Talk:Maya civilization

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Could someone please explain this to me? I've had a feeling that it might be vandalism, but it's been on the article for months.

Mik 03:11, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Not to worry, Mik, "E-group" is a valid type of Maya structure, documented at quite a few sites, mainly from the early classic period.It takes its name from a structure at the site of Uaxactun, designated as (by Morley, I think) Structure E-VII-sub (apart from a few well-known or prominent structures, most have been given rather prosaic names based on their numbering within a surveyed grid, or some other ennumerative schema). The structure at Uaxactun is believed to have been used as an astronomical observatory particularly for marking solar equinoxes; structures at other sites classified as of the E-group type have similar forms, and presumably had similar functions. See here for a description, and here's a link to an img of the original E-VII-sub structure. Regards, --cjllw | TALK 05:16, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Though this discussion happened nearly a year ago, there is now a page for E-Groups. -- Oaxaca dan 01:19, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

The name "Maya"[edit]

Does anybody know why we call the Maya Maya? We know why the Indians are called Indians. Who came up with the name Maya for the Mayan people? Is this information out there? Anybody know? Info D 07:44, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

The Maya people and language of Yucatan, the largest single group, in their own language. -- Infrogmation 19:41, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. Any reference? Info D 09:01, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
The etymology of the word is obscure/obscured, but there are mentions of "maya" in a few of the 16thC dictionaries, such as the Motul, which gives "Maya: ...nombre propio desta tierra de Yucatan. maya vinic: hombre de Yucatan; indio. ("proper name of the country of Yucatan", maya winik- man from Yucatan, indian")- see some other entries in FAMSI's Combined Dictionary-Concordance of Yukatek. Another likely 16thC dictionary (the San Francisco) gives maya than :"lengua vulgar o común de esta tierra (Yucatán)" (" [name for] the common language of Yucatan").--cjllw | TALK 07:49, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
In the latest edition (no.125, 26 de Noviembre 2006) of "Revista D", the sunday magazine of the Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre, there is a whole article on this topic. Notable from that article: first documented use, the voyage of Columbus, 1502, he encounters a merchant canoe from the land of "Maiam" (recorded in the diaries of Columbus brother Bartolome and son Fernando). The term was used in colonial Spanish to refer to Yucatecan language and ceremonial objects, but never to people; it was used primarily to refer only to groups in western Yucatan (according to Matthew Restall, within the context of a larger investigation of "Mayan Ethnogenesis"). It comes from Yukatek, perhaps from the postclassic Mayan city of Mayapan, which suffered a civil war and diaspora throughout the Yucatan just prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. (the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel says "katun (~20-year period) 13 ahau, Mayapan was founded, and its people called Mayas. katun 8 ahau (~60, ~320 or ~580 years later? these repeat every ~260 yrs.) its lands were destroyed and its people dispersed over the peninsula. 6 katun (~120 years) after their destruction they ceased being called maya. In katun 11 ahau they ceased being called maya and were called christians.") The word seems to have attained its modern meaning starting in archeological circles, with the use spreading throughout the 19th century, and taking on political significance in the 20th century (according to Jon Schackt). I'm putting this here in comments because I don't know where to fit this into the article.--Homunq 18:33, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for that helpful information. I suppose it and the info above could at some point be worked into the article under a separate section on the term itself. Feel free to give it a go yourself if someone else does not get around to it.--cjllw | TALK 01:29, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
...but this is appropriate for almost all the "top-level" mayan articles (at least Civ, Languages, and Peoples) in the Maya template, so should it get its own article? Also, it's etymology; does that then belong in Wiktionary, with links in these three articles? And how do I cite this stuff without tracking it down in libraries - I want to credit the original authors without pretending it's not out of a newsprint-magazine puff piece, which very well may be getting its own sources secondhand...? (I don't want to be negative, I just don't know the answers.) The crucial authors are Restall and Shackt. A quick google turns up Restall as author and Penn State faculty, and Shackt as an author who gets published in Columbia in Spanish, but no actual text of anything they write. They would probably also be a good source for the last paragraph in the "history" section of Mayan languages (disclaimer: mine).--Homunq 23:31, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
I feel like the frog from the Popol Vuh here: "Says Schact, says Revista D, says Homunq". --Homunq 19:24, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Impediments for trade[edit]

However, Mayans were not equipped to handle trade at such a magnitude because the absence of the wheel made it difficult to move heavy amounts of goods from one place to another.

I'd amend that to "absence of the wheel or beasts of burden" but the article seems protected against unregistered people. -- 09:50, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi again, You may wish to consider registering a user account here, the process is quite painless and there are some advantages. Entirely up to you, of course.
The had been semi-protected after a spate of vandalism. I've now unprotected it as the incidents of vandalism in related articles seem to have died off a bit- at least for the present. So you are now able to make any amendments. I actually think that sentence as it stands is quite misleading, the internal and external trade of commodities among the Maya was no small-scale operation, and they made expert teddy is so sexy and everyone knows it and judicious use of water-borne transport, including both coastal and riverine forms, and also using the bajos (seasonal and extensive swamps) which are quite common in many of the lowland areas, esp. the Petén Basin.--cjllw | TALK 23:33, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I see what you did there... Teddy — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:50, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree that the article could be improved by discussion of Mayan trade networks, particularly maritime trade. Also, the trading port of Vista Alegre in Quintana Roo needs to be added to the list of sites. See [1]AusJeb (talk) 22:29, 25 May 2011 (UTC)


I wanted to a mention of Malinche in the Colonial section. It is probably too marginal to the Maya for this article, but, in a way, the Maya led to the conquest of the Aztec empire. -- 15:46, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Agree there's an interesting connection, and some sources at least maintain Malinche may have been from a Chontal Maya background. Maybe if we had a more detailed or separate 'Maya history' article it could be covered- we need some more lengthy treatment somewhere of the conquest-era events with particular focus on the impacts to the Maya.--cjllw | TALK 02:05, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Re-opening the sub-articles debate[edit]

I've just come across this set of articles after coming across Mayan children and Mayan health and medicine as part of the wikification drive. I decided to see where they belong and realised that at the moment trying to decide that is rather difficult. I've also noticed that there seems to be significant overlap between some of the main article and sub-articles - i.e. the writing section of Maya society is the same as that on the main article - Maya civilization - page - and ditto for art and architecture. There is lots of fabulous information across all these articles but they really do need looking at systematically - and wikipedia needs trawling for any other articles that could be brought into the fold.

