Ancient Mayan Civilisation

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February 8, 2023 – 12:48 pm

Maya societyThe lower-classed members of Mayan society are still an enigma so animal bones from the civilisation were examined for cluesNASA Television/YouTube

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By analysing ancient animal bones, researchers from the University of Florida (UF) have gained a better understanding of how the working class lived during the Mayan civilisation. Ashley Sharpe, a doctoral student at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus, says that not enough is known about the average people of the time: "When you think about the Romans and the Greeks, we know a lot about all of the different social classes − from the Caesars down to the commoners − but although there were tens of thousands of middle-class and lower-income Maya in big cities, we still don't know much about the everyday lives of most people."

Researchers analysed 22, 000 animal remains from the Florida Museum for clues on how the working class lived. They revealed a far more complex political and economic system than previously thought.

"We looked at how the Maya acquired and distributed animal resources in order to learn more about the economy and how the royal, elite and lower classes interacted, " Sharpe continued. "It turns out, the Maya states and classes were not all homogenous. They had complicated systems in place for trade relations, distribution of food and access to species, which varied among the cities and social classes, much like they do today."

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