Mayan agriculture

They were seized by a Maya lord, and most were sacrificedalthough two managed to escape.

Mayan agriculture

Image from the Library of Congress's Flickr page, slightly modified.

Mayan agriculture

Across the ancient Maya civilization, it looks like there were different ways of farming. Some of these ways could only be used in certain locations. Currently, with a plan to expand it in the future, this post touches on some of those methods -- including milpa, terrace fields, bajos and aguadas, raised fields, and rejolladas.

There is also some information on gender and farming as well as tools. Milpa Milpa was a popular choice for farming across the Maya civilization. Milpa used to be understood as a process that first meant cutting down and burning all the plants on a piece of land -- the ash made the soil more nutritious for plants.

Then, it was thought, the Maya farmed there as long as the soil had enough nutrition to grow a good harvest. When the soil wasn't good enough anymore, then another piece of land was turned into a field in the same way, while the first piece of land became forest again. This kind of farming has other names, one of which is slash and burn.

It seems now though that the ancient Maya did more than this. They didn't just leave the land to become forest. Instead, they slowly made the field into a garden. Then they gradually let this garden become actual forest, which they would then burn down to start the field again.

Mayan Civilization:

Terrace Fields This kind of field was popular in hilly land in the lowlands. Using terrace fields kept soil from eroding and helped catch rain. Archaeologists have found the Maya used more than one kind of terrace to farm.

One kind that seems to have been a common choice was the cross-channel terrace. This kind of terrace, which you may see called the weir terrace, is made in a gully that has water pass through it during the rainy season.

The Maya would build walls in these gullies so that the silt in the water got caught, adding to the soil's ability to grow plants. Another common kind of terrace they liked to use was the contour terrace, which is probably what you think of when it comes to terrace fields.

To make them, the ancient Maya built fields into hillsides, kept in place with walls made of stone.

The Maya area so far looks like it's the oldest part of Mesoamerica where the people used raised fields. The ancient Maya used these fields in places where there was a lot of water naturally in the soil. The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its hieroglyphic script—the only known fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system. The Maya had a wide variety of cultivars; many of which constitute our basic agriculture products sold in modern super markets. Maya agricultural products include corn, squash, beans, tomatoes chili peppers, avocado, papaya, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, vanilla, peanuts pineapple, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and many others.

Contour fields were the most popular type of terrace used by the ancient Maya who decided to use terraces.

Bajos and Aguadas The bajo BAH-ho and the aguada ah-GWA-dah are both depressions -- that is, land that isn't as high as the rest of the land around it -- that are in the lowlands. Bajos are also what's called a seasonal wetland or seasonal swamp, as the water in it dries during the dry season.

There is a layer of dirt at bajos' edges that is great for plants.

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The ancient Maya may have used this dirt to grow crops. Aguadas are ponds and lakes that are also seasonal: The ancient Maya may have waited until an aguada dried up some, then planted some crops -- and the more the aguada dried, the more they planted.

The ancient Maya also had aguadas that were just for getting water. Raised Fields The Maya area so far looks like it's the oldest part of Mesoamerica where the people used raised fields. The ancient Maya used these fields in places where there was a lot of water naturally in the soil.

To make a raised field, the ancient Maya dug channels around pieces of land they wanted to farm. They put the dirt from digging the channels onto the pieces of land, which made them higher than the channels. Water from the dirt went into the channels.

Certain animals -- fish as well as turtles -- lived in the canals. These fields had to be kept in good repair, because the dirt would go back into the channels on its own over time.

However, there was something good that came from this -- the Maya would dig up the mud on the bottom of the channels, which had lots of plant nutrition in it, and put it on top of the fields.

Rejolladas Found in the northern lowlands, a rejollada reh-ho-YAH-dah is a sinkhole that forms in limestone -- in fact, a lot used to be cenotes that got filled in somewhat because of erosion. Rejolladas have more dirt at their bottoms than the land around them, and this dirt that also has more water in it.

The air inside rejolladas is different too, as it is not as warm as the land that's higher than it.Agriculture was one of the most important activities of the mayan attheheels.com study of Maya agricultural life is based on existing methods, archaeological finds, botanical and geographical observations, and sixteenth-century sources, many of which are quite detailed, but tell of customs in a less populous time.

Ancient Maya cuisine was varied and extensive. Many different types of resources were consumed, including maritime, flora, and faunal material, and food was obtained or produced through a host of strategies, such as hunting, foraging, and large-scale agricultural production.

Mayan Farming: Shifting Agriculture Archeologists thought for decades that Maya people used slash and burn agriculture, a farming method where trees and other plants are first cut down, then the entire area to be planted is burned.

Watch video · Maya Agriculture Much of the soil in the ancient Mayan Empire was extremely rocky. In the Yucatan the ground is very rocky, however vegetation thrives. It thrives because this area receives about 36 inches of rain per year.

Mayan agriculture

Water is also found in the Yucatan in natural wells called cenotes. These cenotes are fed by underground rivers. Agriculture. The Maya were skillful farmers.

MAYAN AGRICULTURAL STUDIES, Early Belize History

They used their knowledge of calendars and seasons to grow crops. In the beginning, they grew more food than they needed. City-states did trade some surplus food for other items.

But most of the surplus food was stored by each city-state to feed anyone who needed it in that city-state.

The Free Dictionary: Encyclopedia: Shifting Agriculture. at January 30, reply if your in sacred heart la school and in sixth grade doing mayan civilization project. Reply Delete. Replies. Anonymous January 4, at PM. wassup i am. Delete. Reply. Unknown January 13, at PM. Agriculture. The Maya were skillful farmers. They used their knowledge of calendars and seasons to grow crops. In the beginning, they grew more food than they needed. City-states did trade some surplus food for other items. But most of the surplus food was stored by each city-state to feed anyone who needed it in that city-state. Mayans were an agrarian society who relied on agriculture for their food needs. They lived in a region where rainfall was not very abundant, so Mayans came up .

The Maya were skillful farmers. They used their knowledge of calendars and seasons to grow crops. In the beginning, they grew more food than they needed. City-states did trade some surplus food for other items. But most of the surplus food was stored by each city-state to feed anyone who needed it in that city-state.

Mayan Agriculture