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The Maya

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Leena Le

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of The Maya

100 CE
200 CE
1500 CE
1500 BCE
The Maya Civilization
Greatest achievements in art, culture, power and influence.
Records of the first Maya Kings began to appear
There was a ruling class, a king and royal family
Origin
Thought to grow out from the ancient writing of the Olmecs around 1000 BCE.

Refined astronomical techniques:
charted positions of planets
predicted the movement of planets, eclipses


Between 700 and 900 CE, most major Maya cities were abandoned and left to ruin.
still a mystery
lots of theories



250 CE
300 CE
450 CE
700 CE
900 CE
1500 BCE
200 CE
250 CE - The Classic Period
300 CE - The Classic Period
Powerful warlords who were in charge of warfare
Middle class (artisans and traders)
Most worked in agriculture (growing corn, beans, and squash)

Religious Beliefs
Human sacrifice
Historians believe that the practice of human sacrifice originated from the Toltecs.
The Mayans believed in the concept of creation and rebirth.
By sacrificing, new kings were believed to be brought to the community.

Human lives were sacrificed to appease the gods.
Orphans, children, bastards, criminals, and slaves were sacrificed the most in these ceremonies.
One method:
1. The victims were painted blue.
2. They were led to the peak of a pyramid and laid over a stone altar.


Gods
Itzamná (meaning lizard)
One of the most important gods.
God of creation and the creator of writing.

Kukulcán
believed to be worshipped by the Olmecs as well.
God of resurrection and reincarnation
He was believed to have created human’s protection.


Chac
The god of rain and lightning
He carried a lightning axe that hit the clouds in order to produce rain and storms.

Calendar
Two types of calendars:


Long Count (The Haab):
Used solar year (365 days)
20 days/month, 18 months in total.
A month had 20 days because of their vigesimal system.
At the mark of the 5125.25th years, it was called a Great Cycle.
This was the cause of the misconceptions about the world ending in 2012.

Calendar Round (The Tzolk’in):
260 days
20 days/month, 13 months in total.

Astronomy
Mathematics
Architecture

Usually built of stones.
Held important ceremonies or sacrifices.
Built to be aligned to the movements of Venus, the sun, or the moon.
Mayan Hieroglyphic
Discovered a Cascajal block (small rectangular tablet) containing 62 symbols found in Olmec art but is undecipherable.

Earliest examples of writing dated back to 300 BCE to 300 CE.
One of the most complex and impressive writing systems of the world.
Hundreds of unique signs or glyphs in the form of human, animals, supernaturals, objects, and abstract designs.
Believed that the speakers of the Ch’olan and Tazeltalan language were the inventors.



Each square is a glyph block containing five glyphs forming a word or phrase.
Maya glyphs are read in paired columns; zigzagging reading order.

Enabled to write on both sides of the leaf

Can be illustrated
Five branches: Cholan-Tzeltalan, Huastecan, Q’anjobalan-Chujean, Qhuichean-Mamean, and Yucatecan

Ancient language was a toll for the elite (kings)
many pronunciations
languages that are still spoken today

Origin
Derived from 5000-year old language Proto-Mayan (old Maya language).


Spoken in Guatemalan Cuchumatanes highlands where the first expansion occurred around 2200 BCE.
Rivalry between Maya-city states



Decline of the Mayan Civilization

After 900 CE, the Maya still existed in cities in the Yucatán such as Chichen Itza and Mayapan
Descendents still use the writing system, calendar and other developments from the peak of Maya culture.


During the rebuilding of different cultures in the region, the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the early 1500 and ended the Maya renaissance.
Four surviving codices were thought to have been created during this time.
Information Sources:
Image Sources:
succeeded the Olmec Empire
began settling in villages and cultivating corn and squash
Their civilization developed into cities and began building stone buildings, pyramid temples, palaces, plazas, etc. that defined their civilizations
Stone buildings
Pyramid temples
Palaces
Peak of Mayan population reached two million people in lowlands of what is now Guatemala.
40 cities (Tikal, Uaxactún, Bonampak, etc.), each with a population between 5,000 and 50,000

Animals and humans were both sacrificed.

100 CE
the Mayans introduced the number zero
3. The chacs (priest) held the arms and legs of the victim while the nacom cut his/her chest open with an obsidian or a flint knife and ripped out the heart.
4. The body would then be discarded down the temple stairs.
5. The heart was handed to the priest.
Believed that everything circulated around Earth.
Gods represented the celestial objects in the sky
Architectures were aligned in an astronomical order.

With no advanced machines, they observed using their bare eyes.
Used their skills in building to monitor astronomy.
They managed to time the days and hours of Venus in a year.
Vigesimal system: a system that contains twenty units.
More advanced than the decimal system because it could use up to 20 units (0-19).
The first civilization to use zero.

Stelae appeared in Maya classic era (300 A.D.)
A stone statue of an important ruler
Included a written record of the person’s accomplishments



Multi-storied temples, pyramids and palaces.


The temples were aligned with the sun and stars.

The royal families lived in high-storied palaces.
Acted as an administrative center because of their vast spaces.
Kings and noblemen interacted with diplomatic visitors.

Temples
Palaces
Logograms (express meaning) or syllabograms (indicate sound values).
The surviving writing artifacts are called
codices


Contained long texts

Extensive trade networks
traded for prestige items such as obsidian, gold, jade, feathers and more
food, salt, tools, and pottery
Calakmul
Tikal
Prisoners were used as slaves or sacrificed to the gods
Yucatán
War between Calakmul and Tikal during 400-500 CE
Chichen Itza
Mayapan
Animals
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Slide 3:
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Slide 7:
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Slide 8:
"Maya Human Sacrifice." Maya Human Sacrifice. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
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Slide 9:
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Slide 10:
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Slide 13:
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Slide 16:
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Slide 17, 18, and 19:
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Slide 20, 21, and 22:
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Slide 23, 24, 25, and 26:
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Maya (people)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

Slide 23, 24, 25, and 26:
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Maya (people)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.

Slide 24 and 25:
Minster, Christopher. "The Maya Classic Era." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Slide 26:
Shuttleworth, Martyn. "Ancient Mayan Astronomy." - History of Astronomy. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Maya (people)." Encyclopedia Britannica

Slide 27:
Minster, Christopher. "The Maya Classic Era." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Slide 28:
Minster, Christopher. "What Happened to the Ancient Maya?" About: Education. About, 2014. Web. 06 Dec. 2014.

The Disaster Theory
The Famine Theory
Environmental Change Theory
The Warfare Theory
Full transcript