Monday, November 26, 2012

The History of Mayan Civilization

By Linda Patterson

Some artifacts were found that were associated with the early Maya that is dated around 2600 BCE, although there is no exact date regarding the civilization of Maya. These artifacts were bowl remains and clay figurines. It was the foragers who became the first settlers and eventually became local tribes and established villages in a farming community. They were into mining and pottery that helped them to endure. The civilization was trade dependent because of their rich resources.

Their trade networks with other Mesoamerican cultures were very strong all throughout the Preclassic period around 2000 BC to 300 AD. Their trading network runs from Guatemala up to Mexico blossomed because of their specialization with particular goods. They traded Obsidian, Jade and Turquoise with their neighbors which contributed a lot to their economy. It is also during this period that they have Mayan glyphs was invented that enabled them to write about their history.

The Mayas became powerful masters in the Yucatan Peninsula and as well as Central America during the classic period around 200 BC. In this period, Mayans built massive pyramids and temples, became a developed metropolis, with an improved agriculture. From Tikal the principal city, the urbanization spread up to the south to Honduras.

One of the powerful kingdoms in the ancient Mayans was Tikal which is in the region of Peten. It was one of the major cultural and population centers during this time. During the 4th century AD some evidence suggests that Tikal was conquered by Teotihuacan. During the late Classic period, some elite places were burned and there were no new monuments constructed. There was abandonment of the place as population gradually declined in the 10th century.

Mayan civilization was one of the greatest Mesoamerican civilizations. Although it is the greatest, it was not unified and each state was reigned by sacred lords. They were linked to one another because of trade networks, military alliance and shared rituals. The fall of the Mayan civilization remains a mystery. There are several assumptions why it happened. One is the trade which they are very dependent to it. The trade routes fell apart and that led to the downfall of the Mayan Society. Other theories states that the lower classes revolt because of work overload. The burning of the temple and destruction of thrones were considered as evidences. Some experts also mention about epidemic diseases that all over the place.

Travelers would want to go to Mexico today because of the remnants of Mayan civilization. One of the attractions is the Temple of Kukulcan Chichen Itza and many more beautiful spots to explore.

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