By Grant D. Jones
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Extra resources for The Conquest of the Last Maya Kingdom
Trophy heads and sacrificial scenes indicate that prowess in war was also important to a ruler’s authority. The stela cult of the Late Preclassic Period was the beginning of what would become the dynastic ruler cult of the Classic Period. WRITING AND LONG COUNT CALENDAR Hieroglyphic writing and Long Count dating appeared with the stela cult and were incorporated into the bas-relief sculptures.
Domesticated maize was introduced into the diet, and within the next thousand years, maize was being cultivated in most regions of Mesoamerica, including much of the Maya area. The cultivation of maize— the New World equivalent to rice and wheat—held the key to the development of more complex Mesoamerican society. Maize could be harvested and stored in such quantity that it provided sustenance year-round in both the highlands and lowlands. As maize agriculture encouraged more peoples to settle in permanent villages, it also sustained larger populations and created food surpluses.
Found, such as the nearly 4-meter- (13-foot-) high platform on a ceremonial plaza at Altar de Sacrificios. At sites such as Nakbé and Uaxactún, archaeologists have discovered early but less easily detected constructions of flat stones, layered without mortar and with roughly plastered floors. The number of known sites will probably increase as archaeologists intensify their search for these formative structures. Burials have been found as well. At Seibal, a simple farming village in the Guatemalan Petén, a La Venta–style cache of jade and pottery, laid out in a cruciform arrangement, was discovered.
The Conquest of the Last Maya Kingdom by Grant D. Jones