The Mayas had an advanced trade and economy system. They have strong commercial ties with all other Mesoamerican cultures which are in contrary to the previous investigations. They have participated in trade routes extended all over Central and South America. These trade routes began from Guatemala up to Mexico all throughout 2000 BC to 300 AD. The abundance of resources and specializations facilitated in each goods made the trade reach its apex.
The main centers of the trade were consisted by the lowlands and the highlands. They have actually good relationships with their neighbors. For this reason, it is easy for them to trade the products that they have produced and created and eventually built strong trading networks. This also made the transfer of astronomic, mathematical, cultural and writing to other tribes and Mesoamerican cultures possible.
The resources that are abundant in their area define the products that they produce. Among the items being traded by the Mayas were Obsidian, Turquoise and Jade.
Obsidian or volcanic glass was used to create weapons and used in rituals and adornments as well. Since they do not have currency, the value of this varies on how far is the region which it came from. The value is higher when the source is farther. Jade is being valued by the Mayas because it is believed to have sacred powers. These sacred powers are favorable to their rulers. Since it is rare, it symbolizes an elite status and political power. Turquoise which is associated with smoke were as well considered valuable because they believe that it is one of the materials kept by their Gods.
There are some other goods that are being traded by the Mayans aside from these precious jewels. The merchants traded these goods which include salt, cacao seeds; vanilla, clay gold, pottery, corn, beans, food, tools, ceramics, clothing, chocolates, fish and other seafood products. These people considered chocolates and salt as basic foods. Sault is very basic to them because they use it for preservation of their foods, diet, for child birth and rituals.
The civilization of the Mayans was merely dependent on trade. The trade centered in jewels, foods and other important goods which they need for their survival as mentioned earlier. The fall of the trade routes caused the fall of the Mayans as well. This is one of the many reasons why abandonment of the communities in the lowland took place. The collapsed of the Mayan civilization was actually the result of the collapsed of the trade.
Author: Linda PattersonThis author has published 3 articles so far.