The Maya civilization flourished in Central America for over 600 years, but how exactly did it begin ?
With their vast city states, technological feats and timeless monuments, the Maya have been a topic of intense archaeological research for years. Archaeologists have long puzzled over exactly how the Maya came about, did their society spring from Mexico's Olmec civilization or did it emerge independently ?
Research in to a ceremonial structure buried in Guatemala has revealed a possible third option - that the Maya actually grew thanks to an amalgamation of influences from nearby settlements. Its beginnings took place during a 200 to 350 year 'power vacuum' during a time of Olmec rule which allowed people from different areas to interact with one another and begin forming a new culture.
"The origin of Maya civilization was more complex than previously thought," said archaeologist Takeshi Inomata who lead the study.
"In his view, the culture that went on to dominate Mesoamerica until the arrival of Europeans got its start during a power vacuum that lasted for about 200 to 350 years in a period of Olmec rule."
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Source: LA Times
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