Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Goods Which Contributed To The Success Of The Trade And Economy Of The Mayans

By Linda Patterson

Mayans had an advanced economy and trade system. In contrary to the previous investigations, they have strong commercial ties with all other Mesoamerican cultures. Actually, they have participated in trade routes extended all over Central and South America. These trade routes began from Guatemala up to Mexico all throughout 2000 BC to 300 AD. The trade reach its apex because of the abundance of resources and specializations facilitated in each goods made.

The central locations of the trade were the highlands and the lowlands. It became possible because of the good relationship that they have with the other tribes. This good relationship blossomed to a trading network which made them trade their products. This paved the way to transfer of mathematical, astronomic, writing and cultural to Mesoamerican cultures.

The products that they trade vary on the resources that are abundant in their area. Some of the items being traded by the Mayas were Obsidian, Turquoise and Jade.

Obsidian or volcanic glass was used to create weapons and used in rituals and adornments as well. Since they do not have currency, the value of this varies on how far is the region which it came from. The value is higher when the source is farther. Jade is being valued by the Mayas because it is believed to have sacred powers. These sacred powers are favorable to their rulers. Since it is rare, it symbolizes an elite status and political power. Turquoise which is associated with smoke were as well considered valuable because they believe that it is one of the materials kept by their Gods.

There are some other goods that are being traded by the Mayans aside from these precious jewels. The merchants traded these goods which include salt, cacao seeds; vanilla, clay gold, pottery, corn, beans, food, tools, ceramics, clothing, chocolates, fish and other seafood products. These people considered chocolates and salt as basic foods. Sault is very basic to them because they use it for preservation of their foods, diet, for child birth and rituals.

The civilization of the Mayans was merely dependent on trade. The trade centered in jewels, foods and other important goods which they need for their survival as mentioned earlier. The fall of the trade routes caused the fall of the Mayans as well. This is one of the many reasons why abandonment of the communities in the lowland took place. The collapsed of the Mayan civilization was actually the result of the collapsed of the trade.

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