Mayan Economy and the Old World, history homework help

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How did the Mayan economy compare to that of the Old World?

Among the occupations of the Indians were pottery and wood-working; they made much profit from forming idols of clay and wood, in doing which they fasted much and followed many rites. There were also physicians, or better named, sorcerers, who healed by use of herbs and their superstitious practices. It was so also with all their other occupations.

Their favorite occupation was trading, whereby they brought in salt; also cloths and slaves from Tabasco and Ulúa. In their bartering they used cacao and stone counters which they had for money, and with which they bought slaves and other fine and beautiful stones, such as the chiefs wore as jewels on festal occasions. They had also certain red shells for use as money and jewels for wearing; these they carried in network purses. In their markets they dealt in all the products of the country; they gave credit, borrowed and paid promptly and without usury.

The commonest occupation was agriculture, the raising of maize and the other seeds; these they kept in well-constructed places and in granaries for sale in due time. Their mules and oxen were the people themselves. For each married man and his wife it was their custom to plant a space of 400 feet, which was called hun vinic [one man], a plot measured with a 20-foot rod, 20 in breadth and 20, in length.

The Indians have the excellent custom of helping each other in all their work. At the time of planting, those who have no people of their own to do it join together in bands of twenty, or more or less, and all labor together to complete the labor of each, all duly measured, and do not stop until all is finished. The lands today are in common, and whoever occupies a place first, holds it; they sow in different places, so that if the crop is short in one, another will make it up. When they work the land they do no more than gather the brush and burn it before sowing.

Then answer the following question:

How did the Mayan economy compare to that of the Old World?

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