The Ancient Scribe

Examining ancient culture's status in the modern era

Ancient Mayan Culture: Unearthing the Golden Era

Posted By on May 26, 2010

Among the Mesoamerican conventional civilizations, Mayan culture is possibly the most talked about civilization. The Mayan culture originated in Yucatán during 2600 B.C. They emerged as a powerful force during A.D. 250 in their present location of northern Belize, in southern Mexico, Guatemala and western Honduras. The Mayan culture, calendar systems, astronomy and hieroglyphic writing developed was based on the culture and traditions of the earlier Olmec civilizations. The Mayan culture has gained in prominence due to its architecture of the ceremonial structures and pyramids, palaces including observatories. All these structures were constructed without any metal tools.

The Mayans had equal expertise as farmers and they could clear up huge segments of tropical rain forest including the regions where there was a scarcity of groundwater. They built underground reservoirs to store rainwater. They were skilled weavers and potters and they made routes by clearing the jungles and swamps. This helped the flourishing of trade with the other civilizations. The Mayans took to a hierarchical government structure and the nobles and kings ruled the land. During A.D. 200-900 also known as the Classic period, the kingdoms in this civilization developed into a concrete structure.

Their society had numerous autonomous states and each of these states had a pastoral farming society. Moreover, what I found interesting was that these huge urbanized sites surrounded their ritualistic centers. The glory of the Mayan culture declined during the A.D. 900 for reasons which are still a mystery. All that we know of is that the southern Mayans had already abandoned the cities. The Mayan dynasty finally came crashing down when the northern Mayan society amalgamated with the Toltec society in A.D. 1200.

In fact, those who do not know much about the Mayans will be interested to know that the Mayan civilization is the only civilization among the ancient civilizations in America where people recorded the historical events for the coming generations. They used stone billboards or stelas to record their history. They had the best expertise in the realm of stone technology. I was quite interested to know about their architecture and building of stone structures. In fact, a lot of archeologists would agree over the fact that Guatemala was the prominent commercial and cultural center, and Mayan culture was the greatest civilization. Their urbanization and lifestyle led to the rise of the Mesoamercian civilization.

My friend Linda is simply enchanted with this mysterious civilization and she can just go on for hours together about their advanced agricultural techniques, their decorative potteries and their typical Proto-Mayan language type.


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