As far as I'm aware from Wiki convention the main article of Maya civilization should provide either all the information on a subject (where it doesn't warrant/yet warrant of its own) or well written summaries with links to an easily understandable set of sub-articles on each major topic - these should not, however overlap as they currently do. I know its going to be difficult to agree on what sub-articles there should be and on what topics.... but this has the potential to be a really great set of articles with a little tweaking. Anybody with me? Madmedea 22:56, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi Madmedea. You've probably noticed there's already been some discussion on this (see for eg above here for some ideas on the organisation of subsections for this article and sub-articles, but not alas much yet in the way of remediative action.
Some background on the current situation: firstly, a while back now some of the text from this main article was split off into separate ones (eg Maya architecture, Maya society) as the article was weighing in at or above the desirable length. Some of the text was then added back in here, since that had left considerable gaps in topical coverage. Some of the re-inserted text has been rewritten (to summarise main points discussed at greater length in subarticles), but there's still a fair amount of that to do. Secondly, back in about Sept last year a bunch of Maya- (and Aztec-) related articles were separately created, from scratch it seems by several first-time contributors who have made no subsequent additions. You mention a couple of these above, there are probably about a dozen or so in total. Based on the writing style and their (non-)coincidental appearance it may be presumed that these were original school or college-level "essays", or a broken-up larger essay, on various sub-topics. Apart from some minor cleanup these to date have been pretty much left alone and 'quarantined', as they are generally on viable topics but need some considerable work to bring up to scratch, tidy up some incorrect info and integrate into the overall "set" of related articles.
You are right of course, ideally this main Maya civilization article should give a detailed though succinct overview of all the main topical areas, with the array of accompanying 'subarticles' linked to which explore the topics in more detail. It's something which however is taking a fair amount of time and effort to do, or even commence in most cases. You'd be most welcome if inclined to take up on some of this and/or suggest some better ways of reorganising the material. Any help is appreciated.--cjllw | TALK 08:04, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the info, I thought this was probably a long running discussion. I may well have a look at how some re-organisation might take place - a fresh pair of eyes might help, you never know. If I want to do anything radical I'll post about it here first. My main worry was the replicated material between sub-articles as this would really confuse the reader and make maintenance impossible. This may be the place to start - ie. removing art and architecture from the society article....I'll get my thinking cap on. Madmedea 13:55, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for restructure[edit]

Right here is a proposed new structure based on analysis of the current articles and what else is lurking in the wikipedia universe....

The first level of bullets will be sections in the top-level article Maya civilisation and the links in the main navigation box. This isn't a big change from the current article structure - but some sections will need to be summarised so they are not repeating the detailed content of the 1st and 2nd level articles.

1st level articles (i.e. Maya art and architecture) would have the second level of bullets as their article sections - some will also lead on with links to "2nd level" articles (i.e. Maya ceramics) which would be summarised in the 1st level article.

N.B. Articles not currently integrated into the series (with "main article" links etc.) on Maya civilisation are in italics.

There are two key things I've tried to achieve with this new structure:

  1. Not to create any new article topics by restructuring - the red links above are either combinations of existing articles to create more logical level 1 articles (Maya religion and mythology and Maya art and architecture or a new level 1 article which brings together existing sections/articles into a more logical place Maya science and technology.
  2. Bring "into the fold" the 14 articles which have been created (and I've come across, there could be others) and do not currently link in with the series of original articles.

I'll leave this list up her for a while to see if anybody has any comments. If nobody objects I'll start the shift around. Madmedea 20:50, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi Madmedea- certainly appreciate you taking the trouble to review the situation and come up with the proposal, which looks generally very sound. Many thanks!
There might be a couple of modifactions which could be made, but if you're keen to make a start then I wouldn't want to delay things too long trying to make a more perfect arrangement. Presumably as things are developed we can see what works and perhaps modify the scheme accordingly.
I can see the value in having 'combination' subarticles such as Maya art and architecture and Maya mythology and religion, although I can also see a value in retaining them separately- if for no other reason than there should easily be enough material to substantiate individual articles (which in turn will summarise a number of tertiary-level sub-subarticle topics).
In the main article itself the "geographical setting" section is deserving of a more extensive treatment on the geography, contrasting zones and natural environment, and there'd be scope for subarticles on these topics as well. But that can be developed in due course.
The ordering of the main subheadings could probably be revised, I'd be tempted to move up 'science and technology' and move down 'society' and 'mythology/religion'.
I think a couple of the subarticles' current titles are sub-optimal, but again that's something which could be revised at some later date once it becomes clearer what the scope of each needs to fill.
As I mentioned before, my (personal) reservation with "bringing into the fold" a few of those existing subarticles was that they are still in need of a good overhaul or even rewrite to fit in with the content and level at which the others are (admittedly far from perfectly) written. However perhaps reorganising things in this fashion will provide some much-needed impetus and addtional attention which can work to clean them up. In any event, your suggested reorg looks to be a fine improvement, thanks once more. Cheers, --cjllw | TALK 08:22, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. I agree with everything - i.e. article titles, ordering etc - all is flexible, but you're also right, my intention is to get a basic overhaul done to encourage later editing.... I know the quality of some of the "new" sub-articles isn't top notch, but by not linking in with them at all I fear they are bound to stay that way. I'll make sure they're tagged for their problems so there is a warning to the reader. As far as mythology and religion are concerned my main problem is that at the moment there is no way of defining each topic to make it a clearly separate article; as is the case for many civilizations with belief systems like the Maya (the Inca articles have the same problem). I think if the "List of Gods" was separated off it would make a good single article. I'll do a trial in my sandbox when I get a chance so you can see how it might look. Madmedea 09:46, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I like it. I find the division between numerals and astronomy (with technology) and calendars (off by themselves) to be a little forced, and think that art and architecture could live separately just as much as together (unlike, as you say, religion and mythology). Also of course "history" needs subheadings. But I think the proposal is good and would support it as is. --Homunq 03:25, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Andrei Birsan si Maxim Catanoi, istorici nevibatza :-)?[edit]

The first section has this title, which I suppose is vandalism. But when I try to edit it, it is not there! I don't understand. It cannot be removed? Francisco Valverde 08:49, 6 February 2007 (UTC) 21:22, 24 February 2007 (UTC) whatevr this is, it doesnt have Bc. it has c. on the date... I am going to edit it to say that and nobodt erase it.. 21:22, 24 February 2007 (UTC)


Please add the link to the Interlingua version


-- 22:07, 26 February 2007 (UTC) ia:Usator:André Oliva

Hi André - done.--cjllw | TALK 00:20, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

The Maya "collapse"[edit]

In reorganizing this article and prepping for some revision, I noticed that the content under the Maya collapse could very well be dumped into another newer article - anyone agreee? disagree? My only question would be concerning the title - since the Maya as a whole never actually collapsed, only the network of political systems and city-states in the southern lowlands. It was more of a shift towards the northern lowlands. But i think Decline of the southern Maya lowlands is a bit too bulky as a title... Would Collapse of the Maya or Maya collapse be too misleading? Could we actually call it Maya "collapse" with the quotation marks? (i'm pretty sure that will violate the manual of style in one way or another). Or, because that's what's known to the public at large, use the term collapse and explicitly state that the Maya never actually collapsed in the intro paragraph... hmmm..... Anywho, any input would be welcome -- Oaxaca dan 18:56, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

