The Mayans

Resources, articles, and posts about the culture of the Mayans


The Maya Priesthood

The Maya Priesthood

The Maya had a large hierarchy of priests, who were second in importance in Maya culture only to the king himself. Priests communicated with the gods and were intermediaries between the Maya people and their deities. Maya priests were the keepers of knowledge. They...
Women in Mayan Society

Women in Mayan Society

In early Mayan studies, archeologists assumed that women were subordinate to men in Mayan society. Men were kings and rulers of the city-state, and men were rulers in their homes. Recent studies haven’t changed that notion, but new research shows that women were more...
Daily Life for a Maya Noble

Daily Life for a Maya Noble

The noble class of the Maya was much smaller than any other class, but they were far more wealthy and powerful. Maya nobles, known as almehenob, filled the priesthood, or became government officials, court officers, town rulers, scribes, tribute collectors, military...
Daily Life for a Maya Artisan

Daily Life for a Maya Artisan

Maya craftsmen had a slightly easier life than the hard, physical labor of the farmers. Artisans were still commoners, but rather than heading off to the milpas, they would work creating beautiful items such as jewelry, textiles, pottery and feather cloaks and...

Daily Life for a Maya Commoner

As in most of the Mesoamerican cultures, daily life depended on social class. At the top were the king and noble families. Most nobles were elite warriors, priests, scribes or government officials. In the middle were the artisans, traders, weavers, potters and...
Distinctive Features of the Maya Culture

Distinctive Features of the Maya Culture

Maya culture shared many characteristics with other Mesoamerican cultures such as the Olmec, Zapotec or Aztec, but retained some features purely Mayan. The Maya, for example, had the only writing system that represented the spoken language of the Mayans. While other...
Rise and Fall of Maya Civilization Over 3,000 Years

Rise and Fall of Maya Civilization Over 3,000 Years

Since Mayan culture formed, dissolved and reformed over many hundreds of years, scholars divide the years into three main time periods: Pre-Classic (2000 B.C. to A.D. 250), Classic (A.D. 250 to 900) and Post-Classic (900 to 1519). These eras are briefly described...
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