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People often assume that the distant past has no connection to today. I do disagree with this notion. This is mainly because the modern economic systems, government, cultural practices, and religious draw most content from the past societies. This paper seeks to analyze how the past societies impact the modern society. The paper shall outline specific examples of religious, economic, and cultural influences that are drawn from the past society.

The history of Mayans is a typical example of how the earlier societies impact on the modern societies. The “Maya of Mesoamericans comprised of American Indians”. They are characterized by three major time periods; pre-classic, classic, and post-classic. The classic period took over six centuries (300-900CE). During this period, the Mayan civilization was common among the forest in Peten in Guetamala. They also extended and created other cities such as Copan, Quirigua, Uaxactun, and Palenque. They were other pilgrimage centers such as Coba, Old Chichen, Uzmal, Sayil, and Kaba among others (Riley 67).

During the post-classic period (900 -1500 CE), temples and pyramids were built in over 40 cities in Central Mexico. Research indicates that over “2 million Mayan Indians” are living in the highland Guatemala with a similar lifestyle as that of their ancestors. In the neighborhoods of Merida, there were excavations of house that were built from 1000BC. It was found that the house resembles the many huts in the rural regions. This typically shows that the buildings in the earlier societies have close links with the current buildings. There was similarity in the style of construction such as “the thatched roof of palmetto fronds, wattle-and-daub walls which are oval shape, Jude, onyx jewelry, and little furniture. This was common with the native Maya who upheld their cultural beliefs and would not allow cultural dilution and interracial mixing.

The rise of Olmecs in the pre-classic period saw the invention of many aspects of Mesoamerican culture which include the first calendar and hieroglyphic. The Mayan later used their version of the calendar to build a more complex calendar (Riley 145).

During the period between 300 and 900 CE, the Mayan developed a very complex and hierarchical society. Their society operated under centralized government which was divided into professions and classes. The king ruled territories that hade well defined boundaries. However, in the struggle for supremacy, the borders would be shifted a states gained or lost control over a territory. Mexico had many flourishing centers that were under Mayan civilization (Riley 230). These include Tikal, Palenque, Yaxchil, Copan, and Quirigua. In addition, central lowlands of Belize and Mexico were dominated by Maya population.

Both the Maya and Aztec communities were known for conducting spiritual sacrifices which included blood. “Human sacrifices were common in Aztec while in Maya people would offer their blood but not their lives. This is still typical in many societies”.

Mayan civilization was the epic of pre-Columbian culture.  There were significant discoveries in science such as the use of zero in mathematics. This is still common in the field of science. The traditional models of the archaic societies formed the basis of complex construction in the latter years. The “mound builders” inhabited the today’s southern Canada and eastern half of US. They build large mounds as the center for community activities. In the centers, there were trading centers. These trading centers were large that it was presumed that the mound builders interacted more with the ancient Aztec (Riley 56). The presence of “obsidian knives” asserts the higher level of trading and involvement with other civilizations in North America. 

The “Fort Ancient” had a similar lifestyle as that of the woodland and archaic ancestors. They hunted just like the archaic society but with arrows and bows. The archaic did not farm or live in permanent sites. This was mainly because they were hunters and gatherers. It is believed that they had comfortable lifestyle especially in places with abundant resources. Research shows that in various parts of the world, “the hunters and gatherers of the modern times spends less time in getting food than farmers”. The Fort Ancient culture was related to Mississippian cultures in southeastern and west of US. This is supported by the shared symbols and trade goods. This culture relied more on corn agriculture. They had large villages that accommodated close to 150 households.  The continued growth of the population gave rise to plantation of corn (maize), which was supplemented by beans and squash. These three crops formed the basis of agriculture among Native Americans. The Fort Ancient was known for two major mound constructions, the alligator mound and the Serpent mound. These two mounds were built for ceremonial purpose. By the time Europeans settled in North America, they had to trade goods with the Indian American (Riley 210)

Teotihuacan Mesoamerican civilization Mexico ()

Teotihuacan was the largest city in the world with a “population of 125, 000” people in 8 sq. miles. It was characterized by large pyramidal structures that formed the basis of most architectural work even after classic period. Teotihuacan had a profound effect on Mesoamerica. Being a multiethnic city Teotihuacan had influence on various ethnic groups. “Domestication of crops” that is evident in many cultures across the world draws their origin from the Teotihuacan. The Olmec were in continual contact with various cultures in Chiapas, Guatemala and Oaxaca. This was the onset of cultural interchange which in turn laid the basis for the culture in Mesoamerica. Teotihuacan is home for major archeological attraction sites such as “pyramid of the sun” and “the pyramid of the moon”. The city of Teotihuacan was considered as a holy place where men went to meet god.  Teotihuacan also hosts the renowned “Citadel and Temple of Quetzalcoatl”. By the end of 7th century, the city was destroyed and abandoned. Farming was the main economic activity in Teotihuacan with major crops being corns, beans and squash.

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