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.
Slash and burn Also known as ‘shifting’, this is when jungle areas are chopped down and burnt. The ash is high in nutrients, so it was perfect for growing crops. However, within a few years, the nutrients would be used up and the farmers would have to move elsewhere to let the forest regrow.
(Later on, the Aztecs improved on this system, and built floating gardens.) In the dense forest, they used a slash and burn technique to create a flat surface to plant crops. They dug canals throughout the fields to irrigate the crops.
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 .
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.
Luckily for the Aztecs, the chinampas were soft enough that it was possible to plant crops with nothing but pointed sticks. The three regions the ancient Maya lived in were very different from each other. Maya farmers used a method called slash and burn before they began planting crops.
There are many problems that result from this method of growing crops, including deforestation, a direct consequence of cutting down forests for crop land; loss of habitat and species; an increase in air pollution and the release of carbon into the atmosphere—which contributes to global climate change; and an increase
Slash-and-burn agroecosystems are important to rural poor and indigenous peoples in the developing world. Ecologically sound slash-and-burn agriculture is sustainable because it does not depend upon outside inputs based on fossil energy for fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation.
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.
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”.
Slash -burning is a form of fire mitigation designed to keep forests healthy and prevent dangerous wildfires by safely burning leaves, pine needles, downed trees, standing small trees, and thick vegetation.
They Mayans had a few key agricultural techniques that helped them farm more than just scrub vegetation. One of these techniques was the Slash and Burn method. This process started with the farmers cutting down all of the vegetation and trees in an area. Like the Incas , the Mayans would use terrace farming as well.
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 .
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.