The Mayan civilization was the height of pre-Columbian culture. They made significant discoveries in science, including the use of the zero in mathematics. Their writing was the only in America capable of expressing all types of thought. Most artistic and cultural achievement came about during the Classic period 300 -900 AD. The Mayans developed a complex hierarchical society divided into classes and professions. Centralized governments, headed by a king, and ruled territories with clearly defined boundaries. These borders changed as the various states lost and gained control over territory. Mayan centers flourished in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. The major cities of the Classic period were Guatemala, Chiapas, Mexico, and Honduras. For most of this period, the majority of the Mayans population lived in the central lowlands of Mexico and Belize.
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