by Courtney Thiemann, Louisville Middle School

Students research the Ancient Maya civilization in order to choose artifacts to symbolize different aspects of the Mayan culture

Introduction

Deep within the jungles of Mexico and Guatemala and extending into the limestone shelf of the Yucatán peninsula lie the fabled temples and palaces of the Maya. While Europe still slumbered in the midst of the Dark Ages, these innovative people had charted the heavens, evolved the only true writing system native to the Americas and were masters of mathematics and calendrics. Without advantage of metal tools, beasts of burden or even the wheel they were able to construct vast cities with an astonishing degree of architectural perfection and variety. Their legacy in stone, which has survived in a spectacular fashion at places such as Palenque, Tikal, Tulum, Chichén Itzá, Copán and Uxmal, lives on as do the seven million descendants of the classic Maya civilization.

Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation