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How did the Maya adapt to their land to survive?

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David Spiegelman

on 16 May 2014

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Transcript of How did the Maya adapt to their land to survive?

Terrace Farming
dug steps into side of mountain
brought fertile soil up from rivers and put on steps
planted crops
raised bed farming
The Maya: Mesoamerica's most Advanced Civilization
How did the Maya adapt to their land to survive?
slash and burn
Central Question:
How did the Maya adapt to their varied landscape to grow enough food to survive?
clear land by cutting and burning
plant crops
can wear out soil
built above wet areas
surrounded by canals
drain off extra water

It's difficult to grow food in the mountains:
steep slope
soil is not fertile

The Mayan landscape was diverse.

swamps and marshes


Farming in the jungle:
too much shade
roots make it difficult to plant
too much
(plant life)
How to grow crops in the lowlands
soil is too wet
roots will rot
Without an adequate food supply, a civilization can not flourish. The Maya were able to adapt to their land using advanced farming techniques with the use of animals for labor or metal tools. Despite this, the Maya developed a sophisticated math system, accurate calendars, and built enormous cities. They truly were the geniuses of Mesoamerica.
1. Baquedano, Elizabeth. Aztec, Inca, and Maya. New York, Scholastic, 2001

2. Gallenkamp, Charles., and Meyer, Carolyn. The Mystery of the Ancient Maya. New York. Antheneum Press, 1995

3. Frey, Wendy et al. TCI History Alive! Palo Alto. Teachers Curriculum Institute, 2005
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