My sources are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_civilization and the book, ‘Ancient Civilizations’, published 2006 by McGraw Hill and National Geographic.
The Mayan empire in Mexico (250 – 950 A.D.) was governed by military rulers who believed they were god-kings who were descended from the sun. The Mayan king Jasaw Chan K’awiil I built a great pyramid at Tikal to honor himself.
As god-kings, Mayan rulers taught their subjects how to please the gods, one way was human sacrifice. When the Mayans waged war, they wanted captives more than land. This is because most of the human sacrifices came from the ruling groups of conquered peoples. The lower class captives were kept as slaves.
During times of drought, Mayan priests sacrificed captives to Chac, the god of rain and sunlight. The Mayans believed that the gods controlled everything. The priests, who claimed to know what the gods wanted, set up a strict class system for the people.