisted of almost fifteen million people who were all living in one of the many cities. The Mayan people were extremely religious and believed in multiple gods which meant they were polytheistic. Their most commonly worshiped god was the Maize God, or god of corn, as corn was the most grown and most relied on crop. The Mayans grew all of their own food so they needed to have useful farming methods. The one they used most often was the slash and burn method, which involved cutting down trees and burning them to make the soil fertil which was necessary to grow crops. This method worked for many years, but soon started to backfire. The Mayans were ahead of their time, but that did not prevent their mysterious decline which occurred between the years 800 A.D.-900 A.D. Although it is not known exactly why the powerful empire fell, but there are various probable theories. The mysterious decline of the Mayans may have been caused by …show more content…
One disease, called smallpox, spread across the empire quickly. The citizens died from smallpox and hunger wiping out the population. The civilization was in the midst of a downwards spiral. The Mayan Empire may have been ahead of its time but they did not have the medicine to treat the foreign diseases that these people were suffering from. Almost half of the people died within a year after the new diseases was brought to their lands. The people went into panic because now it was evident that their civilization was declining. As clear as it was that the civilization was falling, they still blamed these disasters on their leaders and their
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
This paper explores information gather from several articles that report on the Mayan Civilization throughout the years of their rise, their conquering, and their fall, as well as their interactions with other civilizations, specifically the Spanish. The Mayan civilization dates back before the 16th century, before they were conquered by the Spanish Conquistadors and the civilization diminished. During their reign, the Maya civilization thrived in what is now parts of Southern Mexico and Central America. However, their supremacy was struck down when the Spanish and their beliefs
Prior to the commencement of the ninth century CE, Mayan power reached its apex, culminating in what historians identify as the end of the Mayan Classical age; an era marked by vast prosperity (Wylie, 3). Before the apex of the Mayan Classical age, the Yucatan peninsula received high quantities of rainfall that contributed to significant agricultural yields, and consequently increased both the wealth and prosperity of Mayan society (Wylie, 3). Near the time of the Classical Mayan apex, however, historical climate records indicate that global temperatures witnessed a shift that led to a significant reduction in the amount of rainfall over southern Mesoamerica (Wylie, 4). The result of this change was devastating for Mayan civilization as it directly led to the beginning of a severe drought that would last sporadically for approximately two centuries, decimating the principal source of the Mayan civilization’s affluence in the process; agriculture (Armstrong,
The Mayan empire was doing well until they started burning down trees. The reason why they fell was not because of other empires, but technically on themselves. In the article “Why Did the Mayan Civilization Collapse? A New Study Points to Deforestation and Climate Change” by Joseph Stromberg has many points on how they fell because of this. In the article it states that, “As a result, the rapid deforestation exacerbated an already severe drought—in the simulation, deforestation reduced precipitation by five to 15 percent and was responsible for 60 percent of the total drying that occurred over the course of a century as the Mayan civilization collapsed” (Stromberg). As the Mayan’s kept burning down the trees the Mayan empire started to get lower and lower. When the precipitation went down, that wasn’t what made the Mayan empire fall
The Mayan Civilization was a very well developed civilization. Their way of life and how they survived is remarkable. The Mayans created several things that we use today. This civilization started small and expanded to a culture that still exists. The Mayans had strong beliefs in their gods.
Due to some reason or yet unknown event, civilization collapsed and naturally abandoned their cities. “10 The world is still searching to see what caused the Mayans to abandon such well-structured and organized cities. There are several theories, some involving the invasion of Nahua ethnic origin or crop failure and epidemics. The strongest evidence or proof indicates that the Maya expansion caused overcrowding and thus the depletion of natural resources, mainly on the capacity of agricultural land to support growing
The Mayans were a great powerful group of people that followed what they believed in, build big beautiful temples. The Maya build a big temple inside the big jungle of southern Mexico. The temple is so big that you can see it from high in the sky. You can still see the temple today, but the temple lays in ruins because of the thick jungle that have grown over it. At that temple, they sacrificed people for the gods. If the Mayans had died out because of all the desices the Spanish brought we could have learned more about them.
Since the beginning of discovery, the Maya have always been known as “an indigenous people from Mexico and Central America” in 1800 B.C. to about 800 A.D. (“The Maya Civilization,” 1/1). One of the most dominant societies of Mesoamerica, the Maya geographically centralized in one “block”: the Yucatan Peninsula and Guatemala, Belize, Tabasco and Chiapas (Mexico), and the western part of Honduras and El Salvador (“Maya,” 1/1). Their constant location, over a period of almost 3000 years, shows that the Maya stayed safe from invasion by other peoples. The Maya Empire peaked at 600-800 A.D. and suffered a decline when the Spanish conquistadors rose.
... fatal rivalries and drastic climate change are acceptable to be the reasons for the collapse of the Mayan civilization. Well known archaeologists had provided strong evidences on both of the theories. The Mayan civilization always relies on their god-king and when their god-king loses their divene power, it is possible to think that because the lost of a king, the whole government system broke down. On the other hand, the theory of drastic climate change can also the reason for the collapse of the Mayan civilization. With the lake of water supply, normal human being are unable to survive. Without water supply, they can’t plant water-based plant like maize, which is their main food supply. Both theories have their strong point and until future new solid evidence is being discovered, we can’t say what is the real reason for the collapse of the Mayan Civilization yet.
Now that the environment of the Maya has been discussed and understood, the agriculture of the Maya is another important factor in the collapse of the Classic Maya. Domesticated crops that were currently being farmed at the time were corn, chiles, squash, beans, etc. Corn was a huge part of the Maya diet for the nobles and commoners, and responded positively to human intervention (Diamond, 2011, p.163). However, agriculture limitations arose with corn, such as a short storing period, one year, little nutrients, and the farming of corn was unproductive and require large amounts of labor (Diamond, 2011, p.165). An agricultural technique that was at first pr...
The Dark Ages were a time of great loss in regards to the lack of any grand achievement being made in Europe. After the fall of Rome, it was as if European society paused, and resumed during the Renaissance. This was not true for the Mayans, however. While the Europeans were squandering trying to subsist through the fall of the Roman Empire, the Mayans were building great pyramids, making substantial discoveries in astronomy and mathematics, their culture was rich. The Maya stood out for its sophisticated culture and society, which is eventually overshadowed by Europe’s monumental resurgence during the Renaissance period. It’s salient that the Maya never had a time period in which their culture was lost, despite the mysterious abandonment of
In the Central America, most notably the Yucatan Peninsula, are the Maya, a group of people whose polytheistic religion and advanced civilization once flourished (Houston, 43). The Maya reached their peak during the Classic Period from around CE 250 to the ninth century CE when the civilization fell and dispersed (Sharer, 1). Although much has been lost, the gods and goddesses and the religious practices of the Classic Maya give insight into their lives and reveal what was important to this society.