Mayan Culture

Topics: Maya civilization, Guatemala, Maya peoples Pages: 4 (1337 words) Published: February 28, 2013
The Maya originated around 2600 B.C. and rose to prominence around A.D. 250 in present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. Inheriting the inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations, the Maya developed astronomy, calendric systems, hieroglyphic writing, ceremonial architecture, and masonry without metal tools. Maya civilization started to decline around A.D. 900, although some peripheral Centre’s continued to thrive until the Spanish conquest in the early sixteenth century. The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively were well encrypted into their lives. The full range of learned behavior patterns that are acquired by people as members of a society was a big part of their culture. The Mayan culture is a complex, largely interconnected whole that consists of the knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, customs, skills, and habits learned from parents and others in society. Long before Europeans thought to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas, Mayan people conquered the rugged highlands of Guatemala, the dense jungles of the Yucatan, and the tropical lowlands of the Pacific Coast. Here, Mayan people built vast cities, cities that rivaled those in Europe in terms of size and complexity. These cities were governed by ruling elite and were supported by an elaborate system of taxation. The Mayans were incredibly successful at exploiting their environment through slash-and-burn agriculture. The surplus of farmers produced went to support huge governmental and religious centers like Tikal, Chichen, Itza, and Palenque. For various reasons, many of these large Mayan cities fell out of use, even before Europeans arrived to conquer the “New World” But this governmental decline, as well as the changes that occurred with the arrival of the Spanish, did not prevent Mayan people throughout the area from continuing many of their cultural traditions. Mayan farmers continued to grow their crops of corns,...
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