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Maya Civilization - Essay Example

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ncient My civiliztion of South meric hs remrkble ppel to the generl public, prtly becuse of the exotic contrst of their world with our industrilized society. lso, the populr press usully cn be counted on to chrcterize My civiliztion of South meric civiliztion s mysterious, unknowble, unique, s well s bizrre, weird, nd we-inspiring…
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Download file to see previous pages 800; this is lbeled the Old Empire (Hmmond, 1982:126). The remining My civiliztion of South meric migrted to the Yuctn; this is lbeled the New Empire. There were few cities left when the Spnish cme. Belize is not mentioned t ll, nd present-dy My civiliztion of South meric re usully dismissed s unimportnt nd insignificnt in numbers.
Bsed on new reserch nd synthesis, the currently ccepted concept of My civiliztion of South meric origins differs rdiclly from tht formerly held. First, the new concept suggests tht the rise of My civiliztion of South meric civiliztion followed developmentl pttern common to the rise of ll civiliztions, with the usul regionl vritions.
The new concept postultes tht the My civiliztion of South meric reched the threshold of civiliztion perhps s erly s 2000 B.C., in Belize, following severl thousnd yers of griculturl nd socil development similr to tht of ncient Mesopotmi nd Egypt (Schele, 1987:38). Extensive trde ptterns spred their culture over wide re of the estern mesomericn lowlnds. For time, city sttes in Belize nd in the Peten section of Guteml fought for supremcy. The Peten cities eventully collpsed. Mentime, My civiliztion of South meric living in the Yuctn were developing t slower pce, probbly becuse of less fvorble environment, which reched its ndir fter the collpse of the Peten. Torn by invsions of the Toltecs nd lter ztecs, they were declining, or t lest chnging, when the Spnish rrived. Never did the My civiliztion of South meric dispper, however. In fct, they still live nd spek vried dilects of their old lnguge in Belize, Guteml, nd Mexico (Hmmond, 1982:126).
long culturl evolution from villge society to civiliztion ws spurred by severl fctors. First, popultion growth led to intensive forms of griculture nd more people ment the need for more stored wter to crry them through the nnul drought or dry seson. This, in turn, led to the cretion of reservoirs which clled for mngement. Stored wter lso becme mens of socil control, nd the kin group leders becme politicl leders s well. Religious ffirs re lwys importnt for kinship-oriented societies, nd the new elite probbly used this lever to rgue tht they nd their fmilies were socilly superior s result of genelogies which they linked to the gods of cretion. Rivlries mong the new elites led to wrfre, which ppers to hve ccelerted the move to more complex culturl forms. Skills lredy developed in building stone temples were dpted to the construction of defenses nd fortresses. Socil structure becme clss/cste society, nd politicl structures were trnsformed into stte-level orgniztions. Nerly ll mjor culturl institutions becme hierrchiclly orgnized s well. These chnges were ccomplished by 300. Therefter, My civiliztion of South meric prehistory ssumed fmilir historicl forms with the rise nd fll of dynsties, internl politicl intrigue, wrs between sttes, nd trde nd diplomtic connections with distnt powers.
My civiliztion of South meric cities were sustined by lrge rurl popultions. Bsed on intensive ground surveys (mine nd others), there were s mny s 450 people per squre mile. This stounding density is similr to tht found tody in crowded rurl zones such s northern Nigeri. One current fllcy is tht ntive mericn popultions lived in hrmony with nture with reltively little deleterious effect. It is simply not true for the My civiliztion of South meric or mny other Mesomericn groups, nor probbly for the New World s ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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