I can’t even lie when I say that I’ve always been obsessed with the mystery that is the Mayan civilization. Ever since I can remember, the idea of ancient Mayan sites has captured my imagination and I have always dreamed about visiting the site of Tikal or Palenque. Mayan culture fascinates me in every way- from their architecture to their religion- and so I was more than excited to learn more about my favorite ancient society. Needless to say I was not disappointed, especially when I got to write my archaeological site project on a Mayan site that I was not very knowledgeable about in the beginning.
One of my favorite parts about attending class during the Mayan lecture days was the fact that the slides were filled with beautiful, up close shots of the sites that I had never had the opportunity to see before. Of course I have seen the shows on the ancient sites and have seen pictures, but none so fascinating and detailed as the ones on the lecture slides. It was amazing to get a closer look, because it provided me with greater knowledge of the architecture and helped to give a greater insight into the culture.
The ancient Mayans are my favorite because their society was so complex, from social structure to political and trade organization. It was interesting for me to learn the real purpose of playing on the ball courts- it wasn’t for sport most of the time but instead a high stakes game used to settle political or personal disputes. My previous knowledge of the subject was that it was a difficult game to play due to the fact that almost no body parts could be used and the ball was so heavy, but I was not aware of the underlying reasons for playing the game. Maybe that’s why it was so difficult? So that whoever won the game really was winning based on skill and not just luck, because I highly doubt you could win that just by being lucky.
To me, Mayan civilization is always going to be the one that fascinates me until the very end. The breathtaking architecture, complex and intriguing social structure, and religious beliefs coupled with the fact that there is still so much information to take from the Mayans will always make me eager to learn more. This was definitely my favorite aspect of class and I wish we could have spent more time on it!