Who Were The Mayans?

Who Were The Mayans?They are one of the most famous, most misunderstood and most widely researched civilizations in the history of the human race. Recently, the Mayans have had a lot of news thanks to the 2012 prophecy, but there is so much more to the civilization than that. So, who were the Mayans? While there is a lot to these people, more than could fit in this article, we will go through the basics of what the Mayans were all about.

The Mayans are noted for being the only Mesoamerican civilization that had a full-developed written language in the pre-Columbian Americas. The civilization lasted thousands of years, with the Pre-Classic Period lasting from 2000 BC to 250 AD and the Classic Period lasting from 250 to 900 AD. During the Classic Period, the civilization reached its height.

The Maya civilization existed through the present-day Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatan, as well as areas of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.

In the Pre-Classic Period, many small communities existed, and pottery was introduced. In 100 AD, the society collapsed, bringing an end to the Pre-Classical Period. Upon the beginning of the Classical Period, the Mayan population numbered in the millions. It was during this period that the pyramids began to appear in Mayan cities. Long0distance trade occurred during this time, throughout the area of Central and South America. Monumental palaces and temples were built, a writing system was developed and highly-developed ceremonies emerged.

The civilization collapsed in 900 AD, but there is no accepted theory as to why. Most believe it may have been a collapse of trade routes, overpopulation, invasion, revolt or an environmental disaster. There is evidence that the Mayans exceeded the carrying capacity of their environment. It has been discovered that rainfall amounts fell by 25 to 40 per cent, causing a collapse of agriculture. Mild droughts then occurred from 800 to 950 AD, reducing the amount of water available.

The Mayans were a very advanced civilization for their time, with a complex writing system, base 20 and base 5 numbering and mathematics, as well as the core concept of zero for mathematics. They were highly accurate with astronomical observations and their observations was superior to any other civilization at the time. It has been found that the Mayans were the only pre-telescopic civilization to demonstrate knowledge of the Orion Nebula as being fuzzy, not a stellar pin-point.

The Mayans were a very hard people, surviving the first collapse of their civilization to begin a new, much more advanced one. When that one collapsed, the Mayans continued on and even lasted through the dark period of Spanish colonization in the Americas. Today, the Maya and their descendants are a large population of people throughout the Maya area and millions of people speak the Maya language to this day.

A mysterious but advanced people, there are still many questions about them that may never be answered, and that is what leads millions to their former city-sites every single year.