What Materials Did the Maya Use?

Local stone made up the bulk of Mayan architecture, and the buildings for all the civilizations in the Mesoamerican area. These included limestone, sandstone, basalt, and other volcanic rock. All of this was patiently shaped and fitted using stone tools as the construction occurred before the development of bronze.

Despite the lack of more modern tools, the people here did develop unique materials to help them construct their long-lasting masterpieces. For example, some stones sat on mortar fashioned from burned lime and a clever mixture of sand and stone fragments. Other buildings just used mud. The Maya people also used a form of stucco, which is any type of rough coding with a basis of cement, sand, and lime. The Mayan people used it quite a lot to cover their walls and create their unique three-dimensional steles and stories.

Some walls were solid stone. Others were primarily stucco over a frame. It still others had solid exteriors and a layer of rubble within. Most buildings undoubtedly had thatch or wooden roofing, which degraded over the years and disappeared. There is quite a bit of evidence that the Maya painted their interior and exterior walls with natural colours in red, blue, green, and yellow. The ruins we see today, no matter how magnificent they appear, would certainly have been absolutely amazing in these bright hues.