I think as long as the article clearly explains modern scholarship on the subject, the exact title is less important. If it's called simply "maya collapse", then the introduction should clarify. (IOW what's there now is probably fine)-- 04:18, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Reference to the other Bonampak image on main Maya page, I do not think it shold be described as 700 BC but 700 AD, even 790 AD as is stated elsewhere in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:41, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Bonampak image[edit]

Current template version
My contrast-enhanced version

Hey. I'm glad to see my image of the paintings at Bonampak used on the Maya civ. template, but I wonder at the way the contrast was increased. The result of the image manipulation was to make the colors really wacky. I'm sure that contrast can be increased without such an effect. So maybe I'll try to make a new version in photoshop and post it. --jacobolus (t) 00:08, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Comparison to the right side →

--jacobolus (t) 00:34, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Actually, in the spirit of WP:BOLD, I think I'll just go ahead and replace uses of the old image with this one. If it's too low contrast, let me know on my wikipedia talk page, and I can try bumping the contrast up even a bit more. --jacobolus (t) 00:38, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks jacob, I think your retouched img is just fine.--cjllw | TALK 01:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


This page has been vandalised, I'l fix it... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Viccce (talkcontribs) 13:02, 16 April 2007 (UTC).

whoops, forgot to sign... --Viccce 13:04, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
In any case, Philofdefuture needs to be banned --Viccce 13:07, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
They have been now.--cjllw | TALK 00:31, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

carved jade from private collection[edit]

I think this picture should be removed, for two reasons. (1) It is from a private collection and was obviously acquired on the art market. We shouldn't make Wikipedia into an instrument of art dealers. Only its scientific importance could possibly justify its inclusion here, but from an iconographical viewpoint, it has no particular value. (2) We cannot be certain that it isn't a fake (which, by the way, I believe it is). 13:17, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi anon (Retal?) - you mean this one? I tend to agree, unprovenanced artefacts (unless notably commented upon in reference sources) are not very good or reliable as illustrative materials. I've no idea about its authenticity- though yes it does look perhaps a little too 'neat'; we should be able to replace it with another more substantive, and substantiated, jade img.--cjllw ʘ TALK 15:50, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Opening paragraph[edit]

"At its peak, it was one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world."

"culturally dynamic" --- what does this mean? I dont think this is an appropriate phrase for the opening paragraph, this seems very vague and I can't tell what, if anything, it actually means. Harley peters 02:25, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

I think I see what the author of that line meant. It means the Mayans, at their peak, were not culturally stagnant or decadent; their art flourished in ways no one had ever seen before, their astronomy was sophisticated, their monuments were numerous and ever more, well, monumental. But it could be better phrased. Something less ambiguous. I think changing "culturally dynamic" for something akin to "culturally advanced" would be worse. "Technically advanced" says a lot and is unambiguous, but it doesn't include many dimensions of what most of us consider culture. "And attained a degree of development equivalent to many great Old World pre-industrial civilisations" or something akin to that. Then, they would ask me what civilisations, and I would say Egypt, China and Greece -- one for each continent, though one could cite many more examples. Old World civilisations are pretty well known, and I don't think I should actually enumerate examples on the article. Or should I?. The word "development" would be attacked as ambiguous, but I think most of us agree that development includes three very important spheres: Education, Health and Wealth (check Human Development Index). So, in my rephrasing, it seems clear the Mayan civilisation, at their peak, was somewhat as educated, as healthy and as wealthy as great Old World pre-industrial civilisations such as Egypt, China or Greece. It sounds unpretentious, unambiguous and impartial; and, adequately for the opening paragraph, it doesn't say anything that is outside the scope or the content of the article. If anyone has an objection to it, please enter in the discussion. Halfleaf (talk) 18:35, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


the last sentence of the first paragraph says: basically,the mayans were gay.

i tried to delete the entry but in the editing window it just said ha ha.

i sent the link to the article to a mate of mine and for a while all the page said was i reckon this article should get protected again

nase —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I reverted. --Ysangkok 12:18, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Maya, an Empire, not a civilization[edit]

The title of this topic has been absconded, the Maya were an empire, not a civilization, the Maya had Emperors (with names), and fell like empires fall, the Maya held slaves and the Maya practiced human sacrifices. Its not an accurate portrayal and therefore not neutral. The title needs to be Maya or Mayan Empire. An Empire is a domain ruled by an Emperor or Empress. The Mayan Empire fell. Thomas Paine1776 19:28, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

