The Maya

The Maya The Maya were once considered one of the greatest civilizations in North America, and possibly the world. They built many pyramids and temples to honor their gods and to preserve their religion. Their lives revolved around their king and sacrifice of his blood. The cultural achievements of the Maya along with the educational achievements came centuries before other cultures. These achievements still exist today along with the Mayan culture, which has spanned over two thousand years. The Mayan people of today still hold these traditions sacred and want to preserve them. Only about two million Mayan Indians exist today, but their culture reflects that of their ancestors, along with the Spanish, who invaded the Maya around the sixteenth century. Archeologists who have dug up and studied many Mayan sites trace the Mayas back ten thousand years when their ancestors migrated from Asia to the Yucatan peninsula and northern Central America. The history of the Maya is divided into three major time periods: preclassic (two thousand BC AD three hundred), classic (AD three hundred AD nine hundred), and postclassic (AD nine hundred AD fifteen hundred). Early Mayan settlements date back to twenty four hundred BC, but few traces of Mayan culture before AD four hundred have been found. In the preclassic era of Mayan history, corn was farmed and the early Mayans laid a base for their culture, which was believed to have been influenced by the Olmec Indians near-by. The very first hieroglyphics were written, and cities started to appear. The early Mayan economy was based on agriculture and the exchange of farm goods. The Maya grew Indian corn, or maize. It was a staple food of many Indians in Central America for centuries. The Mayans developed the slash-and-burn farming method. A Mayan farmer would clear the cornfield by cutting bushes and girdling trees, and then he would allow the piled brush to catch fire und…

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