Mayan Civilization Essay

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Chandler Hickman World Civilization 1 Mrs. Gunter November 19, 2010 The Mayan Civilization The Mayan Indian Civilization was a civilization located in Mesoamerica, or modern day Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize areas of Mexico. The Mayan civilization influenced and was influenced by many other settlements in the area. The most recognizable culture of the Mayans developed between 2600 B.C. and A.D. 250. The Mayan civilization originated in the southern areas of Mexico at about 2600 B.C. The Mayans were the first heirs of the Olmec’s, the first civilization in Mesoamerica. After the Olmec’s disappearance many different societies arose in Mesoamerica and the human population grew quickly as well. The Mayans settled in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize. Guatemala’s fertile soil made agriculture very easy and successful for the Mayans so permanent settlements began to rise. One of these settlements was Kaminaljuyú that was built around 300 B.C.E. Kaminaljuyú was one of the most prominent settlements at that period of time. This settlement was used mostly as a ceremonial center, but it still influenced other settlements in the area. Thousands of workers worked on building the temples in this settlement. Kaminaljuyú developed trade routes all the way to central Mexico, increasing its importance to other settlements and increasing its own economic strength. Kaminaljuyú did not maintain its influence when the city of Teotihuacan rose. Teotihuacan, also known as the city of the gods, dominated Kaminaljuyú politically and economically severely reducing Kaminaljuyú’s influence on the Maya. Teotihuacan will be the trading, cultural, and religious center of Mesoamerica for several centuries. The Mayans built more than 80 ceremonial centers and other settlements from 300 to 900 C.E. The ceremonial centers had many temples, palaces, and pyramids

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