Maya Religion & Culture


Joshua J. Mark
published on 25 April 2024

Maya religion and culture is among the most advanced and sophisticated of the Pre-Colombian Americas as evidenced by the ruins of their great cities and what remains of their writings after most were burned by the Spanish in 1562. The Maya continue to live in the same regions today as in the ancient past.

This collection presents a brief survey of some of the most significant aspects of the ancient Maya Civilization.



Questions & Answers

Did the Maya really vanish?

No. The Maya today still live in the same regions as their ancestors.

Where did the Maya live?

The Maya Civilization flourished in modern-day Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas in Mexico and southward through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras.

How long did the Maya civilization last?

The Maya Civilization lasted from 250-1524.

Did the Spanish Conquest lead to the abandonment of the Maya cities?

No. The Maya had abandoned their cities before the arrival of the Spanish. The reasons are unknown but the people probably left the cities due to overpopulation and climate change leading to a loss of resources, especially clean water.
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About the Author

Joshua J. Mark
Joshua J. Mark is World History Encyclopedia's co-founder and Content Director. He was previously a professor at Marist College (NY) where he taught history, philosophy, literature, and writing. He has traveled extensively and lived in Greece and Germany.

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