Mayan Civilization and Culture Essay

Mayan Civilization and Culture Essay

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The Ancient Mayan civilization contained nearly two-thirds of Mesoamerica. The area included mostly volcanic mountains to porous limestone, also referred to as the lowlands in the more central regions. Mayan civilization extended from Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in the north, to Honduras in the south. What made the Mayans stand out to me the most, were their complex societies, which were built and modernized far ahead of its time in a tropical rainforest climate (Aissen, 1992). Normally, ancient populations lived in much drier climates, where irrigation practices served as the foundation of societies. The Mayans excelled at pottery, hieroglyphic writing, making calendars, science, and mathematics. The Mayan Civilization, which extended through what is now Guatemala, began declining around AD 900, and researchers are debating as to what might have been the cause of this decline.
The golden age of the Mayans occurred at around AD 250. They spread across forty cities, including Altun Ha, Caracol, Lamanai, and Tikal among many others. During this time, the population was around two million people. Farmers, who practiced slash-and-burn farming techniques along with more modern techniques, including terracing and irrigation, surrounded these cities. The Mayans religious beliefs and the complexity of their societies are just a few of the topics that will be covered. In this paper, we will discuss the methods that Mayans used in their respective territories for food, shelter, home remedies and medications, and water. We will also discuss how the Mayans marked and defended their territories, their political views, and their subsistence strategies.
The Mayan Culture and Subsistence Farming
Slash-and-burn farming is the process o...


... middle of paper ...


...l that are believed to be from decomposing food many, many years ago. Mayans, who live today, continue to carry on as much of the culture as they know. They do this through the clothing they wear, religious practices, rituals, and their food.



Works Cited

Aissen, J. L. (1992). Topic and Focus in Mayan. Language, 68(1), 43.
Alexander, R. T., & Reed, N. A. (2004). The Caste War of Yucatan. Latin American Antiquity, 15(3), 366.
Coe, M. D. (1966). The Maya. New York: Praeger.
Haar, G. V. (2008). Mayan voices for human rights: displaced Catholics in Highland Chiapas – By Christine Kovic. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 14(2), 452-453.
Hammond, N. (1972). Obsidian Trade Routes in the Mayan Area. Science, 178(4065), 1092-1093.
Rice, D. S. (1983). Maya subsistence, studies in memory of Dennis E. Puleston. Journal of Archaeological Science, 10(3), 307-308.

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