What crops were grown by the Mayans?
Although their principal crop was corn, farmers also cultivated beans, squash, and fruit trees. Black beans and red beans contributed protein to the Maya diet. Numerous varieties of squash and pumpkin were grown.
Corn (maize) was the central food in their diet, along with vegetables such as beans and squash. Potatoes and a tiny grain called quinoa were commonly grown by the Incas. Avocados and tomatoes were mainly eaten by the Aztecs and Maya, along with a wide variety of fruit.
- Animals which were hunted include deer, peccary, turkeys, quails, ducks, curassow, guan, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, the tapir, and armadillo. Dogs were also fattened up on maize and eaten.
- Introduction: Mayan Chocolate Drink. Chocolate was first cultivated by the Ancient Mayans, however the way they consumed it was not much like the sweet treats we know today. Their preferred method of consumption was a thick, bitter, frothy drink served cold.
- Both the Maya and the Aztec secular drinks used roasted cocoa beans, a foaming agent (sugir), toasted corn and water. Vanilla and/or chilli were also used as an ingredient in the drinks. Cocoa beans were also used as a currency and as a tribute (tax) from peoples ruled by Aztecs.
In the Mayan culture, the males were the hunters. They used bows and arrows to hunt domesticated and wild animals. The Mayans also caught fish with nets, and hunted birds with guns. The Mayan's central ingredients are beans, maize, and squash.
- Maya diet focused on four domesticated crops (staple crops): maize, squash, beans (typically Phaseolus vulgaris) and chili peppers. The first three cultivars are commonly referred to in North America as the "Three Sisters" and, when incorporated in a diet, complement one another in providing necessary nutrients.
- Stone tools were the cornerstone of Mayan construction, which they used to build palaces, temples and pyramids, many of which are still standing today.
- Chisels. Stone chisels were important in the creation of Mayan buildings and works of art.
- Grinding Tools.
- Although their principal crop was corn, farmers also cultivated beans, squash, and fruit trees. Black beans and red beans contributed protein to the Maya diet. Numerous varieties of squash and pumpkin were grown.
(Later on, the Aztecs improved on this system, and built floating gardens.) In the dense forest, they used a slash and burn technique to create a flat surface to plant crops. They dug canals throughout the fields to irrigate the crops.
- Building on the inherited inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations such as the Olmec, the Maya developed astronomy, calendrical systems and hieroglyphic writing.
- The Mayans developed a hierarchical government ruled by kings and priests. They lived in independent city-states consisting of rural communities and large urban ceremonial centers. There were no standing armies, but warfare played an important role in religion, power and prestige.
- Farming was difficult in the Maya region. There were dense forests, little surface water such as rivers and lakes, and the soil was poor. In the swampy lowlands, the Maya built raised earth platforms, surrounded by canals, on which they could grow crops.
Updated: 2nd October 2019