What Did the Maya Do in Ancient Times?

The Maya civilization was one of the most advanced and sophisticated ancient civilizations in the world. They were located in parts of present-day Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The Maya people were known for their architectural prowess, mathematical skills, astronomical knowledge, and their unique writing system.


One of the primary activities of the Maya was agriculture. They developed an extensive agricultural system that allowed them to grow crops such as maize, beans, squash, and chili peppers.

The Maya used a technique called “slash-and-burn” to clear land for cultivation. This process involved cutting down trees and then burning them to create fertile soil.


Maya architecture is known for its grandeur and complexity. They built impressive structures such as pyramids, temples, palaces, ball courts, and observatories. The most famous example of Maya architecture is the towering pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mexico.

Writing System

The Maya developed a unique writing system that used hieroglyphics to represent words and ideas. Their writing system was one of the few in the ancient world that was fully developed and able to express complex thoughts and ideas.


The Maya were skilled mathematicians who developed a number system based on the number 20 instead of 10 like most other cultures. They also developed a calendar that was more accurate than any other calendar in use at the time.


The Maya were also highly skilled astronomers who had an advanced understanding of celestial bodies such as the sun and moon. They created elaborate observatories to track their movements.

  • The Decline

Despite their impressive achievements in various fields, the Maya civilization declined around 900 AD for reasons that are still not entirely clear. Some theories suggest that overpopulation and environmental degradation contributed to their downfall. Regardless of the cause, the Maya left behind an incredible legacy that still fascinates and inspires people today.


In conclusion, the Maya were a remarkable civilization that made significant contributions to various fields such as agriculture, architecture, writing, mathematics, and astronomy. Their legacy continues to inspire us today, and we can learn a great deal from their achievements.