Merchants traded cacao beans throughout Mesoamerica not only in the Maya lands but also to the Olmec , Zapotec , Aztecs and elsewhere. Merchants also traded in raw materials including jade, copper, gold, granite, marble, limestone and wood.
The Aztecs traded with a number of other peoples throughout Mesoamerica. They traded with the Mayans who were concentrated to the east on the
The ancient Maya never used coins as money . Instead, like many early civilizations, they were thought to mostly barter, trading items such as tobacco, maize, and clothing.
At the coast fisherman used nets to catch fish. The geography of the Mayan civilization affected them a lot. For example, Mayans wouldn’t be able to trade things like obsidian if it wasn’t in their area. Mayans wouldn’t be able to grow very good crops if there were no rainy seasons and fertile soil.
The Maya had a system of serfdom and slavery . Serfs typically worked lands that belonged to the ruler or local town leader. There was an active slave trade in the Maya region, and commoners and elites were both permitted to own slaves .
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They developed a written language of hieroglyphs and invented the mathematical concept of zero. With their expertise in astronomy and mathematics, the Maya developed a complex and accurate calendar system.
Maya priests in the city of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula sacrificed children to petition the gods for rain and fertile fields by throwing them into sacred sinkhole caves, known as “cenotes.” The caves served as a source of water for the Mayans and were also thought to be an entrance to the underworld.
Also known as Aztec hoe or axe money , this standardized, unstamped currency had a fixed worth of 8,000 cacao seeds – the other common unit of exchange in Mesoamerica.
Most Maya today observe a religion composed of ancient Maya ideas, animism and Catholicism . Some Maya still believe, for example, that their village is the ceremonial centre of a world supported at its four corners by gods. When one of these gods shifts his burden, they believe, it causes an earthquake.
The Mayans and the Aztecs believed (and perhaps some people still do) that chocolate was a gift from the gods. The Aztecs in particular revered the drink – they gave it to victorious warriors after battle, would use it during religious rituals, and even used cacao beans as currency.
The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica. Fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to 450 BC. The Mexica believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom, and the seeds once had so much value that they were used as a form of currency.
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
After assembling a record-setting 154 radiocarbon dates, the researchers have been able to develop a highly precise chronology that illuminates the patterns that led up to the two collapses that the Maya civilization experienced: the Preclassic collapse, in the second century A.D., and the more well-known Classic
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .