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Word Count: 877
Maya The ancient Maya were a group of American Indian peoples who lived in Southern Mexico Their descendants the modern Mayalive in the same regions today Agriculture was the basis of the economy of the Mayan and corn was the principal foodVoorhies 324 Other crops included avocados tomatoes and chili peppers They cultivated an enormous variety of plantsFoley 20 In hieroglyphic writing astronomy and mathematics the Mayan Indians were far ahead of any other people in the New WorldFoley 20 The Mayan invented a solar civil calendar including three hundred sixty- five daysIvanoff 86 The accuracy of the Mayan calculations is all the more extraordinary in view of the fact that they had no knowledge of glass or metals They had no precision instruments available to them Their tools were polished stones that very closely resembled tool from our Neolithic AgeIvanoff 86 Mayan cities served as centers for the surrounding countryside The people gathered in the centers for important events such as markets and religious festivals The Maya had no schools The children learned by observing adults and helping themVoorhies 323 Maya farmers lived in rural homesteads for small villages near their fields They built their houses from poles all tied together The man could have two or even three wives Each one would tend to her own fire and cook for her own childrenPrice 91 Entire Maya families including parents children and grandparents lived together Everyone in the household helped with the work Very little is known about the government of the Maya Each Maya city governed itself and the area around it and larger cities may have had control over several smaller cities The rulers of the government probably consisted of both chiefs and priests The Maya never united to form a central governmental unitVoorhies 325 As population rose the nobles of the independent city states both intermarried and made war on one another Ultimately the system of
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