The king, or k’ul ahau or sacred ruler, was an absolute monarchy . In the Pre-Classic Maya era, rule was predominantly through a village elder, but gradually the Maya adopted a hierarchical governmental system with rule by a monarch and the aristocracy. While the king ruled by divine right, even he could only go so far.
While there is little evidence of monarchies in early Maya cities, the Classic period saw the rise of one legendary revered king. The rule of K’inich Janaab ‘ Pakal the Great , or Janaab’ Pakal I , of the Late-classic city of Palenque was one of great acclaim.
As a result of the states’ jealousy, the Mayans were very eager to go to war with the other lands. And when they fought the other lands, they had increased their power so much that they were effortlessly victorious over these Yucatan states.
The Maya social classes consisted of, Ahua (the king), nobles, priests, merchants, artisans, and slaves. The top was constituted by priests and kings along with royal families who lived in the palaces. Then were the wealthy nobles placed on the second level. Commoners and officers were at the next level in the classes .
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 .
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 .
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
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.
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.
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.
The Maya have lived in Central America for many centuries. They are one of the many Precolumbian native peoples of Mesoamerica . In the past and today they occupy Guatemala, adjacent portions of Chiapas and Tabasco, the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and the western edges of Honduras and Salvador.
The Maya believed that when people died, they entered the Underworld through a cave or a cenote. When kings died, they followed the path linked to the cosmic movement of the sun and fell into the Underworld; but, because they possessed supernatural powers, they were reborn into the Sky World and became gods.
K’inich Janaab Pakal
The Maya writing system is considered by archaeologists to be the most sophisticated system ever developed in Mesoamerica. The Maya wrote using 800 individual signs or glyphs, paired in columns that read together from left to right and top to bottom. There is no Maya alphabet.