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The Mayan Empire

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Sanjay Sampath

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of The Mayan Empire

The Mayan Empire By: Sanjay Sampath, Jesse Beckwith, Griffin Lake, and Alex Freeman Trade Agriculture Economy Government Social Academics Technology Ideology Religion Timeline land based trade
the Mayans created a sea born trading system using large dugout canoes
most of their trade was in luxury items and goods
as Mayan cities began to grow, so did their food production and trade Military Fall of the Empire basic necessities such as stone tools or salt were produced in certain areas then were traded with places that didn't have them
some coastal communities were involved in short range trade of fish Warfare and conquest were frequent throughout Mayan territory
It is unknown if Mayans possessed a professional army, like the Aztecs
However, it's presumed that larger cities kept sizable, well-trained armies for defense
Walls also protected important buildings Military War and conquest took place for :
Subjugation of neighboring city-states
Capture of prisoners and slaves Reasons for Conquest Capturing military/spiritual leaders in battle was a primary goal
Prisoners were often times captured for ritual sacrifice
Also used for slave labor, household servants
Tried to expand territory through conquest
Towards end of Mayan rule, cities often times looted, burned and destroyed The Spoils of War Social Structure Government was monarchical
Rule was hereditary
Mayan culture was patriarchal; government was same way
Government was very hierarchical
Position in social class based on wealth/occupation
Provincial governors managed specifics of assigned districts
Governors and Lords were nobility; lords often times controlled military affairs System of Ruling Religion and government were virtually inseparable
Could be considered a type of theocracy
There was a high priest, who was a very influential figure
Religion was integral part of government, but religious leaders did not rule
High priest was hereditary position; lower level priests chosen by high priest Religion and Government Occupied modern-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize
Covered the entirety of Yucatan Peninsula
Early on, fertile lands were settled on
Due to warring, settlements of the late period occupied hilltops for protection
Resembled the classical Greeks; numerous independent city-states dotted the landscape
Culturally/artistically a nation, but politically independent states Territory and Distribution The collapse of the Mayans is a bit of an enigma
The disappearance of their culture was sudden, mysterious
Whatever happened, historians convinced that warfare played a role in their demise
Multiple theories have been presented as to what happened Collapse Disaster Theory: Now dismissed; was idea of major catastrophe wiping out Mayans
Warfare Theory: Fought themselves into extinction
Famine Theory: Cities grew too large to support; people starved Theories Presented Theories Presented cont. had a bustling trade in prestige items
different sites in the Maya region produced gold, jade, copper, and obsidian
items made from those materials were found in most major Maya cities indicating an extensive trading system Mayan farmers grew corn, beans,squash, and fruit
they grew cacao trees which were highly valuable
cacao seeds are what are used to make chocolate farmers terraced hilly land and used irrigation to water crops
where fewer people lived the Mayans used slash-and-burn agriculture to clear land and fertilize crops
slash-and-burn agriculture is where they literally cut and burn land and forests to clear it out for farming in the lowlands people grew crops on raised platforms called chinampas Afterlife: long, dangerous journey through Underworld

- Populated by evil gods represented by the jaguar

- Most every Mayan went there

- Heaven reserved for sacrifices and those who died in childbirth their economy was based on trade and agriculture
they did not use money
there was no form of universally accepted currency
valuable items such as gold, or obsidian varied in value from one region to another, often rising in value the farther away it was from its source the Mayans produced 2 types of goods
one of those were prestige items
prestige items were things like jade, gold, copper, highly decorated pottery, and ritual items the other type of goods that the Mayans produced were subsistence items
subsistence items were those used on an everyday basis such as food, clothing, tools and basic pottery Science and religious beliefs were the same thing

Astronomy and mathematics very important

Planets represented deities

Solar and lunar eclipses could be predicted Obsessed with the concept of time

Calculated length of solar year (Solar Calendar)

People delegated to differentiate "lucky" and "unlucky" days

Believed world had been destroyed 4 times and recreated 5 times- next destroyed December 21, 2012 Nobles Commoners Serfs Slaves Nobles: Specialized and complex Jobs
Class was passed on through family
Lived in city centers Commoners: Pre-Classic Classic Post-Classic 2600BC: Beginning of Mayan civilization

700 BC: First writing

400BC: First solar calendar carved into stone

300BC: Idea of Hierarchy ruled by kings and nobles Could move up in social status
Couldn't wear Noble cloths or symbols
Lived in outer parts of towns 400AD: Maya Highlands taken over by Teotihuacans, begins to fade

500AD: Tikal becomes great city, new ideas for weapons of war and religious practices

600AD: Unknown event destroys Teotihuacans, Tikal populates about 500,000

751AD: Mayan alliances fall apart, trade declines, and conflict rises

869AD: Tikal stops expanding

899AD: Tikal abandoned 1200AD: Northern cities begin to be abandoned

1528AD: Spaniards try to invade Northern Maya, but Mayans resist

1541AD: Spain finally beats the Mayans, but small remaining groups still try to fight back for a while

1712AD: Maya Chiapas highlands rebel against Mexican rule Post-Classic (Cont.) Serfs: 1724AD: Spanish Crown removes hard labor of Mayans if they become Christian

