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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brief Mayan History


The Mayans had been responsible for inventions in the most varied areas of the knowledge.

For Rainer Sousa

Just as the Olmec, the Maya civilization instigates a series of unanswered questions for many paleontologists, historians and anthropologists who investigate this pre-Columbian people. The evidence of the origin of the Mayan civilization lie in the archaeological sites of the Yucatan peninsula, which date between 700 and 500 BC However, new research admit a more remote, established in 1500 BC.
Unlike other great civilizations, the Mayans do not organized themselves politically through a centralized political power structure. In a vast territory that stretched from Guatemala to southern Mexico, we observed the presence of several independent cities. Other major cities included in this system can highlight Piedras Negras, Palenque, Tikal, Yaxchilan, Copan, Uxmal and Labna.
The splendor of the Mayan society is fundamentally explained by the control and the disciplines used in the development of agriculture. Among the various foods that were part of the diet of the Maya, we can highlight the corn, major consumer product, cocoa, cotton and agave. To extend the life of their land, the Maya used to organize a system of crop rotation.
The process of organizing society was very rigid and is guided by the presence of three social classes. At the top of the hierarchy we find the governors, senior officials and traders. Soon after, we have civil servants and skilled workers. At the base of the pyramid were the peasants and laborers.
The Maya had a wide range of expertise developed within their culture. According to some surveys, they used a numerical scoring system based on units vigesimal and, like the Olmecs, they used the number "zero" in the execution of mathematical operations. They also created a calendar year rather close to the system employed by modern calendars.
A major challenge for researchers of the Mayan civilization revolves around the unraveling of its complex writing system. One of the biggest obstacles is related to the fact that signs employees can represent sounds, ideas, or both at the same time. Moreover, indications show that they used different forms of writing to a single concept.
The architecture of this people has always been closely linked to the reaffirmation of their religious ideals. Multiple columns, arches and temples were erected in honor of the great pantheon of deities concluded by the Mayan culture. The face of polytheistic beliefs Maya was still guided by the belief in life after death and carry out human sacrifices regularly performed.
By the thirteenth century, Mayan society collapsed. Even today, there is no explanation that can answer the latter question involving the history of the Maya. Recently, a group of American researchers went to work with the hypothesis that the crisis of this civilization is related to the occurrence of a fierce drought that would have extended for over two centuries.

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