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Changes in Trade in Mesoamerica and The Shifting of the Mayan Empire

By troltrol Feb 24, 2014 412 Words
During the 8th century, Mesoamerica was a region known for the rich resources encountered in it, which were eventually used for the creation of multiple technologies and weapons, and led to multitudinous discoveries in the areas of agriculture and trade which have impacted the world until present day. Moreover, Mesoamerica was a place where ancient empires flourished. Due to it’s ecological and environmental conditions, the area of Mesoamerica was perfect for a community of people to grow. When the Spanish first arrived to Mesoamerica there were many thriving and regional cultures and populations, such as the Mayan civilization. In this essay we will describe the characteristics of the Mayan civilization, examine the role of trade and offer a possible explanation for the decline of this culture. The Mayan culture was the major culture that existed in Mesoamerica. Hence it´s rich culture and its political and social power, Mayan people made a drastic discoveries. They introduced a writing language, a  calendar, a numerical system as well as an advanced trade system. Mayan traded corns, beans and squash.The Maya left behind an astonishing amount of impressive architecture and symbolic artwork and jewelry. Most of the great stone cities of the Maya were abandoned by A.D. 900, however, and since the 19th century scholars have debated what might have caused this dramatic decline.

Trade was a fundamental aspect in Mayan culture, since it led to the first types of commerce in the Americas (in a primitive way) and led to the trueque, which is the exchange of goods for other goods, without the use of monetary currency, and balancing the value of a good for the amount of another. In Mesoamerican obsidian was highly valued because of its sharp edges. Maya rulers and aristocrats derived power from controlling access to obsidian, which could be traded for important goods or used in negotiations. To this purpose, scholars started to research about obsidian. They found out that  obsidian and other valuable goods  were slowly being cut off in many areas of the Mesoamerican region. Shifting trade routes that started to bring valuable goods to coastal regions instead of the inland city-states. Based on experts I believe that the shifting of trade routes brought a change in the pattern of trade, products where not getting to their destiny, forcing people  to abandon the city in search of a way to survive, promoting The Maya collapse.

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         Jan 22, 2014

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