The Maya were not an Empire, you could say many samller empires but this article includes them all refering to the Mayan Civilization. Perphaps your confusing the Mayas with the Aztecs. -ishmaelblues
Um, no. Not at all. One could make a reasonable arguement that the Aztec or Teotihaucan were empires, but I know of no evidence the Maya ever were. Some of the points you bring up seem curiously irrelevent -- what does slavery have to do with it? The United States had slavery up to the 1860s; that doesn't mean the United States was an "empire". -- Infrogmation 22:29, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
eg. Mayan empire, New Encyclopædia Britannica (1993) calls it an "empire", p. 326. Several scholars refer to them as "Mayan emperors." eg. History Professors Merry E. Weisner Hanks, Ph.D. and Teresa Mead, Ph.D. in their recent work, A Companion to Gender History (2004), p. 88. National Geographic's Lost Kingdoms of the Maya (1997) "the Mayan empire was a cosmopolitan center . . " Lelei Lelaula, President of the United Caribean Trust and former reporter for CNN World Report from the UN, calls it the "ancient Mayan empire". Astronomer E.C. Krupp, Ph.D. "Mayan Empire" in Skywatchers Shamans and Kings, (1999), Magills guide to Military History by John Powell, p. 979. Latin America: A Cultural History (1967) by German Arciniegas, "Mayan Empire" p. 552. etc., etc., etc., Thomas Paine1776 23:37, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
yes there were many empires within the civilization and many emperors but the Maya Civilization cannot be fully represented by any one empire. you are wrong go away.-ishmaelblues
National Geographic says you are wrong - "National Geographic's Lost Kingdoms of the Maya (1997) "the Mayan empire was a cosmopolitan center . . " Name the what you are calling the many empires within, make a list with dates. PBS also says you are wrong , "the first Mayan empire lasted from 300 to 900." "For a thousand years the ruled . . " "Seemingly in an instant, the Mayan Empire, the focus of the second episode of Spirits of the Jaguar, collapsed" from PBS: Maya Children of the Corn.,etc., etc., etc., Thomas Paine1776 00:29, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
read the maya article before editing "[edit] Political structures A typical Classic Maya polity was a small hierarchical state (ajawil, ajawlel, or ajawlil) headed by a hereditary ruler known as an ajaw (later k’uhul ajaw).[9] Such kingdoms were usually no more than a capital city with its neighborhood and several lesser towns, although there were greater kingdoms, which controlled larger territories and extended patronage over smaller polities.
Each kingdom had a name that did not necessarily correspond to any locality within its territory. Its identity was that of a political unit associated with a particular ruling dynasty. For instance, the archaeological site of Naranjo was the capital of the kingdom of Saal. The land (chan ch’e’n) of the kingdom and its capital were called Wakab’nal or Maxam and were part of a larger geographical entity known as Huk Tsuk. Interestingly, despite constant warfare and eventual shifts in regional power, most kingdoms never disappeared from the political landscape until the collapse of the whole system in the 9th century AD. In this respect, Classic Maya kingdoms are highly similar to late Post Classic polities encountered by the Spaniards in Yucatán and Central Mexico: some polities could be subordinated to hegemonic rulers through conquests or dynastic unions and yet even then they persisted as distinct entities.
Mayanists have been increasingly accepting a "court paradigm" of Classic Maya societies which puts the emphasis on the centrality of the royal household and especially the person of the king. This approach focuses on Maya monumental spaces as the embodiment of the diverse activities of the royal household. It considers the role of places and spaces (including dwellings of royalty and nobles, throne rooms, temples, halls and plazas for public ceremonies) in establishing power and social hierarchy, and also in projecting aesthetic and moral values to define the wider social realm.
Spanish sources invariably describe even the largest Maya settlements as dispersed collections of dwellings grouped around the temples and palaces of the ruling dynasty and lesser nobles. None of the Classic Maya cities shows evidence of economic specialization and commerce of the scale of Mexican Tenochtitlan. Instead, Maya cities could be seen as enormous royal households, the locales of the administrative and ritual activities of the royal court. They were the places where privileged nobles could approach the holy ruler, where aesthetic values of the high culture were formulated and disseminated, where aesthetic items were consumed. They were the self-proclaimed centers and the sources of social, moral, and cosmic order. The fall of a royal court as in the well-documented cases of Piedras Negras or Copan would cause the inevitable "death" of the associated settlement."
nowhere in there is any reference to an all encompassing empire, face it your wrong -ishmaelblues
The conclusions of the sources cited above is that the Maya fell as an empire. They use the term that way and they present it that way on professional programs by National Geographic and PBS. By your interpretation, the Maya weren't organized/complex enough or some such thing. This assertion is contradictory and has a PC bias in nature, that does not properly inform readers. It seeks to assert decentralized hypothesis. But that doesn't help your case either because the Maya could also not be called a civilization, so the title is still amiss. More or less you are saying the Maya were an early people. Simple a title of 'Maya' without anything else. The conclusion of the above sources render it as an empire which fell, it had to be an empire in order to collapse, not simply a decentralized group of households or nomads. It is not presented by sources as households that disappeared one by one. The evidence, even in this present article, shows the Maya rulers had organized. They also had slavery and human sacrifices. Thus, the Above sources prove that you are wrong, clearly the Maya fell as an empire, with emperors. not as households. eg. You say there is no evidence of an empire, but the Emperor Pacal was indeed an a Maya Emperor. Thomas Paine1776 18:38, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
like you said emperors, multiple politcal bodies existing at the same time never on unified empire and even at one time it was the title of Maya Empire does not fully describe the whole civilization. i'm not being baised, i not eurocentric if thats what your implying as an avid reader of Daniel Quinn i'm not even civiliocentric if there even is such a thing. Now go look up greek empire notice how it does not encompass greek civilization. why am i even bothering with you, you do not have the education to tackle mesoamerican history, why don't you go mingle with the people on the simple english page perphaps they would find your insight fascinating then ofcourse you might want to bring a ball of yarn for your big finish. you know what i'm gonna go on a rant here i'm tired of yokels editting history pages and just walking around thinking they have some deep understanding of history cause guess what cletus, you don't! History can be just as complicated as biology or archetecture, but still people think that there half-assed attempts at history wil enlightend the masses, like you've learned something secret in highschool social studies that know one else knoews or you read an article somewhere that you think no one else has seen. i'll put it in simple terms for those of you out there who don't understand the definition of civilization and empire (not pointing to anyone specific thomaspaine1176) history is hard go back to watching spongebob. -ishmaelblues
You are complæetely and 100 % wrong Thomas Paine. There is not a single book dealing with the ancient Maya that would support your claims or talk about one unified Maya empire. Pacal was a ruler of the city state of Palenque, Other citystates had other rulæers at the same time. The knowledge gained in Mayan studies during the past thiorty years have established for a fact that the Maya civilization never "fell" or "disappeared" but there was a certain period where certain city states fell into a decline while others rose. There were still Maya citystates at the time of the conquest and the last Maya citystate fell only in 1697, and the modern maya still embody the remnants of the Mayan civilization. You are speaking against the better knowledge of a host of Mayan archaeologists, anthropologists and historians and frankly you are wasting everybody's time. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 19:43, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
Since it seems to be your area of interest . . . First, I never used the term 'unified empire' that is the term used by those ("host of Mayan archaeologists, anthropologists and historians") who would seem to wish stop looking for the heirarchy among the Mayan rulers. (And so those who cannot, simply throw up their arms say alas there was no unified empire). You say, "Maya civilization never fell" yet the title of David L. Webster's work noted in the present article is, The Fall of the Ancient Maya. So you are mistaken. Fell and collapse are terms used by scholars to describe the conclusion of the Mayan empire. And many scholars use the term "Mayan empire," as noted, so you aren't focusing on the issue. It is not presented as royal households simply disappearing one by one, but rather as collapse, that suggests some probable unified reason. The ancient Greeks didn't have the apparent unity whether political or economic that the Maya evidently had. The term Mayan empire is used by many scholarly sources including those cited above. The Maya empire fell as an empire with what evidence shows are the common underpinnings of an empire, with a semblence of organization and commonalities. The cited Pacal was called the Great, and he is referred to by scholars as an emperor. Evidently the titles taken by Mayan rulers were much more than simply a mayor or local sheriff. Its more probable that emperor Pacal was not simply the local mayor of Palenque, the Mayan titles may suggest a collective councillor structure like the Aztecs who also employed the term great. To use the term empire, it is not necessary to prove a 'unified empire' politic, but there are other obvious commonalities that suggest it. However, I would not dismiss that 'unified empire' or some unified concillor structure may have existed. Note, Hoffman, Ochoa, and Tin write (2005) "the exceptional dry spell may have stressed the Mayan empire's governing institutions." The massive Mayan Palace at Cancuensuggests that the Mayan may have had a unified empire, thus your collection of scholars cannot simply assert no unified empire existed, or dismiss the possibility, they can only honestly say they don't know. But the issue is not whether there was a unified empire, the issue is that the title should be Mayan empire, since they were obviously an empire with emperors, not simply a collection of mayors, the evidence that the Mayan empire fell or collapsed or concluded, and did not simply dismantle one by one. They had slaves, human sacrifices, deities, and a universally implemented imperial class ruling with commonality across the empire. A title of Mayan civilization begs some sort of feel good PC bias, and it should go. The title should be Maya empire, or simply Maya, not Maya civilization. . . . . And once again, take note, National Geographic, PBS and others properly call it the Mayan empire - "National Geographic's Lost Kingdoms of the Maya (1997) "the Mayan empire was a cosmopolitan center . . " (Not many empires within) , "the first Mayan empire lasted from 300 to 900." "For a thousand years they ruled . . " "Seemingly in an instant, the Mayan Empire, the focus of the second episode of Spirits of the Jaguar, collapsed" from PBS: Maya Children of the Corn.,etc., etc., etc., Thomas Paine1776 00:36, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
you loose discussion over -ishmaelblues
I won't add to what Maunus, Infrogmation et al have already provided as conclusive proof that no Mayanist scholar believes the Maya ever constituted an "Empire", which is also borne out by the article's text and references. I will point out that PBS and National Geographic are not considered by authentic researchers as in any way reliable. Coincidentally, this past week a number of prominent Mayanist researchers have vocally criticised a recent National Geographic Magazine special on the Maya for its inaccuracy and carelessness, including a number who had actually been approached by NG to 'review' it pre-publication. See the discussion thread on the AZTLAN mailing list this month on the NG's poor efforts: here for eg is what David Stuart has to say:[2]


