The Mayans Essay

This essay has a total of 601 words and 3 pages.

The Mayans



The Ancient Mayan Civilization

The ancient Maya were a group of American Indian peoples who lived in southern Mexico,
particularly the present-day states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana
Roo, and in Belize, Guatemala,

and adjacent Honduras. Their descendants, the modern Maya, live in the same regions
today, in both highlands and lowlands, from cool highland plains ringed by volcanos to
deep tropical rain forests. Through the region runs a single major river system, the
Apasion-Usumacinta and its many tributaries, and only a handful of lesser rivers, the
Motagua, Hondo, and Belize among them. The ancestors of the Maya, like those of other New
World peoples, crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia more than 20,000 years ago, during
the last ice age. The Maya were the first people of the New World to keep historical
records: their written history begins in 50 BC, when they began to inscribe texts on
pots, jades, bones, stone monuments, and palace walls. Maya records trace the history of
the great kings and queens who ruled from 50 BC until the Spanish conquest in the 16th
century. All Maya "long count" calendar inscriptions fall between AD 292 and AD 909,
roughly defining the period called Classic. Earlier Maya culture is called Formative or
Preclassic (2000 BC-AD 300), and subsequent civilization is known as Postclassic (AD
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