Установите соответствие между текстами A–G и заголовками 1–8. Запишите свои ответы. Используйте каждую цифру только один раз. В задании один заголовок лишний.
1. A social structure
2. A puzzle
3. Lack of water
4. Negligence to nature
5. Considerable achievements
6. Struggle for power
7. The Mayan astronomy
8. Hard-working people
A. The Mayan civilization of central America was one of the most remarkable of the pre-Columbian cultures. The Maya built large cities with wonderful stone palaces and temples. They observed the heavens and accurately noted the movements of the planets. They made progress in mathematics, they invented a writing system and they produced high quality art.
B. About 3,000 years ago the Maya were farmers. They lived mainly in what is modern day Guatemala. Their period of highest development, however, was from about AD 250 to the year 900. After that, their great cities were abandoned and became ruins that were lost in the jungle. The reason why such a great civilization should collapse so quickly is something that has fascinated archaeologists and historians. Still today, there is no universally accepted answer to the mystery.
C. The Maya had a well-organized society. The Mayan civilization was not a unified one. They lived in city states. Each city state was a kingdom. The king was a ruler. And he was also a priest. The Maya believed that the king had supernatural powers. The king performed religious ceremonies and prayed to the gods. In this way, the king hoped that the farmers could grow lots of food and that the Maya could live well.
D. The Maya believed that the stars and planets affected life of Earth. This is why they observed the planets very carefully. The Maya became very good at predicting the movements of the planets. They also calculated when eclipses would happen. Their observations helped them make several calendars. The oldest Maya calendar had a cycle of 260 days. They also had a calendar of 365 days.
E. The incredible thing is that they built everything without the use of metal tools. Transport was difficult because they didn’t have suitable work animals like horses or donkeys. And they didn’t have the wheel either. Consequently, the Maya had to transport everything themselves. They used a hard stone called obsidian to cut and shape the stones that they used for building. Clearly, the Maya needed a lot of manpower to do any kind of work such as building or farming.
F. There are different theories about why and how the Maya civilization collapsed. Jared Diamond, a geographer at the University of California believes that the collapse of the Maya culture is partly a result of overexploitation of the environment. For example, when the Maya cut down the forests on the hillsides, the soil was eroded. Also, there was less rainfall, which affected the farmers’ ability to grow food.
G. The weather also changed. Archaeologists have now discovered that in the southern highlands there were several years when there was very little rain, resulting in drought. Farmers could not grow so much food. People didn’t have enough food to eat. They probably began to fight to try to get the best land to grow food and to have fresh water. The society was no longer efficient and well-organized. This is an important reason why the Mayan civilization collapsed.
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