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Archaeology & History

How many ancient Mayans were there ?

By T.K. Randall
June 29, 2013 · Comment icon 17 comments



Image Credit: Bruno Girin
Archaeologists have been studying the ruins at Tikal to determine how many Mayans used to live there.
The Mayan civilization was advanced and prosperous, with the enigmatic pyramid-filled Tikal flourishing for well over 300 years. While we know much about the Mayans, their lifestyles and the ruins they left behind, one thing that remains in question is just how many of them there were. To find this out, researchers have been sifting through the soil in Tikal to find clues in its chemistry.

While estimates vary it is thought that there were up to 100,000 people living in Tikal at the height of the Mayan civilization. "Dirt analysis may not be as sexy as digging up a jade mask from a former Maya king, but now we can answer more questions about the regular people that made up this ancient civilization," said researcher Chris Balzotti.
The pyramid-filled Maya site of Tikal in Guatemala is one of the largest archaeological complexes in Central America. The vast city-state had a long run, flourishing from roughly 600 B. C. until A. D. 900 when the Maya civilization mysteriously collapsed.


Source: Live Science | Comments (17)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Frank Merton 9 years ago
144,000
Comment icon #9 Posted by patagonianhorsesnake 9 years ago
such fascinating and constructive contributions to the conversation! (now where's that tag for intense, withering sarcasm?) seriously though, did anyone actually read the linked paper?
Comment icon #10 Posted by the L 9 years ago
I wonder why civilization emrged in Yucantan and not in Amazonia?
Comment icon #11 Posted by the L 9 years ago
144,000 You dont think they were all saints?
Comment icon #12 Posted by moonshadow60 9 years ago
I read it. It would be rude to reply if I hadn't read it. You made me go out and buy the National Geographic special issue on the Mayan civilization today, kannin. Piqued the interest.
Comment icon #13 Posted by kannin 9 years ago
I read it. It would be rude to reply if I hadn't read it. You made me go out and buy the National Geographic special issue on the Mayan civilization today, kannin. Piqued the interest. im glad I could!
Comment icon #14 Posted by ashven 9 years ago
Alot
Comment icon #15 Posted by kannin 9 years ago
Alot serious comments please thanx!
Comment icon #16 Posted by lightly 9 years ago
Good Question kannin. according to these two websites: http://www.britannic...cle-9051572 "The peak Mayan population may have reached two million people" http://www.history.c......opics/maya " At its peak, the Maya population may have reached 2,000,000. people" .. Other sources/sites said 14 million , 20 million, and 22 million. ^ 2 million seems low? ..just doesn't sound right at all. so.. ashven's estimate is the closest so far
Comment icon #17 Posted by kannin 9 years ago
Good Question kannin. according to these two websites: http://www.britannic...cle-9051572 "The peak Mayan population may have reached two million people" http://www.history.c......opics/maya " At its peak, the Maya population may have reached 2,000,000. people" .. Other sources/sites said 14 million , 20 million, and 22 million. ^ 2 million seems low? ..just doesn't sound right at all. so.. ashven's estimate is the closest so far touche on your smart A** remark lol


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