Over the past four months, we have covered civilizations from four different continents that spread over the course of 10,000 years. Every society had it perks, and as a rule, we humans are drawn to the big and grand. As individuals, we become excited and intrigued over that which, to us, seems unfathomable. Hence, a majority of the population has a strong appreciation for the ancient Egyptians. The egyptians were one of the few ancient cultures who were able to preserve their dead. This kind of achievement even excited me, but I would like to give credit to another society. The majority of great civilizations that sprouted from the human race, such as the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, began in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. I know this is where we, as humans, evolved, but these societies, however great they were, had close ties with neighboring cultures and assistance from previous cultures. I think we can perhaps state that these cultures built off of one another. Perhaps the ancient Egyptians were one of the ‘first’ great civilizations to form, but what about the other side of the world, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. As our ancestors navigated the globe, they had to start anew. The first voyagers to the Americas left all that they knew behind and started afresh in a new world.
Just like the Egyptians, the Mayans built great city states, regulated commerce and trade, and had their own writing system. Both civilizations founded their empires under extreme conditions; the hot, arid desert and the thick, wet tropics. Yes, the Mayans did not create the precious gold artifacts equal to that of the ancient Egyptians, but they did not have that kind of resources readily avaliable. I also think the Mayans are unique because they are one of the few, if not the only civilization that we discussed, which did not have a central state heirarchy. In other words, they did not have one, central capital where the king resided. Instead, the Mayans were made out of many states, each with its own king. I respect this notion that the Mayans were able to trade and work together for hundreds of years, and not one Mayan king was powerful enough to conquer every Mayan city state. To go further, the Mayan are one of the few anceint civilizations still in existance. I am not well educated in their modern day acitivities, but I do hope that they have kept some of their cultural traditions, for this would demonstrate their strength and pride as one of the first cultures of the Western Hemisphere.