DISCLAIMER: This article is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at last review, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information.
Inomata, Takeski School of Anthropology, University of Tucson, Tucson, Arizona.
- Early Maya society and political organization
- Decline of Preclassic centers
- Recovery and the Classic period
- Classic Maya collapse
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The Maya civilization prospered in an area comprising the present-day locations of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador (Fig. 1). It encompassed a diversity of environmental zones, including the tropical lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula and the highlands located to the south of it. The beginning of the Maya society was surprisingly late. Sedentary villages and ceramics did not appear in the Maya lowlands until the onset of the Middle Preclassic period (1000–400 BC), whereas many other groups in areas surrounding the Maya area had adopted a sedentary way of life centuries earlier. In particular, the so-called Olmec civilization on the southern Gulf of Mexico coast had developed the large center of San Lorenzo (in present-day Mexico), which is known for its colossal head sculptures that are thought to have depicted rulers. A central question concerning the origins of the Maya civilization has been whether it emerged under the influence of the Olmecs or whether it developed more independently.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information