Three types of Maya farming Raised field. The Mayas used this method to farm areas of land that otherwise would have been too wet to use. Terrace farming . This is where walls are built to make small flat fields one on top of the other. Slash and burn.
In the mountainous highlands, they used step farming, so that each step would be flat and able to be irrigated to better grow and harvest crops . In the swampy lowlands, the Maya built raised earth platforms, surrounded by canals, on which they could grow crops .
The agricultural techniques the Maya used to overcome farming challenges were slash and burn agriculture .
The Maya created arable land by using a “slash-and-burn” technique to clear the forests. They planted maize and secondary crops such as beans , squash, and tobacco. In the highlands to the west, they terraced the slopes on mountainsides; in the lowlands, they cleared the jungle for planting.
Maya astronomer -priests looked to the heavens for guidance. They used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun, the stars and planets in order to observe, calculate and record this information in their chronicles, or “codices”.
Although their principal crop was corn , farmers also cultivated beans , squash , and fruit trees . Black beans and red beans contributed protein to the Maya diet. Numerous varieties of squash and pumpkin were grown.
The most important food that the Maya ate was maize, which is a vegetable like corn. They made all types of food from maize including tortillas, porridge, and even drinks. Other staple crops included beans, squash, and chilies. For meat the Maya ate fish, deer, ducks, and turkey.
Maya farmers used a method called slash and burn before they began planting crops. Slash and burn farming was a lot of hard work for Maya farmers. The crops they grew included maize (corn), squash, beans, chili peppers, and cacao (cocoa), which is used to make chocolate.
During the pre-Columbian era, human sacrifice in Maya culture was the ritual offering of nourishment to the gods . 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.
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities.
Wheat is the most widely grown crop in the world and provides 20% of the daily protein and of the food calories for 4.5 billion people. It is the second most important food crop in the developing world after rice .
The Maya were deeply religious, and worshiped various gods related to nature, including the gods of the sun, the moon, rain and corn. They were thought to serve as mediators between the gods and people on earth, and performed the elaborate religious ceremonies and rituals so important to the Maya culture.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.