I was shown the preliminary text of this NG article about two months ago, and was thoroughly appalled by what I read. The editors said it was too late to make major changes. So why bother vetting it with the people who know anything, I wonder?? It was like with Apocalypto, when Mel Gibson decided to show me the rough cut here in Austin only months before the release, and then wouldn't take suggestions. It isn't surprising I guess, but it appears these large media efforts in print or on screen -- and National Geographic is now a media company more than anything else -- no longer really care much what experts think or say. They just want a "good story," truth or fiction.


Or this from John Carlson:[3]


I was contacted by a conscientious National Geographic Magazine researcher at about the same time and was asked some specific questions about Maya astronomy, calendar, and the caption for one specific photograph in particular. My conversation with the researcher indicated a sense of what I believe is the "tip of the iceberg" with the status of "research" and quality control at the venerable Magazine. It ain't the good ol' days anymore. I replied with comments in writing, suggesting that the photo and its caption were quite wrong. The photo was a bad choice and a meaningless "throwaway" shot and the caption was wrong. When I got the issue, the photo was in and the misleading caption hadn't been changed. So... why did they bother asking?


In short- don't believe everything you read in NG.--cjllw ʘ TALK 03:18, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
NG takes a broader objective investigative view, that's what honest science does. (BTW, programming has much more vetting than a news photo). Perhaps many of the called Mayanists have boxed themselves in unneccessarily to a narrower point of view. Perhaps Mayanists have adopted some agenda since their field is confined. The public is much more likely to trust NG's view on these matters. It appears some Mayanists dismiss prematurely without awaiting evidence. Many so called Mayanists would be better off being honest and saying they simply don't know yet, just as they did not know about the massive Mayan Palace at Cancuen.. Perhaps NG will do a special on the Palace. Unified or not, many scholars refer to the Maya properly as an empire, with commonalities, not a random collection of royal households with a vague court paradigm. It fell as an empire. Nevertheless, the article needs improvement. It could discuss some variety of scholarship on the empire. It doesn't mention that it is called an empire by scholars. It doesn't even mention the recent finding of the Palace at Cancuen. Thomas Paine1776 16:11, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
NG is not science at all it is a popular magazine. About what you think you know about the maya and maya scholarship you are wrong on all accounts . You are the one who should admit that you simply don't know, you obviously have no other frame of reference to maya studies than one article in a popular magazine. As for "fell as an empire" it is complete and utter unfounded nonsense and noone has believed this since 1950. If we were to let you edit the article according to your beliefs it would be disastrous for the credibility of wikipedia. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 19:43, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
This debate began with the statement, "the Maya were an empire, not a civilization". Is this not a semantic misunderstanding? The term "civilization" is very broad and includes things such as empires. The term "Mayan civilization" does not specify whether there were empires or not. See Civilization and Empire. Pfly 21:15, 29 July 2007 (UTC)


This article should be in a subject category, maybe Maya civilization. Katherine Tredwell 17:25, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

It used to be, but it seems some recent anon vandal edit removing the cat & some other info went uncorrected. It is now restored, thanks for the alert.--cjllw ʘ TALK 03:55, 12 August 2007 (UTC)


The article leaves the reader witht he impression that 'codecs' is a tranliterated Mayan word ratther than 'codex' the ordinary English word (from Latin) for a bound book.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17 August 2007.

{{Sofixit}} (though I didn't get that impression). The Evil Spartan 00:38, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I rewrote it to make it clearer. In any case the link to codex is there to explain.--cjllw ʘ TALK 01:50, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl[edit]

I Changed the Aztec names Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl, by the much earlier Maya names Chaac and Kukulkán in the Jade mask image, also added some Preclassic sites in the highlands and pacific lowlands, and the Preclassic San Bartolo Murals in art. mayasautenticos 04:23, 2 December 2007 (UTC)Authenticmayamayasautenticos 04:23, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Chombawhomba tribe???[edit]

There's a reference to:

 The Maya participated in long distance trade with many of the other
Mesoamerican cultures, including Teotihuacan, the Zapotec,
the Chombawhomba tribe, and ...

