Late Preclassic to Early Classic Maya Transition and Patterns

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Astrid Molina


The Late Preclassic period in the Maya Lowlands experienced major changes that led to the transition of the Early Classic Maya. The anthropogenic changes and climate change that developed and progressed in the Late Preclassic era, led the people of this period to develop new technology, traditions, trade and migration to overcome their unexpected challenges.  The deforestation of the lowlands caused changes to the lands that affected their source of vegetation and water management. They were also experiencing lack of rain which was unusual for their environment. They had to develop new technology in order to collect water for their crops, animals, and themselves. Larger sites had a difficult time trying to keep up with the changes and taking care of their large sized population. This gave an advantage to the smaller sites and many overcame these struggles and later developed into larger sites in the Classic Period. The shift in site strength and growth led to new trade systems that continued into the Early Classic Period. The migration of the people also opened up new doors to trade, but also traditions. They brought their customs into their new homes and these customs changes and transitioned into new traditions in the Classic Period. 

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