Sample Term Paper

Words 1,500

The Maya are perhaps the most popular of the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica. It originated in the Yucatan around 2600 B.C., they rose to distinction around A.D. 250 in present-day southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, western Honduras, and northern Belize.  I can trace back my roots back to the Mayas of El Salvador.

Building on the indigenous inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations such as the Olmec, the Maya urbanized calendrical systems, astronomy, and hieroglyphic writing. The Maya were noted as well for intricate and highly decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and observatories, all built without metal tools. They were also skilled farmers, clearing large sections of tropical rain forest and, where groundwater was limited, building sizeable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater. The Maya were evenly skilled as weavers and potters, and cleared routes through jungles and swamps to promote extensive trade networks with distant peoples.

Many people think that the ancestors of the Maya crossed the Bering Strait at least 20,000 years ago. They were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Evidence of settled habitation in Mexico is found in the Archaic period 5000-1500 BC – basic pottery, corn cultivation and stone tools. The first true civilization was established with the rise of the Olmecs in the Pre-Classic period 1500 BC -300 AD. The Olmecs settled on the Gulf Coast, and little is famous about them.

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