Could America Fall Apart Like the Mayans?



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Could America Fall Apart Like the Mayans?

It is late at night and you are speaking to the president on the telephone. He has expressed to you his concerns about the stability of the United States government at the beginning of the New Millennium, and now requests your assistance on some important issues.

An avid student of history, the President is pondering the questions of why so many once-powerful civilizations around the world have vanished. He wants to do everything he possibly can to make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes which led to the demise of earlier civilizations. He is particularly anxious to learn more about the remarkable civilizations like the ancient Maya. If a civilization as powerful and technologically advanced during its time as the Maya could disappear, can the same tragic outcome befall the United States? The President thanks you for your help.

Dear Members of the Maya Research Task Force,

Your team’s task in simple. You must provide answers to some basic questions so that America will not be doomed to repeat the tragic fate of the Maya.


  1. Who were the Maya, and where did they live? Did they reside in large cities, medium sized towns, or small rural villages?




  1. What was life like in the average Maya town? Was it different than our lifestyles here in America?




  1. Describe the Mayan religious beliefs. Couth their belief system have contributed in some way to their demise?




  1. What are some technological advancements that the Mayans have been credited with introducing? Could these have aided in their fall?




  1. What is known about the Mayan calendar? How did they come to make their calendar? In what ways is it different from ours?




  1. In what type of physical environment did the Maya live? Based on what your team has discovered, do you think environmental factors contributed in any way to their demise?




  1. Mayans had a great interest in astronomy. How did astronomy influence their lives? Did their belief in astronomy contribute in any way to their fall as a civilization?




  1. Based on what your team has learned, please tell me why you think the Mayans fell to ruins AND what steps Americans can take today so that we do not suffer the same fate.

Possible Resources:

History Channel

http://www.history.com/topics/maya

Ancient History Encyclopedia

http://www.ancient.eu/Maya_Civilization/

Mayan Astronomy/Math/Geography



http://www.michielb.nl/maya/astro.html


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