The following are raw research notes on the development of Ancient Mesoamerican Cities.
"The New world teaches us two lessons. In Mesoamerica, cities were created without animal husbandry, the wheel and an extensive alluvial setting. One reason for this is maize, a superior grain crop that produced a substantial food surplus with relatively little effort and thus compensated for the limited tools and nonriverine environment." (pg. 22) (12C)
"Gazing on such wonderful sights, we did not know what to say or whether what appeared before us was real, for on one side of the land there were great cities and in the lake ever so many more, and the lake itself was crowded with canoes, and in the causeway there were many bridges at interval, and in front of us stood the great city of Mexico, and we . . . . we did not even number four hundred soldiers." (pg. 12) (12C)
The Maya is believed to have brought their city building and crop technology from a previously developed culture. The Maya, using maize, were able to develop large surplus of food with relative easy. The jungles around the cities were quickly depleted of their nutrition and, therefore, the culture was not able to sustain itself. (12C)
It was believed that the early Mayan cities were merely ceremonial places for rural people to visit on special religious occasions. Further investigation has revealed that at the sight of Tykal over 3,000 structures have been built in an area of over 6 miles. Of these structures, only 10% have been determined to be ceremonial. (12C)
Mayans supported themselves with maize using a slash and burn type of agriculture. (12C)