Cities exchanged the products of their local environment ( salt, feathers, shells and honey) they also traded crafted goods.
Cacao beans served as the unofficial currency
Growing maize , beans and squash provided the basis for Mayan life
They used slash and burn agriculture but also developed sophisticated methods like planting raised beds above swaps and on hillside terraces
The Mayas, like other Mesoamerican cultures, built pyramids as temples.
Mayan temples usually consisted of four or two sets of stairs, with the number of stairs corresponding to the Mayan calendar.
Mayan buildings often had two chambers on top of them, with emperor’s palaces consisting of two lined halls of chambers. Mayan buildings were made with stone and concrete. Then covered on the outside in lime stucco, a stone that is especially durable.
Though the Mayans did not decorate their buildings extensively, they did include some detailed scenes or carvings in stone on the sides of their buildings. Mayas also used beamed roofs for support of their architectural structures.
The Mayans worshiped their gods in many different ways. They prayed, made offerings of money and presented flowers and incense.
They pierced their bodies with sharp needles and offered their blood.
Sometimes human sacrifice of captured enemies occurred because they believed human sacrifice pleased all gods and kept the world in balance.
At chichen Itza captives were thrown into deep sinkholes lake along with gold, jade and other offerings.
It is not known exactly why the Mayan Empire fell. Much like ancient Rome, they slowly declined until a final attack by Spanish Conquistadors nearly deleted all Mayan states.
Some scholars believe that the Mayans had already overworked their natural resources before the Spanish invasion. Family feuds and feuds among city-states in the Mayan Empire erupted during the time of decline deteriorated the power of the government and the effectiveness of the military. This could have been combined with some severe environmental catastrophe to bring down the Mayan Empire
Decline of the Maya Empire
Fun facts about the Maya
The Ancient Mayans “enhanced” the beauty of their children by flattening their heads with wooden boards tied to their skull. Crossed eyes were also considered beautiful and many parents would dangle objects in front of their infants to permanently cross their eyes.
Mayan physicians were excellent doctors. Shamans would go through extensive training and perform complicated surgeries, such as healing scars, and repairing tooth cavities with turquoise and pyrite fillings.
Ancient Mayans used painkillers made from hallucinogens and alcohol.
Mayas used sweat baths to purify themselves. Special buildings have been discovered that were used as sweat baths by kings and commoners alike.
The last Mayan state existed until 1697, almost two hundred years after the first Conquistadors began invading the Yucatan Peninsula.
The Mayan calendar does not end in 2012. Mayan calendars existed in cycles, with calendars extending to well beyond 2012. The end of a cycle was considered a cause for celebration among the Mayan people, and the idea of an apocalypse was first suggested by a new-age author