...emphasis above is mine. Is this legit, or has someone cleverly placed a musical reference at the expense of this article? I've tagged it with a "{{fact}}" but if someone can take a look and see if the article history is any help or actively find a source to configm it, that'd be great. Nate (talk) 09:38, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Just some silly prank, now removed.--cjllw ʘ TALK 23:36, 16 December 2007 (UTC)


I wanted to read the history of the Maya people, but all I found was "hi". Can this be fixed? I got an account just so I could point this out (my first edit!). It also looks like someone tried to undo the vandalism, but it is not showing up. Lilviolinist (talk) 02:09, 23 February 2008 (UTC)lilviolinist

add maya in persian[edit]

please add Maya in Persian by this name قوم مایا —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

OK, done. --cjllw ʘ TALK 04:41, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Maya in popular culture/literature[edit]

I think it would be nice to have information - or at least a list - of the Maya in movies, books, etc. I think a separate entry should be named (but what to call it?) and a link made from here to there. E.g., Kings of the Sun (movie), Apocalypto, The Mystery of the Mayan Treasure (Super Slueth Series), The Lost Treasures of Yucatan: A Belizean Saga, Mayan Gold: A Jack Riley Adventure, The Mayan Mystery (Choice Adventures Series #14), Mystery of the Maya (Choose Your Own Adventure, No. 5); "Copan " by Joya Fairchild, "The Fall fo teh Mayan Empire" by David Keig, "Yax K’uk Mo' by G. Hepner. Kdammers (talk) 06:13, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Maybe. But I find that often these popular culture references sections get out of control (particularly when in list or bullet format), picking up every minor mention in obscure video games, comics, song titles, etc. These collections tell you nothing about the Maya themselves, at most only that game designers, novelists, musicians etc are not very original when it comes to thinking up stuff to publish. Maybe if it was done as a narrative instead of a list, for the purpose of examining differences btw how the Maya are portrayed in modern culture and how they are actually believed to have been. But those kinds of assessments are hard to write without some original research and WP:SYN, unless there are already citeable sources out there that do this. Alternatively, a separate page listing 'modern cultural references and portrayals of ancient Maya civilization' — doesn't intrude into the article, but not sure whether that's 100% kosher within content, style & notability guidelines. --cjllw ʘ TALK 03:32, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I made this suggestion for a number of reasons, one of which was that such lists (e.g., fiction about Chicago) seem to be popular (there's a way to find views of Wik lists, but I don't remember it, so I can't verify my statement). Yes, there is a tendency to get out of hand, but that's true of Wik in general. It takes a diligent editorship. when You write "separate page," do you mean article? Kdammers (talk) 05:31, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Maya Sites[edit]

Can someone who has editing abilty for this site correct the links to several topics under the Maya Sites catagory? Naranjo, Piedras Negras, and Seibal should all be directed specifically to the Mayan sites rather than a break out page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

project for school[edit]

hi. im doing a project for social studies at school about the mayan people. i have some trouble finding the answerss to some questions. like:

Who were the major trading partners?

What were the major religion, ideas, practices, or beliefs that influenced the civilization?

How is the traditional culture seen today?

thanks. the trading one is the most diffiucult. Ilovleo96 (talk)

add link for tamil language[edit]

ta:மாயன் நாகரீகம் —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:09, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

It's Mayan, not Maya[edit]

I have started making corrections, let's all continue to make the necessary corrections. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dwilczyn (talkcontribs) 22:29, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi Dwilczyn. Those corrections are unnecessary, since for this article and related others we have intentionally followed the common conventions of Mayanist scholarship and literature. Namely, using Mayan for the language and linguistic aspects only, and Maya for everything else, as both a singular and plural noun and adjectivally. For one example in the field that directly mentions these usage conventions, see Note 1 in this reference, by Mayanist epigrapher Peter Mathews.
Hence, "Mayan languages", but "Maya civilization" (note the article title), "Maya mythology", "Maya peoples", etc. This has been discussed in the past, see the previous discussion (in talk archives). Regards --cjllw ʘ TALK 01:24, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

End of the World as predicted by the Mayans[edit]

I was told by someone that the Mayan people predicted the End of the World in 2012, is this true of false? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

False, see entry under Dec 21 in the 2012 article.--cjllw ʘ TALK 23:34, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

My reversion[edit]

I hit the wrong "revert" button and didn't get to write an edit summary. While the added material appears very much legit, no references were used and the name of the god Bolon Dzacab contradicts the name of the god given in the image description. It's very likely that I don't know about developments in our understanding of Maya deities, so sorry for wasting time, but I don't feel comfortable with seemingly-contradictory unreferenced content. Awickert (talk) 09:47, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Victoms of self-inflicted changes to environment[edit]

At I made an entry about a article to be made about people that become victoms of self-inflicted changes to the environment (which happened to the mayans aswell as the people at Rapa Nui, and the Khmer). This was for the described people (Maya people and the Khmer people) due to increasing populations, deforestation.

The references for this are at for references

Also in this article, a reference about the Little ice age and its negative consequence on the mayans (noted as even or even more lethal than the spanish invasion) should be implemented.

Merge to Maya peoples[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No merge, by clear consensus --cjllw ʘ TALK 02:34, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

A merge with Maya peoples should be done, as the older mayan civilisation is a precursor the the current one. The reference about mayans as an incorrect term for the current guatemalans, ... should be removed as a whole, a disambugation page can be placed here; it has no place at Wikipedia

Merging is not a practical solution, referring to related articles is. The word 'Mayans' is an awkward synonym for 'Mayas'. It has probably been formed by analogy to 'Guatemalans' and 'Americans', nouns derived from a topographical adjective. Of course, not all Guatemalans are also Mayas, and not all Mayas are Guatemalans. The ancient Maya civilization is very relevant, however, to the history of the modern Guatemalan state, as well as to some of that state's most burning questions. (talk) 09:17, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree to this merge - Maya peoples, although linked to Maya civilization by history, are a wholy separate subject - broadly speaking, Maya civilization falls in the realm of history/archaeology while Maya peoples falls within ethnography. To merge them would be (very) roughly equivalent to merging Roman Empire and Romance languages. Maya civilization effectively ended with the final conquest of the Peten Lakes in 1697, while the scope of Maya peoples is very much with the modern ethnic groupings.Simon Burchell (talk) 12:24, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree to keep the articles separate. Both articles are quite substantial already, and a merged article could be easily large enough to justify a split. This is a logical basis for a split, and provided we have proper cross-referencing, I think we should keep the two separate articles as is. Wdford (talk) 14:44, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Don't merge. While there is a genetic and cultural continuity between the many different maya peoples of modern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras and the precolumbian maya cultures they clearly constitute two completely different topics in an encyclopedic sense.·Maunus·ƛ· 14:48, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Don't merge. There is a profound separation between subjects...Modernist (talk) 16:09, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Don't merge. The Maya civilization is a thing of the past (I think very few would call the present-day Maya lowlands the "Maya Civilization"). The Maya peoples are not. Awickert (talk) 16:37, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

"Rediscovery" of Maya sites, culture, history...[edit]

I edited a small portion of this section which rather inaccurately supposes that John Lloyd Stephens/Catherwood "rediscovered" the Maya after hearing sketchy folklore about lost cities. This is a blatantly anglo-centric perspective and not accurate. It disregards the long tradition of Spanish exploration of Maya sites and writing.

Stephens/Catherwood brought the ancient Maya to a very large audience, undoubtedly an important role, but they were hardly the original pioneers of Maya studies.

