Mayans


Deep in the rainforests of the Yucatan, an intriguing civilization subsisted within the humid climate for centuries before mysteriously vanishing. Establish city-states and crown them with awe-inspiring pyramids, a testament to your rich mythology and the splendor of your rulers. Conquer the jungles with powerful infantry and swift Plumed Archers, deadly marksmen who can elude all but the most mobile enemy troops. Can you build a legacy worthy of your temperamental gods?


Quick Card

Archer civilization

  • Start with +1 villager, but -50 food
  • Resources last 15% longer
  • Archers cost -10% Feudal, -20% Castle, -30% Imperial Age

Unique Unit

Plumed Archer (archer)

Mayan unique fast-moving archer. Strong vs. archers and infantry. Weak vs. cavalry.

Unique Techs

Obsidian Arrows (Archers, Crossbowmen and Arbalesters +6 attack vs. buildings)
El Dorado (Eagle Warriors have +40 hit points)

Team Bonus

  • Walls cost -50%

History

The Mayans occupied the Yucatan peninsula, modern Honduras, and modern Guatemala. They date back perhaps to the second millennium BC, but peaked between 600 and 900 AD. Though they lived on lands of marginal agricultural value, they created monuments and ceremonial centers nearly as impressive as those in Egypt. The extent of the ceremonial building is surprising because their religion was relatively simple. Their architecture was also less developed, though undeniably impressive, compared to contemporary advances made elsewhere in the world. They invented a unique written language that is only being deciphered today. Three Mayan books survive to the present, the remnants of a much larger number destroyed by Europeans who feared they contained heresy.

The Mayans were very proficient in mathematics and astronomy. The understanding and predictability of star and planet movements was critical to the calculation of their calendar and the dating of important ceremonies. They lived in small hamlets that have not survived but congregated at their centers for important events. Noble warriors and priests controlled their society.

The Mayans went into decline in the tenth century, perhaps due to earthquake or volcanic eruption. Many of their important ceremonial sites were thereafter abandoned. Warriors from central Mexico then invaded their territory and they broke into small town groupings in the rain forest. The last Mayan center was captured by the Spanish in the 17th century, but as many as two million people of Mayan descent reside in the Yucatan today.