Maya Collapse

Topics: Maya civilization, Mesoamerica, Tikal Pages: 6 (1911 words) Published: March 18, 2012
I. Introduction.
History of human is a long and mysterious journey to contemporary people to understand fully about it. However, it can be described briefly that “historical mankind has been mesmerized by the narrative of progress and civilization as codified by the first great agrarian kingdoms” (Scott 2011, p.2). By replacing hunters-gatherers and nomadic lifestyles with society of agriculture, people witnessed the flourish of many early civilizations in Europe, Asia such as Mesopotamian civilization, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, China dynasties, etc. Besides those big and famous civilizations existed in Europe and Asia, owning to the discovery of American continent of Christopher Columbus in 1492, one of the greatest civilizations was uncovered: the Mayan empire. As stated in “Maya civilization” (n.d), the Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization which is not only notably well-known for its written language system but also being famous for many achievements in art, architecture, mathematics and astronomy. Although the Maya civilization lasted for a long period of time from the Pre-classic period to the Post-classic period until now, its prosperous time happened during the Classic period which thereafter seen the mystical collapse of Maya empire ( Maya civilization, n.d.), so the purpose of this research paper is to give some basic concepts about Maya civilization and to demonstrate a number of explanations of Maya collapse in the Classic period through three sections: Maya civilization through three periods of time, Maya successful achievement and rationales behind the collapse of Maya empire in end of the Classic era (250 AD to 900 AD). II. Discussion of findings.

1. Maya civilization through three periods of time.
Maya civilization developed through three main epochs which refer to the Mesoamerican chronology: the Pre-classic period (from 2000 BC to 250 AD), the Classic period (from 250 to 900 AD) and the Post-classic period (Maya civilization, n.d.). The Maya civilization was “situated in the heart of Middle America, at the Southeast extremity of the central Mexican plateau … forming a sort spur curving northwards to the upper extremity of Yucatán, towards the Tropic of cancer” (Annequin, 1978,p.70), and the land is practically divided into three zones: the southern Maya highlands, the central lowlands and the northern lowland. [pic]

Empire of the Mayas (300 to 900 a. J. - C.)
(Chart Alain Houot,n.d)
In the first time period of Maya history, during the Middle and Late Pre-classic mid-sized Maya communities commenced to develop in the north of Maya lowlands (Maya civilization, n.d.). This era was also the time when the first inscription of Maya writing was dated and the early form of pottery and fired clay-figurines were made (Maya civilization, n.d.). Referring to the peak time of Maya civilization (the Classic period), it is remarkable that Mayans established empire with many city-states in which each state had its own hereditary ruler ‘known as “ajaw”’ (Maya civilization, n.d.). As cited in “Maya civilization” (n.d.), it is so interesting that although there were a huge numbers of conflicts among different tribes in the large territory of Maya kingdom associating with variable shift in religious beliefs, the political system was still remained firmly in each state until the “collapse of the whole system in the 9th century AD” (Maya civilization, n.d.). Despite the fact that the collapse had the great impacts on human life and some cities under Maya empire, in some city-states in the northern center, social developments were still remained for centuries. Simultaneously, “ the Itza Maya, Ko’woj, and Yalain groups of Central Peten survived the Classic Period Collapse in small numbers and by 1250 reconstituted themselves to form competing city-states” (Maya civilization, n.d.). In addition, there are also other kingdoms which archeologically proved to be found in highland area; nevertheless; all came to the end till...
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