Research Paper on Maya Civilization

Words: 4671
Pages: 19

Research Paper on Mayan Civilization
The Maya
All remnants of the distant past are romantic, but ancient Maya civilization has a special fascination. It is a "lost" civilization, whose secrets lie deep in the mysterious tropical forest. The style of Maya architecture and sculpture seems alien and bizarre.
The breathtaking splendor of ornate cites, the beautifully constructed grand temples, and the ingeniously developed and advanced caledretics, mathematics, and astronomy easily mark one of the most interesting and prosperous periods in Latin American history. Over period spanning approximately six centuries, the Maya of Central America reached artistic and intellectual heights that no other group in the New World had seen
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These skilled craftsmen were a class above the ordinary agricultural workers and soldiers and their jobs represented the changing of the various classes as one progressed up the Mayan social standing. The rise of merchants during the Classic and Post Classic Periods facilitated growth in the middle class as well as the elite of many Maya communities. A social stratum in Maya cities is by no means a post conquest attribute, according to Chase. The rise of a middle class is not so much connected to the merchants themselves, but rather, to the intermediary occupations, such as skilled artisans and craftsmen, who were indirectly involved in commerce. Indeed, the truism emerged that as one progressed upwards in the Mayan social hierarchy the opportunity for learning higher level skills became available. The highly prized skill of literacy, for example, was seen as a marker between the ordinary citizen and noble class and, as such, the attainment of literacy represented an important social division among the classes in Mayan society. A general truism thus emerged, this being that as one progressed upwards in the social pyramid, one's literary capacity improved.
Along with the skilled artisans were the scribes who were also seen as skilled intellectual workers. Their job was to record the greatness of Mayan civilization in writing. By having access to the records, they can be considered as early historians within the society. Their wealth