Mayan Culture Research Papers
Research papers on Mayan culture explore the development of the Latin American tribe and their traditions and social mores. Have Paper Masters help write your research project on Mayan culture and explain how the culture developed and what anthropological evidence is found today.
During a span of approximately six centuries, the Maya of Central America reached artistic and intellectual heights that no one in the New World had ever seen or imagined possible. The following mark one of the most interesting and prosperous times in Latin American history:
- The awesome splendor of ornate cites
- The construction of grand temples
- The ingenuous development and advancement of caledretics, mathematics, and astronomy
Because this period in Mayan culture is believed to be a time of relative peace and tranquility, the ultimate decline of their society is still a great mystery whose cause remains speculative in the minds of many archaeologists and anthropologists. In an attempt to understand the prevailing theories surrounding the decline of this once magnificent society, a critical comprehension of basic Mayan culture is essential.
To categorize Mayan cultural development, most scientists divide Mayan civilization into three distinct periods: Pre-classic, Classic, and Post-classic. The Pre-Classic period is essentially the birth of the Mayan civilization. It is shrouded in mystery though, as researchers have a myriad of opinions concerning from where the Mayan People originally migrated. The earliest theories proposed that the Maya were either one of the Lost tribes of Israel or descendants of the lost city of Atlantis. Unfortunately, the most historians can agree on is that the Maya migrated across the Bering Straight from some part of Europe or Asia.
In establishing their means of existence, the Maya utilized a system of agriculture and were primarily farmers rather than hunters. Their principal crops consisted of maize (which they considered to be the staff of life), beans, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cotton, and tobacco; the later of which they grew for export to Europe.
Once the Maya became established in the processes of day-to-day living, the Classic period, which encompassed the period of A.D. 300–900, began. This time span is marked by a period of rapid growth in which the Mayans erected their highest and handsomest temples, built their largest and most ornate cities and achieved success in their intellectual endeavors. Research of this period provides the principle source of insight into the Mayan people: the hierarchy of their society, their success in intellectual pursuits, and the foundation of their religion.
Although some anthropologists disagree on the number of classes Mayan society was divided into, most agree that nobility and priests comprised what was considered to be the Mayan aristocracy. The aristocracy monopolized all positions of authority and is believed to have been the center of the Mayan government.