Mayan Construction:  Labor

    The pre-Columbian Mayans lacked the technology that we have today; so, they needed a lot of manpower to raise their magnificent structures.  The king-priests would supervise the labor of the common people.  These peasants would work on theses construction projects to pay homage to the king and state(Sharer 196).  This normally took place during the time that they were unable to do their agricultural work(Hernandez 13).  The laborers ahd to carry loads of materials on their backs or roll them on logs to get them from the source, maybe a nearby quarry, to the construction site(Stierlin 132).  There would be hundreds of peasants working on this construction(Hernandez 13).

    Aside from the general laborers and priests, the Mayans like the Incas also had specialized workers such as architects who would also oversee the construction of these buildings(Sharer 196).  The Mayans were not however credited for first creating the initial design of the pyramid.  There were other tribes like the Olmecs who were building a variation of the pyramid a thousand years before the Mayans.  The Mayans refined the art of pyramid building.  They made them more complex and intricate.

Back to Mayan Home Page