Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Maya

Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Maya

Payton Vu, Dedicated Writer

Over the next few weeks, I will be telling facts about the Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Maya, Inca and Aztecs. This week’s focus is on the Maya. 


Culture: The Maya believed in polytheism, which is the belief in several gods. They also believed that the only way for the sun to come up was by sacrificing a human to please the gods. In order to choose who got sacrificed, the Maya would have their slaves play a ballgame where they had to get a rubber ball in a stone ring.


Farming: Due to the tropical climate in Mesoamerica, the Mayan farmland was very fertile and good for farming. The Maya had three different ways of farming;  the first was slash and burn, which is where the Maya would cut down trees and burn them to have more land for farming. Next was terrace farming, where they would make steps in the hillsides so they could farm on hills. And finally, the Maya had to use raised water beds to farm in swamps, so the Maya would make an island in the swamp by raising dirt above the water.


Location: The Maya, along with the other civilizations, were located in Mesoamerica. Meso means central and they call Mesoamerica this because it was located central or in between North and South America. The Maya were mainly from the Yucatan Peninsula off the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Another interesting fact is that the Mayan capital was Tikal, which is now located in modern-day Guatemala.