Over the course of the semester we have learned about many different discoveries, as is pretty obvious because of the name if the class, but I do believe that some were more important than others. I know some people have had a difficult time choosing which one they found was the biggest, but one cam to my mind almost immediately/ They discovery of the Mayans and their downfall would have to be the one that I believe is the most influential and the most important to our future. Not only that, but finding an ancient city and knowing that the descendants of the people we are talking about make it so much better.
The first thing that I would like to discuss would be the way that these ancient Mayans made themselves completely different from any other civilization at the time, such as the Incas or the Aztecs. The Mayans had city states and each ruled their section. With the emblem glyphs they made others aware of their possession of certain places. The four big cities fought with each other, but each city had their own thing going on. When discovered Tikal and Calakmul had their own Temples dedicated to their specific Kings that were enormous in size. Also, I loved the fact that this population was so obsessed with one particular game. These ancient peoples showed that doing something new, becoming something different in the aspect of politics or society, isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it reminds me a little of how the US took many different aspects of other governments before its time and remixed them to get what we have today.
The other part of the Mayan story that I really admired and liked learning about was their unwillingness to be taken over. When the Spanish came, and no doubt the Spanish were a much bigger and more advanced force than the Mayans, the ancient Mayan people held strong and lasted much longer than any of the other civilizations of the time. At first they were polite and offered gold, which I completely agree was a horrible idea though they didn’t know it at the time. Then as the Spanish came back to continue and try to make these people their slaves, and tried to find the gold they were so sure the Mayans were hiding, the Spanish continued to run away multiple times because these multiple city states were not going to back down.
I feel that the tenacity and strength of these people that continue to fight against the oppression that holds them down to this day, should be recognized. People still haven’t learned that conquering and ruling others is not acceptable and that it almost never works out well for anybody. So, I feel that rediscovering the ancient Mayans and their story helps to warn people against what the Spanish did, and also helps to give strength to those that are maybe in a similar position.