The Maya Civilization

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by Hernkar
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
World History

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The Maya Civilization

A long time ago, around 2500 BCE, an ancient tribe of Central American Indians called the Olmecs settled in the rainforests of the Yucatan Peninsula of Central America. The Maya were very clever people. Their system of mathematics was among the most sophisticated in the ancient world. To this day, nobody knows where the Maya people came from before they arrived in the Yucatan Peninsula, and nobody knows why they left or where they went when most of the Maya people abandoned their cities and disappeared from the Yucatan Peninsula. That's why the Maya are sometimes referred to as "the mysterious Mayas".

The Maya Civilization

Tikal Temple

Around 900 CE, the Maya cities were abandoned. A few people continued to live in the cities, but mostly, the cities were empty. The people had, for the most part, disappeared, gone somewhere else. Those who remained were unable or unwilling to repair the magnificent roads and buildings. The great Maya cities fell into ruin.

The Mayan Empire

Mayan ruinsat Copánin Honduras

Ancient Mayan and Toltec civilizations built great temples, palaces, and monuments at Chichen Itza

During the 1500 years or so that the Maya Indians made their home in Central America, they build hundreds of religious centers, each filled with huge pyramids and elaborate temples.

Mayan Temple of the Paintings at Tulum Ruins

About two thousand years later, around 400 BCE, a new people suddenly appeared. These people were called the Maya.

Unlike the ancient Romans, the ancient Mayas did not have metal tools. Their tools were made of stone, bone, and wood. Yet they built beautiful structures, huge cities, and excellent roads - roads that connected the many hundreds of cities that made up the Maya world.


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