While the early modern/modern Spanish clergy and officials were often brutal oppressors of native peoples and culture, they did develop a very functional understanding of Maya writing-- to which subsequent scholarship is indebted. DartmouthRC2009 (talk) 17:33, 18 August 2009 (UTC)DartmouthRC2009

While the early modern English-American clergy and 'officials' were oftenly peaceful adorers of 'native peoples' and 'culture'? Again with the anglo-masturbatory ritual... (talk) 14:42, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Chichén Itzá spelling[edit]

Someone should correct the spelling of Chichén Itzá. Since accents are clearly used in the article, they should be used everywhere applicable. And since the article is locked and I cannot correct the spelling, someone else with permission must do so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Carlogesualdo (talkcontribs) 13:46, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

There's no real need to do so, the accents are a requirement only of Spanish orthography, but Chichen Itza is a Maya not a Spanish placename. We generally follow the principle to apply Spanish orthography eg accents to Spanish placenames, but not to placenames deriving from indigenous languages if that language doesn't use accents (for eg). The article itself is at Chichen Itza, not Chichén Itzá. --cjllw ʘ TALK 01:18, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Vandalism (Nov, 2009)[edit]

When accessing the page without being logged on this is what I see:


This case of vandalism is not visible when logged on. Why? And what to do? User:bachdraft 15:52, 23 November 2009

I also wonder how it went unnoticed for such a long time. So far 'logged in' is concerned, there might be other vandalised pages which went unnoticed till date. (talk) 15:05, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

There is no current vandalism. Please read Wikipedia:Bypass your cache for instructions on how to load the current version. --NeilN talkcontribs 16:28, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand... after I read this notice, I've checked the article using IE, which I never use, so it had no cache whatsoever. The article had the vandalism described above. I tried fixing it, nothing worked. And now it's gone and doesn't show anymore. What happened? --Jashiin (talk) 16:36, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The vandalism can be attributed to this edit to {{Maya civilization}}, which was transcluded in the article.  Skomorokh, barbarian  16:46, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Skomorokh. Although I never saw any vandalism (either logged out or in) I purged the server cache just in case any transclusions were causing issues. I don't know how articles are stored but it may be one of the servers was tardy picking up the change if Wikipedia uses a distributed architecture. --NeilN talkcontribs 16:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for the explanation. I checked that template, but apparently it was fixed before I checked it, and I didn't check its history. Lesson learnt! --Jashiin (talk) 16:59, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
No worries, now we are better prepared for next time.  Skomorokh, barbarian  17:17, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
There's really no need to preserve whole pages of vandalism here. -LlywelynII (talk) 17:20, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


Indeed the Maya_Civilization page has been vandalised. I was unable to see who did it since I'm at work but it shows both logged off and logged in.

I wish there was a 'Report Vandalism' button or something so that blatant disfigurement like this gets priority.

Any hints on how such edits can be undone or does it require special user privileges?

Manuvidya (talk) 15:46, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I've tried fixing it myself, but couldn't, this is some weird kind of vandalism. So I reported it at WP:ANI. --Jashiin (talk) 16:26, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

"zenith passage" or "zenial passage"[edit]

The term used by a leading Maya scholar is "zenith passage" for the passage of the sun across the zenith. See

 Anthony F Aveni: "Skywatchers: A Revised and Updated Version
 of Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico". University of Texas Press.
 2001 Austin TX. ISBN 0-292-70502-6.

pages 66..67. I have never seen "zenial" in an astronomical context (nor in any other context), but I have seen "zenithal". - Michael Deckers Michael Deckers (talk) 00:41, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, some wag included this under wikt:zenial passage, but Google thinks you're right. -LlywelynII (talk) 17:27, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Misleading Image[edit]

Currently, the lede map of Mayan Mexico has the caption "Extent of the Maya civilization," which is obviously incorrect: the Maya never settled Durango or Chihuahua. The "Extent of the Maya civilization" is the inner border... but what's the outer one? The extent of recovery of Maya artifacts? I'll change it to that, but does anyone have a source? -LlywelynII (talk) 17:32, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Cool. Author actually did explain on the Commons page. Emended to "Major Maya sites of the Classic and Post-Classic periods. Inner border (red) the limit of Maya civilization; outer border (black) limit of other Meso-American cultures." -LlywelynII (talk) 17:41, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Header is right: Turkish article is amazing[edit]

Can anyone translate it over here? Or did someone already and the information just got shunted to all the subpages? -LlywelynII (talk) 17:44, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Can't speak a word of Turkish, but on looking at it looks like someone has put some great effort in there ... the prose /pictures / layout all look just about right... so even if it has been split, the whole tempo looks like it could be an improvement. We need a bilinguist! Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 01:19, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
While the turkish article is reasonably broad and has some quite decent content, other parts of it don't look so great and I doubt there's much info there that we haven't already covered (either in this main Maya civilization article or in one or more of the various 'sub-topic' articles we have). For eg, the Turkish one goes into some details on specific sites, but we cover all that (and more) in our articles on those sites. Likewise, the material on languages we've comprehensively covered in Mayan languages, and the material in the article about post-conquest/contemporary Maya we cover separately in Maya peoples.
Blocks of the turkish article are imports/translations from the spanish wiki equivalent (which in turn took some elements from The lead of the article largely mirrors the lead written for this article, and there are other passages that are likewise familiar—I recognise a few of the footnotes as copies of ones I'd worked on in english wiki articles, eg #'s 181-185. While there are still extensive passages purposefully (& decently) written anew for the turkish article, any general import & translation of material from to would need to take care not to reintroduce material we already have, here or in other articles.
Another concern I'd have with this article is that it seems to devote an inordinate amount of space to discussing several fringe and long-discredited ideas:
  • There are paragraphs covering supposed links with the 'lost continent' of Mu and the 19thC musings of Churchward and Le Plongeon. I don't think the article necessarily endorses these outright, but as far as I can tell it doesn't go far enough in highlighting that this is way way out on the fringe, instead treating as almost like one of several respectable alternative views.
  • There's a whole section apparently devoted to listing alleged parallels between Maya iconography/mythology and those of other remote cultures—ancient Egyptian, Dogon, Hittites, Anatolian cultures, etc. Given that there's absolutely no credible claim of any actual cultural or historical connection, these supposed similarities are out of place being mentioned at all & any suggested or implied links lack justification.
  • The language section, plus some parts of the religion and culture sections, seem to uncritically represent claims of a possible direct relationship between Mayan languages and Turkic ones, and by extension an element of cultural origins/derivations as well. Maybe not so surprising that it's mentioned in the turkish article, given that even today the Sun Language Theory (and its accompanying notion that ancient Turkic peoples of Central Asia were progenitors of all civilizations) probably still has its adherents in some robustly nationalistic circles in Turkey, albeit in quite the dwindling minority AFAIK.
  • A couple sentences mention crystal skulls in association with Maya artefacts with what seems an undue credulity
  • A few other unreliable sources appear to be relied upon in some areas, eg pseudoarchaeologists like Adrian Gilbert, von Daniken, & Maurice Cotterell, Haluk Berkmen; or following Domingo Martínez Paredes in the section on Hunab Ku.
These aside, the majority of the article does seem to be reasonable however. But even so I don't see much advantage in an effort to translate and winnow out potential bits (from the non-fringe components) that could be re-used, as most if not all is covered here or in related subtopical articles (a few of which actually used to be part of this page until they were split out into their own a couple years ago, IIRC). If any parts from article are proposed for inclusion here, I'd suggest detailing it here on the talkpage first so it cld be appropriately reviewed first. --cjllw ʘ TALK 08:20, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

