Extension History Draft Proposal – Ancient Maya

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Last updated: June 22, 2019

Extension History Assessment Task 2 Project Draft Proposal For my Extension History Project, I have researched and considered doing many multiple civilizations from the ancient world. I have more of a passion for these civilizations rather than those from a more modern era as I love the simplicity of their life and cultures and the pure brilliance they brought to the world – the sophistication and advanced nature of them all.More specifically, I have a fascination with the Mesoamericans so when I looked specifically at civilizations such as the Aztecs, the Maya, The Inca, the Native North Americans, the Phoenicians and the Vikings, its clear to see that this fascination dominated my research. From here, I eliminated possible topics through the different issues surrounding each civilization that I either could, or couldn’t use.

An example of this would be such things as the Spanish overthrow of the Aztecs, the colonization of the Native Americans and the unknown reasons for the collapse of the Mayas.From here, I decided to follow through with more research on the collapse of the ancient Maya civilization as I concluded that this would provide me with enough controversy and differing theories to create a solid basis for my project. Currently, I am focusing on the question “What caused the collapse of the ancient Maya civilization and how have theories changed over time? ” because I believe it gives me a strong point to research and discuss.Another area of research I considered taking with the Maya civilization was that of the accuracy of the prophecies of the ancient Maya calendars but alas, decided to stick with the question previously mentioned. So far, my research into the topic has involved the use of multiple sources. I initially started off with only internet research on the different civilizations I could do, homing the precise topic down to the Maya. Once I’d done this, I abandoned the use of internet resources and borrowed books from the city library.

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Books are a much more reliable source of information in comparison to internet websites and they provided me with much valued information. I used the books ‘The Fall of the Ancient Maya’ by David Webster, ‘The Ancient Maya’ by Barbara L. Beck, ‘Colliers Encyclopedia’, ‘The Mayan Prophecies’ by Adrian G. Gilbert and Maurice M. Cottereli and ‘Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes’ by Carl Waldman. From these, I took the liberty of photocopying pages of information relevant to my research.I also happened to find two documentaries which I borrowed also. These were ‘Dawn of the Maya’ from the National Geographic and ‘Mystery of the Maya’ from the IMAX theatre in Sydney.

From these, I took extensive notes and found my first theory on why the ancient Maya civilization may have collapsed from archaeologist, Richard Hanson. This discovery actually cemented my topic question for me – I was definitely going to follow this path of research once I’d found this.The next step in my research took me back to the internet where I looked for a few different essays on the collapse hoping to find some more historians theories I could use. I discovered collective theories from scholars, William Saturno, Tom Server and Dick Gill from websites such as the BBC, Crystalinks and MNSU.

Some of the key syllabus questions that I will cover in my research project include ‘What are the historical debates in the case study? ’ ‘Who are the historians? ’ and ‘How has history been constructed and recorded over time? ’.I’m as yet to have fully read and annotated all of the information I have gathered from the books from the library, so my prospects for my next stage in my investigation start there. I want to begin isolating the historians, placing them in their context so as to develop an understanding of how the theories have changed over time, gathering evidence that supports their ideas and theories and forming my own theory, based on what evidence I can find, about the collapse.

I’m hoping to have enough information by the beginning of the summer holidays in order to start forming a draft of my project.


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