They did not use the wheel, and they did not split the atom; we know these things about the Maya, and so very little else. They knew of the wheel. Potters employed them, and children pulled their toys along upon them, but the Maya did not use them for transport or haulage. Wheels require roads and the Maya lived in a jungle made out of hills. You’d much rather build a road across Kansas.
And they did not split the atom. Had they done so, archaeologists would have found postcards with bikini girls posing in front of mushroom clouds. So we know they did not split the atom.
We know they invented zero. A guy in India also invented zero, but it’s not like they were cribbing off each other’s homework. Sometimes, things get invented in a bunch of places. They lived in independent city-states like the Greeks. The city-states traded and fought, also in a Grecian fashion. They practiced human sacrifice like the Romans: the Mayans did their morale-boosting murder at the temple, and the Romans did their’s at the Coliseum. They figured out the stars and the moon like Babylonians. They wrote in hieroglyphics like the Egyptians. They worked jade like the Chinese.
Then, the Spanish killed the living fuck out of them.
The jungle took everything that wasn’t stone, and quickly. See the pyramid by the lake? The big one that looks perfect for rolling a freshly-severed head down while screaming the king’s name real loud? That structure, and a few surrounding it, was all that the jungle left. The vines and trees rolled around all else man had built, and there was a lot: palaces and storehouses and markets and homes and causeways and thoroughfares. 250,000 people may have lived there, and scientists just found it this year.
They’ll discover Las Vegas one day, the digging historians of the future will, and they will decide the site must have had religious significance to us.