Popular Maya Civilization Books
The Maya refer to both a modern-day people who can be found all over the world as well as their ancestors who built an ancient civilization that stretched throughout much of Central America, one that reached its peak during the first millennium A. The Maya civilization was never unified; rather, it consisted of numerous small states, ruled by kings, each apparently centered on a city. Sometimes, a stronger Maya state would dominate a weaker state and be able to exact tribute and labor from it. A system of writing using glyptic symbols was developed and was inscribed on buildings, stele, artifacts and books also called codices. The Maya calendar system was complicated.
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The Maya people refer to themselves by ethnicity and language bonds such as Quiche in the south or Yucatec in the north though there are many others. Contrary to popular imagination, the Maya did not vanish and the descendants of the people who built the great cities of Chichen Itza , Bonampak, Uxmal and Altun Ha still exist on the same lands their ancestors did and continue to practice, sometimes in a modified form, the same rituals which would be recognized by a native of the land one thousand years ago. The history of Mesoamerica is usually divided into specific periods which, taken together, reveal the development of culture in the region and, for the purposes of this definition, the emergence and cultivation of the Maya Civilization. The Archaic Period : BCE — During this time a hunter-gatherer culture began to cultivate crops such as maize, beans and other vegetables and the domestication of animals most notably dogs and turkeys and plants became widely practiced. The first villages of the region were established during this period which included sacred spots and temples dedicated to various gods. The villages excavated thus far are dated from BCE. The Olmecs settled along the Gulf of Mexico and began building great cities of stone and brick.