Introduction: Over 3,000 years ago, the Maya developed a complex civilization in present-day Guatemala. Each Maya city had its own chief ruler, who was considered half-man, half god. Most Maya were peasant farmers who lived in thatched huts and grew corn, but there was also a small class of craftsmen who made luxury goods for the nobles. The nobility were a small hereditary class who performed sacred ceremonies on special occasions and assisted the rulers. The Maya frequently engaged in wars and practiced human sacrifice. They developed a ball game (pok-to-pok) that became popular throughout the Americas. The losers were often sacrificed in a religious ritual. Around the 9th century, Maya culture experienced a great crisis. Archaeologists do not know if a food shortage, epidemic, or great war brought an end to the Classic Period (250-900) of Maya civilization. The Maya migrated north to the Yucatan peninsula in present-day Mexico, and built a new series of city-states. One of these later Mayan cities is well preserved at Chichen Itza, which is famous for its observatory. Constant warfare from the 13th to the 16th centuries and pressured from neighboring peoples led to the decline of Maya civilization. The final blow came with the “encounter” with the Spanish conquistadores with their Guns, Germs, and Steel. Their achievements include architecture and pyramids, a writing system (glyphs), math, and astronomy.
The Maya civilization was made up of city-stats. How many city-states probably existed? What was their relationship to each other?
40- kings; did trade with each other. Bloody clashes and human sacrifices