The Maya Civilization

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Since the Neolithic revolution, humans began to adopt a new process towards new practices, such as intensive agriculture, religion, rituals, etc. With technological advances, as well as ideological ones, early societies started to acquire a socio-political framework similar to the one in place in our current society. One of the societies that was well perceivable due to its large influence in Meso America, and their large territory was the Mayan society. In fact, during their most prosper centuries (250- 900 C.E.), the Mayas were able to expand their cultural, ideological and religious systems across Mexico and nearby countries. However, one question is often raised in the field of anthropology: Why do archaeologists consider the Mayan society either a chiefdom or a civilization? According to several researchers of that matter, the Mayan society was a civilization, because they possessed many characteristics exclusive to a state. By examining their intensive agriculture techniques, their centralized government, and their large foods surpluses, it can be seen that they had the main traits required for a society to be called a civilization. Nevertheless, these were not the only traits of a state that the Mayas possessed; they only generated several others, such as large territories, cities, a state religion, social stratification, monumental architecture, advances in knowledge, writing/counting systems and a standing army. The subsequent will describe how those features are representative of a state, rather than a chiefdom. Initially, the Mayas covered a large territory during their peak period (250-900 C.E.) that consisted in southern Mexico (primarily the states of Tabasco, Yucatán, Campeche, Chiapas and Quintana Roo), western... ... middle of paper ... is that the reservoir canals were connected to the raised fields. The main crops that they cultivated were: sunflower, cotton, maize and beans (Webster, 2002, p. 95). Works Cited Aveni, A. F. (2001). Time, Number, and History in the Maya World. Kronoscope, 1(1/2), 29-61 . doi:10.1163/156852401760060919. (WRITING SYSTEMS AND ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE) Harrison, P. D. (2012). A MARVEL OF MAYA ENGINEERING: WATER MANAGEMENT ATTIKAL. Expedition, 54(2), 19-26. ( AGRICULTURE) Sharer, R. (2012). WHO WERE THE MAYA? Expedition, 54(1), 12-16. Thompson, Eric, J. (1966). The rise and fall of the Maya civilization. Norman, OK, U.S.A: University of Oklahoma Press. Webster, D. (2002). The fall of the ancient Maya. New York, NY, U.S.A: Thames & Hudson Ltd. Webster, D. (2000). The Not So Peaceful Civilization: A Review of Maya War. Journal Of World Prehistory, 14(1), 65-119.

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