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Ancient Maya Vs. Ancient China

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Thea Samahas

on 5 June 2015

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Transcript of Ancient Maya Vs. Ancient China

Ancient Maya Vs. Ancient China
similarities and differences
In Ancient China, people believed in many gods, such as the god of rain for crops, and the god of the sun. There were also many different kinds of religions and beliefs, such as the philosophies Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and Legalism. Confucianism taught about the importance of good behavior and relationships, Daoism taught that people should respect nature and turn away from worldly affairs, and Buddhism taught about peace. Legalism was different from those, though. Han Feizi, the founder of Legalism, believed that humans were naturally evil, and Legalism was very strict because of that. In Ancient China, keeping the gods happy was extremely important.

In Ancient China, the hierarchy was made up of different social classes. The Emperor was at the very top. The Aristocrats and Nobles were right below that. Then came the Artisans, and lastly, the Farmers. The Emperor had the most power in most cases, though sometimes more control was given to Aristocrats and Nobles. The ruling of China was passed through the family, resulting in dynasties. The dynasty that was ruling at the time could be overthrown if there was a natural disaster, other people invaded, or the common people revolted. The first reason was because of a belief called, "The Mandate of Heaven." The Mandate of Heaven was a belief the Zhou dynasty came up with. It was basically that the god chose the rulers, and if the ruler did not do his job properly and keep the gods happy, then he would be kicked off the throne. Religion was connected to Chinese government very closely.
Hierarchy and Government
The life styles for people in China depended on who they were, and what their job was. If they were an Aristocrat, they were very wealthy. They usually owned large estates and lived in tile-roofed houses with big courtyards and gardens. Aristocratic families owned large plots of land. When the owner of the land died, the land was divided between the sons. That resulted in the sons and grandsons having smaller plots of land.
If they were a farmer, they lived in small villages surrounded by mud walls. After the village walls were the fields owned by the aristocrats. The farmers would rent the fields by giving a part of their crops to the owners. In Northern China, farmers grew wheat and millet. In the south, they grew rice. Farmer's lives were tough because they were usually poor from taxes and they had to serve as soldiers when war came.
Artisans and Merchants were skilled workers who made useful things. Artisans were usually artists, architects, and woodworkers. Merchants could be wealthy, but were not respected in society because they only worked for themselves. In China, families were the center of the society. Filial Piety is a person's responsibility to respect their parents, and it was practiced by Chinese families. Women and men had different jobs in Ancient China. Women were to take care of the children and the household, and men would grow crops, attend school, run the government, and fight wars.

Life Style
In Ancient China during the rule of the Han dynasty, trade really took off. Trade increased because of Chinese exploration. A man named Zang Qian was sent to explore areas west of China. His mission was to recruit allies to help China fight against enemies, like the Xiongnu to the north. When Zang returned 13 years later, he had failed to find allies. However, he had found horses that were big and fast in what was probably in the area of present-day Kazakhstan. The emperor at the time, Han Wudi, was happy to hear of this and wanted horses for his soldiers, so he encouraged trade between them. In exchange for the horses, Chinese merchants traded silk, spices, and other fancy things. The trade route to the west was later called the Silk Road in honor of China's most famous good.
Despite its name, the Silk Road was not just one road. It was a network of trade routes. When the road was finished, it was 4,000 miles long and stretched from western China to the Mediterranean. Over the years, merchants traded many other items aside from luxuries. For example, China sent peaches and pears to India, while India sent cotton and spinach to China. After a while, Chinese inventions like paper would also go along the Silk Road.
The Ancient Maya civilization had an advanced trade system that was made up of short, medium and long trade routes. The Mayans traded things such as cacao seeds, salt, obsidian or gold. The value of these items varied based on what city they were trading with. The Mayans traded two kinds of goods. Basic goods, like food, clothes, pottery, and salt, and also fancy goods like gold, jade, and highly decorated pottery.
In Ancient Maya, children were considered very important and under-went lots of rituals. Girls lived with their parents until they were married. Their mothers taught them how to cook, spin yarn, weave, and clean the house. Unmarried men painted their faces black and lived in shared houses where they learned about crafts, warfare, and played games. Marriages were usually arranged for the bride and groom, and did not happen until the boys reached eighteen and the girls reached fifteen. Powerful and well off Mayans lived in stone buildings near he center of the city. Ancient Mayan peasant houses were simple and nature based. They were wood and mud based, with leaves for the floor. The most important crops for Mayans were corn, squash, ad beans. Mostly, corn was made into tortillas, which were eaten for almost every meal. Mayans made fields to grow crops by burning the forest down to make the soil rich, and then using the field. When the soil grew dry and not nourishing, they gave the fields back to the wild and burned new ones. Every month brought an assortment of religious celebrations, festivals, and banquets. Many involved lots of drinking, complex costumes, and dancing.
In Ancient Maya, the hierarchy was divided between nobles, commoners, serfs (like farmers), and slaves. The noble class was complex and specialized. The nobles could read and were wealthy, and typically lived in central areas of Mayan cities. Commoners worked as farmers, laborers, and servants. Some commoners became rich through their work,and some moved up in the social class through military service, but they were not as high as nobles. Commoners generally lived outside the central areas of towns and cities and worked their own or shared land. Serfs usually worked land that the ruler owned. There was also an active slave trade going on in Maya. Nobles and commoners were allowed to own slaves. Slaves were sometimes prisoners of war, or people who couldn't pay debts. Some people sold themselves or family members into slavery if they were really poor and needed the money.
In Ancient Maya, religion was based off of nature gods, especially the gods of sun, rain, and corn. The Mayan religion was Polytheist, and they worshiped more than 165 gods. The gods were human-like. They were born, grew up, and then died. In fact, people believed that the gods would even do things humans actually did, like growing crops and fighting wars. Mayan people used astronomy to figure out the gods next moves in the world, and they had two types of calenders. There was a religious calender, and a seasons of the year calender. In the religious calender, there were 260 days. This they used to plan religious events. The seasons calender was 365 days, and was used to plan agriculture and farming events. The Mayan were very advanced in their religion because they looked into the future and planned ahead with their calenders.
Citing My Sources
1. http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/exhibits/aztec/maya_social.html
2. http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp264-ss13/2013/04/24/mayans-religion-gods-animal-spirits-and-pyramids/
3. Wikipedia.com
4. The packets
5. http://mayaincaaztec.com/liofanma.html
6. http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/Maya/p/Ancient-Maya-Economy-And-Trade.htm
7. http://www.ducksters.com/history/china/clothing.php
8. http://www.worldtravelguide.net/china/weather-climate-geography
9. http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/maya/teachers/what-did-the-ancient-maya-wear
10. http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/china/science/
The architecture in Ancient China was complex, and gradually formed into a style which featured buildings combining stone carvings, bucket arch buildings and many other techniques. Hardworking Chinese people created many wonderful constructions such as the Great Wall. Paintings and carvings were added to the architectural work to make it more beautiful and attractive.

