The pinnacle of Mayan civilization can be found on the Biblical Timeline with World History around 500 AD. It was a period of numerous accomplishments by the Maya people. One of their most notable legacies was the Maya hieroglyphic script; that was a writing system used by the Columbian Americans. The people also developed their mathematical, astronomical and architecture systems. The entire civilization expanded from the southeastern portion of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and western parts of El Salvador and Honduras.
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Beginning of the Mayan Civilization
It was during the Preclassic Era when sedentary communities were established in the region. Alongside this, there were different crops cultivated by the people including squashes, chili peppers, beans, and maize. These were all important to the typical diet of the Maya people, and they came up with ways to improve the quality and quantity of their crops.
According to researchers, the very first cities in the Maya region were developed as early as 750 BC. After centuries, the cities flourished as more and more monumental architectures were built. For instance, there were large temples constructed that featured ornate stucco facades that added to the grandeur of the structures.
In the Preclassic period, numerous cities were developed, specifically in the Peten Basin. By 250 AD (which is noted as the Classic Period) the Maya started to sculpt monuments. It was also the period in history when there were more city-states formed. This helped improve trade among other nations. There were two well-known rivals in the Maya lowlands, which were the Tikal and the Calakmul.
During the classic period, the people believed in the “divine king”, and he mediated between the mortals on earth and the different elements in the supernatural realm. As for kingship, it was traditionally passed to the eldest son. The one appointed as the king is expected to serve as an excellent war leader; which means he must possess essential qualities of a ruler. In the Late Classic era. However, there was an increase in an aristocracy. This reduced the divine king’s exclusive power. This period also presented more and more art forms by the people, which included fine materials such as ceramics, jade, wood, and obsidian (to name a few).
The cities continued to expand greatly, and soon, a growing number of administrative and commercial complexes were built. These were all constructed along with residential districts in the city center. Causeways were also established, and these linked various parts of the city for a more efficient means of getting from one place to the next. Numerous architectures were found all throughout the city including pyramid-temples and palaces. Buildings aligned strategically for astronomical studies and ceremonial ball courts.
As hieroglyphic writing was developed in the Classic period, the Mayan people began to record their rituals and history. They created their screen fold books that featured these important pieces of information. Maya text was also discovered on ceramics and stelae. Unfortunately, only three of the screen fold books were spared while the others were destroyed by the Spanish.
Indeed, the Mayan civilization contributed so much to the world’s history. And showed the intellect and skill of the people in improving their way of life.
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