Mayan culture for Kids
Classic Maya culture developed in three regions in Mesoamerica. By far the most complete urban developments were in the lowlands in the "central region" of southern Guatemala. This region is a drainage basin about sixty miles long and twenty miles wide and covered by tropical rain forest.
The Mayas are only one of two peoples to develop an urban culture in a tropical rainforest.
The principal city in this region wasTikal. The most Southern Mayan city was Copan in northern Honduras. In the Guatemalan highlands to the north, Mayan culture developed less fully. The highlands seem to have been the main suppliers of raw materials to the central urban centers.
A very large center is Palenque. The other major region of Mayan growth was the Yucatan peninsula making up the northern and eastern portions of modern-day Guatemala. This is a dry region but city centers were built including Chichen Itza and Uxmal (pronounced "Oosh-mal") After the Classic Mayan cities were abandoned, the Yucatán peninsula became the main region of a new, culture called Toltec-Mayan which was formed when Toltecs coming from the north mixed with the native Maya peoples