Ancient Mayan Hierarchy

The ancient Mayan hierarchy was a mix of separate entities with a common cultural background. If we look from Mayan Religious  point of view, they were viewed as a nation but politically they were sovereign states. Culturally the Mayan area was divided into three sections such as the northern section, central section and the southern section. The first evidences of the Mayan civilizations were found in the southern regions. The southern area was influenced by the Olmec. The central region was the place, where the classic Mayan culture flourished.

In this particular journal, we have made an attempt to describe the ancient Mayan hierarchy in a detailed manner as per the classifications into various periods such as the Ancient Mayan, The Pre Classic Mayan, The Classic Mayan and finally The Post Classic Mayan.

Ancient Mayan Hierarchy
Ancient Mayan Hierarchy

The Ancient Mayan

  • Towards the end of 2000 BC, various recognizable Mayan villages appeared. The people worked with pottery and ceramics.
  • Because of the Mayan’s central position between Central America and Mexican cultures, the people were the masters of the Mesoamerican economic system.

The Pre Classic Mayan (3500 BC- 350 AD)

  • In this period of ancient Mayan hierarchy, the population concentrations were regrouped as different cities as per their geographic position.
  • With the development of civilization, the Mayans invented astronomy, calendar systems and hieroglyphic writing.
  • During the middle Pre Classic period i.e. from 900- 300 BC, the people cleared large sections of tropical rain forests started farming and built underground reservoirs for storage of rain water.
  • During the middle Pre Classic period, the Mayans also adopted a hierarchical system of government ruled by nobles and kings.
  • During the Late Pre Classic period i.e. from 300 BC- 300 AD, the people worked as weavers and potters and created trade networks with the distant people.
  • During the Late Pre Classic period, writing was also invented in Mesoamerica and the people of Mayan began using it.

The Classic Mayan (300- 900 AD)

  • During this period, various monumental architectures containing detailed historical records were erected.
  • The Maya civilization peaked during the Late Classic period i.e. from 550- 900 AD. Various aspects such as architecture, writing, agricultural practices and commerce flourished during this particular period of time.
  • During this period, the hierarchical system that developed during the middle Pre Classic period was improvised into highly structured kingdoms. At this time, the Mayan society consisted of various independent states, each with a farming community and large urban site.

The Post Classic Mayan (900- 1521 AD)

  • The Post Classic period of the ancient Mayan hierarchy can be divided into two different periods such as the colonial period from 1521 to 1821 and the modern period from 1821- present.
  • The Colonial period was a time of hardship for Mayan because many people were killed due to several warfare and sicknesses.
  • After the onset of the modern period, Mayan population formed in different parts of Guatemala and Honduras.

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