A civilization everyone should learn about and visit the ruins of is the Mayans. They were the greatest and were skilled the earliest of all of the America civilizations. The Mayans had a great and spectacular society that created the calendar, temples and pyramids without the use of iron tools or the wheel, and Chocolate.
People should visit this civilization because the Mayans were the first to ever create a calendar in the Americas. In truth they had three calendars for different purposes. The most important was the Haab. It consisted of 18 months that were 20 days each, the following 5 days were considered unlucky. Their Haab calendar is more accurate than any Gregorian calendar. Their knowledge of astronomical happenings and cycles is truly amazing, and their calculations of the lunar cycle were only 24 seconds off of that recorded by today’s astronomical clocks!
Pyramids were created in the major Mayan cities without the use of iron tools or the wheel. They were used as huge calendars to help predict when the rainy season would come and end, insuring the survival of the Mayan people. Festivals and ritual feast days were always located at the major pyramid of every Mayan city. Most of them were to ask the rain god to bring rain to water their crops and feed their people. Sacrifices were made on these pyramids not only in desperate times of drought but also when a conquering city state invaded and won. The nobles would be sacrificed on the pyramid to make sure everyone saw and knew there was a new ruler. Life centered around food in Mayan society making the pyramids a vital part of every City.
A major crop of the Mayans was not only corn, squash or peppers; it was also cocoa beans. While all of their other crops were to feed the people, cocoa beans were used to trade and to make the delicious sweet that people know as chocolate. Cacao beans were not used to make a sweet candy bar that commoners enjoyed though, they were used to trade, as currency and to make a bitter tasting brew some would call hot chocolate that only nobles and gods drank. The bitter drink was often used in rites of passage, marriage and even the afterlife. When the Spanish found out how this bean was being used they brought it back to Europe and created what we now know as chocolate and the drink hot chocolate. The Mayans impacted hundreds of generations with this delightful sweet.
It is true that the Mayans were not the most advanced of every civilization of their time, that they did not create the grandest buildings possible and that chocolate was improved by a different civilization. The Mayans did make great accomplishments though. Without them, later civilizations in the Americas would not have a calendar or such accurate calculations for the lunar cycle. They did not build the grandest buildings, but they did not use iron tools or the wheel like other civilizations did when creating buildings. The Mayans did not make the final sweet chocolate we all know today, but without their genius in creating the first chocolate sweet we would never know what a chocolate candy bar or hot cocoa would taste like.
Over all, the Mayans made do with what they had and exceeded anything someone could imagine they could with what they had available to them. Their accomplishments as a civilization are many including creating the first calendar in the Americas, Pyramids without the use of iron tools and the wheel, and chocolate. Not only did the Mayans impact the Americas, they impacted the world. The reason anyone should explore this civilization is obvious, they were the greatest civilization of the Americas.