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It appears that the real demise of the Mayan Empire was a number of factors, including drought, warfare, and disease. NASA archeologist Tom Sever used satellite images combined with archeological findings to piece together the most likely scenario. Using pollen trapped in layers of lake sediment, scientists learned that around 1,200 years ago, just before ...


7

According to Cacao domestication I: the origin of the cacao cultivated by the Mayas, genetic evidence indicates that the cacao tree was cultivated from wild ancestors and improved over time. Mayans were pretty good at agriculture, beyond the slash and burn methods that were used by many other tribes in the Americas during the same time period. From Maya ...


5

Their civilization did in fact engage in all those things. If anything, its been underplayed. One important thing to note here is that things appeared to get particularly bloody (at least in terms of the inter-city warfare) towards the end when their Civilization was collapsing. Jared Diamond goes over this in his book Collapse, which has a whole chapter ...


5

The Mayans viewed their gods as both benevolent, and malevolent. As Sir John Eric Sidney Thompson stated in his book Maya History and Religion the Mayan gods were largely indifferent except for a desire for recognition in the way of frequent offerings. This is confirmed somewhat by the Popol Vuh which is mostly concerned with how the gods made man. This ...


4

About the only book I have come across in looking at the Mayan Calendar, which only came from a class exercise in looking for more information on the Mayan Apocalypse, was the E.G. Richards book Mapping Time. It noted some ideas of lucky and unlucky days, as well as more on other calendar systems. Honestly I don't recall how much he covered in all of it, ...


4

The wiki article on Mayan Trade has a good overview of Mayan social structure. In essence: The Maya relied on a strong middle class of skilled and semi-skilled workers and artisans which produced both commodities and specialized goods. They also had a large base of slaves and serfs - agricultural specialists. Members of the nobility had specialized ...


4

From an (excellent) article on Smithsonian.com titled, El Mirador, the Lost City of the Maya: Hansen believes that El Mirador’s inhabitants may have initially gone to the Caribbean coast and then migrated back inland, where they finally ended up in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula at Calakmul, which emerged as a powerful city-state and rival to Tikal in the ...


2

All of these things happened, and worse. You did not mention the flaying of living people, the drugging of participants, and more. But, it is unfair to ascribe this only to the Maya. They, like other non-Aztec cultures in Mesoamerica, performed these practices less than the Aztecs[1]. The Aztec orchestrated this kind of imperialistic ritual (in hopes ...


1

The ritual calendar(s) are quite detailed, with minor differences between cultures. The Maya were no special case in the following list, because the ritual calendar was more-or-less driven by the imperialism of the Aztec empire. Simply, the 'corners of the year' (solstices and equinoxes) were the major ritual times because the sacrifices governed the ...



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