What a fascinating piece!
Reproducing here my comment I placed on the article:
Fascinating account of the Mayans. I was particularly drawn by Prof Inomata’s hypothesis that building the large pyramids helped the Mayans’ build their society.
We can see a parallel here in the US with Kennedy’s goal to place an American on the moon. Then we did not have the technology to get it done, but aspiring for this goal, helped plump our creativity, and coordinate our intellectual and fiscal resources. David Gergen explains this beautifully in his book: Eyewitness to Power.
And once the US got to the moon, the commercializations of the related technologies (video cameras, to Mylar sheets, to materials and wireless technology) helped power the US to an unprecedented boom in development and economic prosperity.
Rightly, we did not reach the moon because we had the technology, but aspiring for the moon, helped us develop the resources to reach the moon and helped society.
Certainly this has happened ALL over the world.
Important question for the Professor: Who or what was their Kennedy?
And, what big pyramid should we build next.
Thank you for a stimulating piece. So much we can learn for archeology.