The sociology essay below has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

Back to Subject Index

Print Reference This Reddit This

Maya culture


The Maya culture is one of the most fascinating cultures in the history of human kind. Maya culture was located on the Mexican territory and some constructions of their past are still there. The most argumentative aspect of that culture is how did they just vanish so quickly? How could a huge population of millions of people disappeared? Many anthropologists, sociologists and methodologists couldn't find a direct cause of their vanishing. Their collapse was based on so many reasons, as they predicted, so they couldn't determine exactly how? On the other hand, all the scientists agreed that the collapse of the Maya culture was from the Mayan people themselves. "The Mayan civilization began to chew upon itself!" (Maya Culture Collapse, 2005). The main reasons that led Mayan civilization to lose their culture were a lot. Their climate change, agricultural system and overpopulation are the headlines of the famous Maya Culture Collapse.

We can help you to write your essay!

Professional essay writers

Our writers can help get your essay back on track, take a look at our services to learn more about how we can help.

Essay Writing Service Essay Marking Service Place an Order

First, to understand the Maya culture we need to consider their environment and their climate. The Mayan region is a "seasonal tropical forest" in a number of months in the year and a "seasonal desert" in the rest. That's, it tends to be rainy from May to October, there is also a dry season from January through April. It has some mountains, lakes and rivers. Its also has jungle characteristics with large sized trees and humid atmosphere. As you go from the north to the south the rainfall increase from 8 to 100 inches per year. Therefore we could tell that the southern region was agriculturally more productive and supported denser population since it has thicker soils due to the rainfall. Unfortunately, the rainfall was unpredictable between the years also like the timing of it. As a result, the Mayan people, farmers mostly, had problems with agriculture where they to predict the time of the rain to be able for planting their crops but sadly their predictions were not right all the time and they faced a number of crop failures. On the other hand, the northern inhabitants already had problems with water supplies so they made great cenotes by digging deep in the ground to get freshwater. For that reason the number of crop failures within the north was way lower then the south. Their entire relay was on the climate so they could grow food, while their surroundings were supported with rivers and lakes which were rich with fish. Also the environment of the Mayan region had some wildlife except the Mayans didn't put much effort in consuming it. Finally, there were a lot of droughts after hundreds of years that made the Maya civilization collapse since they relayed on the water to grow the harvests of food in the direction of supplying their large population.

The Agricultural system that the Mayan had was based on a short term plan and couldn't stay as a good background for their future. They were cutting down trees for many reasons that led them to deforest their land. " They would have needed about 20 trees [to build a fire large and hot enough] to make a plaster floor stone that is about one square meter." ( Maya Culture Collapse, 2005). The Mayan kings and nobles like the fancy temples and the sophisticated palaces thus there were more trees down as the increase of royal social types. Nevertheless population got higher therefore they needed more food to be provided to them. In that matter they also once again chopped down more trees to obtain a large enough spot to plant further crops. In addition to that, people necessitated homes and shelters so they had to make that happen by using those trees for locating land for the homes, building roofs and making floor. Then again deforestation made the area get drier by reason of raising evaporation rates. And as its stated in Maya Culture Collapse " the Mayan deforestation appears to have coincided with natural climate variability that was already producing a drought."


Mayan grounds were overloaded with people, which lead to overpopulation in some cities of the region. Some sociologists say that its because that polygamy was known to the Mayan culture. " Population density ranged from 400 to 600 people per square mile in the rural areas, and from 1,800 to 2,600 people per square mile near the center of the Mayan Empire" ( Maya Culture Collapse, 2005). Do to that, people were having all kind of problems. People were living as families and tribes so they needed shelters and land to grow their food to support them to have a decent life for them and for their children. Researchers recovered hundreds of skeletons to find out the reason behind their collapse. They thought about diseases and malnutrition so they looked for stress lines on teeth but there were not as high as what's needed to actually say that they disappeared due to a disease. In relation to all of that, we could tell that political and agricultural systems were motives controlled by the Mayan population.

Politics is one of the leading causes of the Mayan collapse since there were too many people living around each other. The Maya empire was divided into kingdoms, regions, villages and cities. Therefore a number of kings were in charge of these sites with all the people who lived within it." The Maya warfare was intensive, chronic, and unresolvable, because limitations of food supply and transportation made it impossible for any Maya principality to unite the whole region in an empire… Maya warfare involved well documented types of violence such as wars between separate kingdoms, attempts of cities within the kingdom to secede by revolting against the capital, civil wars resulting from frequent violent attempts by would-be kings to usurp the throne and fights between commoners over land as overpopulation became excessive and as land became scarce" ( Maya Culture Collapse, 2005).

This essay is an example of a student's work


This essay has been submitted to us by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Who wrote this essay Request removal Example Essays

Print Reference This Reddit This

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay

More from UK Essays