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Rise of the Maya
==Rise of the Maya==
The societies that were the precursors to the Maya experienced greater social complexity during the period between 2000 BC and 250 AD. Towns and soon cities such as Nakbe in Guatemala, Kaminaljuyu, and El-Mirador in Guatemala grewto large sizes. Agriculture focusing on maize, beans, and squash developed that helped lead to more long-term sedentary villages that also thrived through increased trade. Pottery and ceramic objects developed along with different forms of stone works, in particular jade and obsidian works. Communities began to form kingdoms and worship focused on the jaguar in different regions. Sacred kingship soon likely arose. The Olmecs in southern Mexico likely formed the first true complex society that would later influence the Classical Maya civilization as well as the Aztecs (Figure 1). The Olmecs spread throughout central and southern Mexico, while also spreading their influence south to Central America.<ref>For more on the pre-Classical Maya civilizations of Mexico and Central America, see: Estrada Belli, F. (2011). <i>The first Maya civilization: ritual and power before the classic period</i>. London ; New York: Routledge. </ref> During this time, evidence from lake sediments indicate oscillating change in the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) winds. This had an effect of providing either greater or less rain. During the period around 1500-600 BC, conditions may have been favourable for increased rain that allowed the Olmecs to thriveand expand, while at around 600 BC and later there is evidence of more drier cycles. In effect, farming may have become more conducive during the early pre-Classical phases of the Mayawhen cultural expansion is evident, while it decline in the later phases.<ref>For more on the role of El Niño/Southern Oscillation on the rise and collapse of the early pre-Classic Maya societies, see: Brooke, J. L. (2014). <i>Climate Change and the Course of Global History</i>. West Nyack: Cambridge University Press, pg. 310.</ref>
[[File:Olmec 1-58d925da3df78c5162d1ba64.jpg|thumb|Figure 1. The Olmec's became very influential on Mayan culture and formed perhaps the earliest complex society in the Mayan regions.]]

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