The architecture in Ancient Maya was mainly of stone. The Maya built pyramids, temples, palaces, walls, homes and more. They often decorated their buildings with elaborate stone carvings, statues and paint.

Climate and Clothing
The climate in Ancient China was very different based on where you were in the country. The northeast of China experiences hot and dry summers and very cold winters. The north and central region has rain almost all the time, hot summers and cold winters. The southeast region has a lot of rainfall, with semi-tropical summers and cool winters. Central, southern and western China have occasional flooding, and are subject to earthquakes.
Clothing in Ancient China was a symbol of status. The rich and the poor dressed differently. The poor people, or peasants, wore clothing made of a material calledhemp. This was a rough material made from plant fibers. It was durable and good for working in the fields. Generally clothes made of hemp were loose fitting pants and shirts. The people of higher status wore clothes made of silk. Silk is made from the cocoons of silkworms and is soft, light, and beautiful. The Chinese were the first to make silk and kept how to make it secret for hundreds of years.
The climate in Ancient Maya was warm and rainy, which was good for growing crops, However, there were droughts and floods as well. The Mayans had to adapt to the changing climate. In some places it was hotter than others.
The ancient Maya are well-known for their vibrant appearances and their use of strange bodily ornaments.They used the materials available to them in their tropical environments to make colorful cloth and striking accessories. They made a wide range of outfits for different occasions, like elaborate clothing for large public events, vibrant dance costumes; protective armor for fights; sports wear; and simpler, but not less sophisticated, clothing for everyday situations.
Math and Science
Ancient Chinese math was counted in base ten. The Chinese math system was efficient. In China, people wrote the number 465 like this: 4 times the symbol for hundreds plus 6 times the symbol for ten plus 5. This way of writing numbers made it easier to do addition and multiplication. Eventually, the Chinese came across the abacus, but people don't know for sure if the Chinese invented it. For science, Chinese scholars conducted scientific observations of plants and animals. This resulted in the discovery of the first effective treatment for malaria by Ge Hong in the 300s AD. Chinese astronomers also observed the stars and planets. The many detailed and careful drawings of flowers and other plants, and star charts, from China show this interest.
The Ancient Maya used a number system with the base number of 20 (we use a base-10 number system). They wrote numbers using a system of bars and dots. A bar represented the number 5. Every 5 numbers they added another bar. The number zero was written with a symbol that looked like a shell. The Mayans had two kinds of calenders to keep track of the days of the year. One was for religious purposes, and the other was for agriculture and farming schedules.
Medicine and Diet
The Ancient Chinese used herbal remedies and mind and body relaxations to heal people. One of these relaxation techniques was called acupuncture. It involved sticking needles on certain pressure points in the body to relieve aching and soreness. Rice was the first grain that people farmed in China. People cooked rice by boiling it in water, the way they do today. Or they made it into wine. Rice wine has been popular in China since prehistory. But rice doesn't grow in northern China, which is much drier and colder. People in northern China gathered wild millet and sorghum instead. They ate it boiled into a kind of porridge. A drink that was common was tea. Tea grows wild in China, so it was easy to get and make.
The medicine in Ancient Maya was simple. Mayans usually used food as their medicine. They would give ill people the different foods that they thought cured whatever was ailing them. The diet in Ancient Maya was mainly of corn, squash, and beans. Corn was very important. In some religious stories, people were believed to have made out of corn by the gods.
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