important maya events[edit]

are there any really important maya relegios events recorded in history that lets say moved entire cities im doing a project and im curios if there are any thank you!Fdkmx236 (talk) 02:40, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Can someone insert the link to the maya codices in The Spanish Church and government officials destroyed Maya texts and with them the knowledge of Maya writing, but by chance three of the pre-Columbian books dated to the post classic period have been preserved.[which?] I can't edit for some reason —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Maya codices is already linked from the writing system section, which is probably more appropriate - BTW the page is currently locked against anonymous editing due to persistent vandalism, if you'd like to be able to edit, it would be best to register. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 16:12, 3 February 2011 (UTC)


I do not know, but, probably, there was a discussion abut this.... I think it is better to move the content of this page (and its discussion page, of course) to Maya (which is the proper name of this article. And, also make this page (Maya civilization) a redirect to Maya and move Maya to Maya (disambiguation). This last page (Maya (disambiguation)) is a disambiguation page but it is used as a redirect to Maya, and this is not correct. –pjoef (talkcontribs) 17:02, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Daswisher, 18 March 2011[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} {add in agriculture} Irrigation systems have been reported (according to INAH as told by Monoclem Ediciones) as being used by the Maya. The system is a simple system of channeling water from near by sources such as lakes or rivers, sometimes even by channeling collected rain water. Daswisher (talk) 08:45, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. — Bility (talk) 23:02, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Edit request 01 May 2011[edit]

{add to external links} Link to map of Maya sites/region

Done Crazymonkey1123 (Jacob) T/S 04:57, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

History: Pre-classical period[edit]

In the 'History: Preclassical period' is says:

The Maya area was initially inhabited around the 10th century BC. Recent discoveries of Maya occupation at Cuello in Belize have been carbon dated to around 2600 BC

The 10th century BC would be 1000BC wouldn't it? So was the area first inhabited in 2600BC or 1000BC? Does anyone know, or be able to clarify the language here? Ashmoo (talk) 08:28, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Mayans predicated bout 12.21.2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:13, 18 June 2011 (UTC)


-- (talk) 23:57, 20 November 2011 (UTC)-- (talk) 23:57, 20 November 2011 (UTC)iiItalic textBold text help my dad wants me to explain this and I can't understand any of this

Edit request on 30 November 2011[edit] (talk) 00:50, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

No request made--Jac16888 Talk 01:03, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

"It is sometimes believed..."?[edit]

It is sometimes believed[attribution needed] that the multiple gods represented nothing more than a mathematical explanation of what they observed. Each god was literally just a number or an explanation of the effects observed by a combination of numbers from multiple calendars.

This seems to have survived for a while without attribution, and smells like nonsense to me. Can anybody attribute it? --Niten (talk) 01:19, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't think there can be many that take this seriously. It's unref'd so I've cut it. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:21, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Just a little change[edit]

I changed the text "Northern El Salvador" to "western El Salvador." The long axis of El Salvador runs east west and Maya sites (the Chalchuapa sites, San Andres, Joya de Ceren) are located in the western part of the country. One frequent convention is to use the north-south middle to lower reach of the Lempa River as a boundary between Mesoamerica/the Maya area and Central America/the Lenca area. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TCSaint (talkcontribs) 01:30, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Maya beginnings traced to the Soconusco?[edit]

I just added the [citation needed] tag to this sentence: "However the most widely accepted view, as of 2010, is that the first clearly Maya settlements were established around 1800 BC in the Soconusco region of the Pacific Coast." I think this refers to recent discoveries at Paso de la Amada, but I have never seen anything saying that that area was explicitly Maya, certainly not as early as 1800 BC. I didn't remove the text, because there may be recent scholarship I'm not sure of, but I am very leery of anything that would ascribe a single origin to something as complex as Maya civilization.

That paragraph is citing Coe, but I've just looked at my copy (admittedly 5th ed, not 6th ed) and the cited page is refering to the earliest human settlement in the region, not the Maya specifically - in any case, the date is way too early for Maya, probably 1500 years out. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:13, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Excessive amount of illustration[edit]

The Art section is excessively illustrated, out of proportion to the amount of text. Pictures can easily be found in the lead article, and the illustrations of many of the other Maya Civilization sections will necessarily show works of art as well. (talk) 11:18, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

New information to add[edit]

Recent findings suggest the Maya had large reservoir networks which brought filtered water to cities. Such a system has recently been confirmed at Tikal. I propose adding this information.,0,1580924.story

Tat Xiwan (talk) 06:14, 12 August 2012 (UTC)


While the Wik article on Mayan calendar correlations stubbornly accepts the validity of the GMT, astronomers are far from convinced (e.g., In any case, our Mayan article here gives dates with-out any mention of the entire issue. It is simply wrong to write bald pre-contact dates with-out any indication what-so-ever that this is not a done deal or even that there is such a thing as correlations.Kdammers (talk) 04:22, 22 December 2012 (UTC)


I have a question.. what did the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas lack where they settled? I have to know this for a project in school. Please help me guys!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Danielle Bieber (talkcontribs) 13:01, 2 February 2013‎ (UTC)

They lacked guns, steel, European germs, sushi, rutabegas, video games, fire hydrants, samurai, kangaroos, cars, good Polish jokes, school projects, icebergs, vodka, lemmings, and all other manner of things which, like this question, are best discussed elsewhere than the Talk page for the article, which is intended only for discussion of changes to the article. (talk) 18:08, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Dating Consistency[edit]

Can we get some consistency with regard to using BCE and CE, in place of BC and AD? (talk) 05:40, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 February 2014[edit]

there is a misspelling of the word "civilizations" as "civilisations" Zzbolt (talk) 04:38, 19 February 2014 (UTC) you should probably change that.

Done, although "civilisation" is the British form of the word, not a misspelling. I changed it anyway for consistency with the rest of the article. Cheers, LittleMountain5 06:45, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

How did they build there city's? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:15, 23 April 2014 (UTC)