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17 votes
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Why are some later Mayan scripts unintelligible to archaeologists, while earlier ones can be read?

Simplification or decadence First, what we know today about Mayan script is that it was logosyllabic, i.e. there were around about 550 logograms (whole words), 150 syllabograms (which represent ...
rs.29's user avatar
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12 votes
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Why and how did climate change affect the Mayan civilization?

Is climate change a "modern problem"? No. Climate change is far from a modern problem, although some of what follows is disputed and is also simplified. The Late Antiquity Little Ice Age from around ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
9 votes

How reliable is a Maya codex facsimile?

I do not know your version of the codex. No reliability assessment from me. Looking for the Dresden Codex it is best to go to the source: Dresden. The Saxon State and University Library Dresden (...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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9 votes

Has there been significant progress in our knowledge of the Aztecs and/or Maya since the '60s?

Any source prior to the 2015 discovery of tzompantli towers in Mexico City will likely understate the scope of ritual execution engaged in by the Aztecs: Some conquistadors wrote about the tzompantli ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
8 votes

Why is the Maya civilization not considered one of the cradles of civilization?

From the Olmec link: Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished since about 2500 BCE. That's roughly equivalent to the "Pre-Classic" Maya period, which only dates back to 2000 BCE, as per its link. ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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8 votes
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What events led to the Aztecs and Mayans adopting cocoa beans as a currency?

It's a stretch to say that the barter economy was "replaced" with a "cocoa bean economy". However, cocoa beans were certainly an important trade item, and appear to have taken on ...
Brian Z's user avatar
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8 votes

Was there contact between the Inca, Maya and Aztecs?

Aztecs did know about Mayas but the Mayan civilization was already dead. But of course, they did traded with its descendants - even prehistoric men traded with their neighbours. And no direct contacts ...
Gangnus's user avatar
  • 7,269
7 votes

Was there contact between the Inca, Maya and Aztecs?

This article on Pre-Columbian Trade by Chester S. Chard would suggest they did. For instance: There is no evidence that Maya traders themselves reached the highlands of Mexico; they traded their ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
7 votes
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What type of name did the common Mayans use?

Maya society was organized in city states and clans and possibly other entities. Each of these naturally provides its own narratives and mythology from which names would often be chosen. It is ...
0range's user avatar
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7 votes
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What were the major ethnic / cultural / politcal divisions of pre-conquest Mesoamerica?

It won't tell you much about short-term politics, but one useful angle with which to look at this question is the linguistic division into language families: The languages of Mesoamerica belong to ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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7 votes
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How reliable is a Maya codex facsimile?

According to the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies (FAMSI), William Gates' facsimile is very pleasing to the eye, colorful, and uses his own type-font for all the glyphs. I ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
6 votes
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Where was the Ixcanha Maya community located during the Caste War of the Yucatán?

Descriptions of the location of this group are confused. Not only was their population modest, the spelling varies, and there are few landmarks in the jungle. Probably it is the Xcanhá shown on the ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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5 votes

What were the major ethnic / cultural / politcal divisions of pre-conquest Mesoamerica?

The Mexica The epicenter of Mesoamerica was the "The Triple Alliance", this was dominated by the ruling tribe, the Mexica (the people from Aztlan- Aztec). Note: They weren't actually the Aztecs. ...
Rhetorikolas's user avatar
4 votes
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How is the accuracy of the Maya Calendar measured?

The Gregorian, and indeed the Roman, Egyptian, and Chinese calendars all include occasional intercalary periods to make up the 0.24 of a solar day that is left over when using a 365-day calendar. ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
4 votes
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What kind of canoes were used in 19th century Yucatán?

It seems the dugout variety canoe mentioned in the question was likely to be the variety encountered still in the mid-19th century. An ethnology titled THE MAYA INDIANS OF SOUTHERN YUCATAN AND ...
justCal's user avatar
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3 votes

Did the Maya civilization recognize that it was into an ecological crisis?

No. The environment as a scientific concept is relatively new. You can argue when it became first known, but before 1900 is - in my opinion - pushing it. The Mayas and Pacific islanders were many ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 22.1k
2 votes

Why were the Maya's cities abandoned?

It appears that the real demise of the Mayan Empire was a number of factors, including drought, warfare, and disease. NASA archaeologist Tom Sever used satellite images combined with archeological ...
George A. Solodun's user avatar
2 votes

Why are doomsday predictions for 2012 seen as incompatible with historical Maya mythology/religion?

I think this was always regarded as an ending to a metaphysical era more than a physical ending within the Mayan calendar. I had this described to me as a cycle in humanity's heart beat as one beat ...
Twelfth's user avatar
  • 2,712
2 votes
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Did the Maya civilization recognize that it was into an ecological crisis?

While an question posted a while ago, I think the jury is still out regarding the extent of the 'ecological crisis' you speak of. the ancient Maya participated in a range of strategies which used ...
Adam_Eire_2020's user avatar
1 vote
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Was the symbol post-classical Mayans used to represent zero really derived from a depiction of a turtle shell?

I've done some further research, and I'd like to post my findings in a form of an answer. I could not find any authoritative source mentioning the symbol is a turtle shell, so that section in the ...
user1301930's user avatar
1 vote

What kind of canoes were used in 19th century Yucatán?

I'd like to offer another interpretation: the Mayans may not have been using oceangoing canoes at all by the 19th century. Smaller dugouts for inland waterways did continue to exist. Larger vessels ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
1 vote

How is the accuracy of the Maya Calendar measured?

The Mayans used a 365 day year so is much less accurate than even the Julian calendar. The idea that it is highly accurate is based on a claim that they added 12.5 "leap days" all in one go ...
Robert Walker's user avatar
1 vote

Was there contact between the Inca, Maya and Aztecs?

The Aztecs and the Mayas did know about each other. After all, they were right next to each other. But I don't think there is any evidence that one of those two civilizations met the Incas. Probably ...
DeveloperOfDreams's user avatar
1 vote

Did Cahokia have any communication with Mexica or Mayan civilization?

A fair number of Mississippian/Cahokian archaeologists will whisper an acknowledgement that there were likely ties over drinks. Such speculation was taboo among the old guard professors. Recently, ...
Mark Leach's user avatar
1 vote

Did Cahokia have any communication with Mexica or Mayan civilization?

As a one time interpretive guide at the Gila national monument in New Mex, a puebloan, Mimbres cliff community, I was able to pick up a few 'trade secrets', as it were. Its pretty much confirmed that ...
David Halenda's user avatar

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