The exact origins of the Mayan Civilization are unknown. There are two theories that prevail among archaeologists; the first camp believes that the Maya originated on their own, while the other postulates that they are a direct offshoot of the Olmec Civilization.
The Maya or Mayan civilization, which is dated between 500 B.C. and 800 A.D, was comprised of separate city states who shared a common language and culture. A theory formed in the field after a long archaeological dig and study by the University of Arizona purports that the Maya did not originate from one culture but from several different Meso-American cultures in the region.