1847AD: Yucatan Mayans rebel against Mexico, almost take over

1880AD: Another government intervenes and the Mayans are forced into hard labor Were basically slaves
Owned by higher class citizens
Treated slightly better Slaves: Slavery was a punishment
Unsettled debts and crimes
Slaves were mostly prisoners of war
were often sacrificed Polytheistic

Ruler god was Itzamna (Creator, Fire & Hearth God)

Each god had two sides: benevolent and malevolent

Practiced human sacrifice

Rulers were considered messengers between men and gods

Mayan aristocrats had to go through self torture Their only sport was called " The Game" Sports Losing team was sacrificed to the gods
Very different from any modern day sport
Goal get a rubber ball through a stone ring on the wall
Used hands, feet, hips, knees, ect.
Still played today Known for the Mayan calendar
Most accurate ancient calendar to date
Depicted "doomsday"
Archeologists found more calendars
Proving doomsday to be false
Such accurate calendars were created by an unusually high understanding of astrology Astrology There was a council system
Imprisonment was rarely administered; slavery/death more frequent punishments
Laws were generally harshly enforced
In some cases, mercy was granted
Usual method for execution was being thrown off a cliff System of Laws Most of the population lived in straw huts with mud walls
Built ziggurat styled temples
Averaged about 45 meters
Very steep steps
Carved into temples for artistic appeal Architecture Carved Figurines of dead family members
This kept ancestors with them
Made art of jaguars
This was to honor them for being fierce worriers
Also for religious reasons Art Civil Strife Theory: Angry working class becomes fed up, overthrows ruling elite
Environmental Change Theory: Change in weather/climate caused massive die-off
Researches found evidence of climatic change; coastal waters rose, villages flooded
People moved inland to cities; migration put strain on resources, not as much food Helmets: not common
Armor: Tightly woven cotton
Shields: Animal skin, reed matting, and carved wood Armor Bow and arrows
Spears and atatls( spear throwing sling)
Used volcanic glass as edges and tips of weapons Weapons Works Cited: 1. "Tarlton Law Library - Aztec and Maya Law - online exhibit." Tarlton Law Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2012. <http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/exhibits/aztec/maya_social.html>
2. "Ancient Mayan ballgame - Rituals and traditions - Mayan Explore - Riviera Maya." Travel guide - Mayan Explore - Riviera Maya. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2012. <http://www.mayanexplore.com/rituals-and-traditions/ancient-mayan-ballgame>
3. the, the time of the Arrival of. "Maya Culture." Authentic Maya. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2012. <http://www.authenticmaya.com/maya_culture.htm>
4. "Mayan Calendar Discovery Confirms 2012 'End Date' : Discovery News."Discovery News: Earth, Space, Tech, Animals, History, Adventure, Human, Autos. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2012. <http://news.discovery.com/history/maya-long-count-calendar-end-date-120629.html>.
5. Vergano, Dan, and USA TODAY. "Newly discovered Mayan calendar goes way past 2012 – USATODAY.com." News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World - USATODAY.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/story/2012-05-08/maya-apocalypse-calendar-2012/54879760/1>. 6."National Geographic Search." National Geographic - Inspiring People to Care About the Planet Since 1888. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/search/?frontend=default_frontend&output_format=xml_no_dtd&num_results=25&filter=p&collection=default_collection&meta_field_to_return=ngs-gsa-feed-title&meta_field_to_return=ngs-gsa-feed-slug&meta_field_to_return=ngs-gsa-feed-description&meta_field_to_return=ngs-gsa-feed-keywords&meta_field_to_return=ngs-gsa-feed-thumbnail&required_meta_field_1=ngs-gsa-feed-mediaType%3Avideo&required_meta_field=ngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Aanimals%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Aenvironment%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Amovies%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Amusic%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Anews%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Aplaces%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Aspecials%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Ascience%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Anat-geo-wild%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Anational-geographic-channel%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Akids%7Cngs-gsa-feed-video-source%3Athe-magazine&meta_field_filter=ngs-gsa-feed-title&meta_field_filter=ngs-gsa-feed-description&meta_field_filter=ngs-gsa-feed-keywords&oe=utf-8&search=Mayan+academics&search_dest7.openings., very small rectangular. "Maya Architecture." ThinkQuest : Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. http://library.thinkquest.org/10098/mayan.htp
8.22, March, and 2007. "The Mayan Military (ca. 300-900 AD) - Ancient History Blog."Ancient History Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://ancientstandard.com/2007/03/22/the-mayan-military-ca-300-900-ad/>.
9."Mayan Timeline." Guatemala Tour | Tikal, Guatemala. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://www.mayan-traveler.com/mayan-timeline.php>.
10."Mayan Religion - ReligionFacts." Religion, World Religions, Comparative Religion - Just the facts on the world's religions.. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://www.religionfacts.com/mayan_reli> 11. Minster, Christopher. "What Happened to the Ancient Maya – decline of the Maya." Latin American History. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2012. <http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/Maya/p/What-Happened-To-The-Ancient-Maya.htm>.
12. Minster, Christopher. "The Ancient Maya - War and Warfare." Latin American History. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2012. <http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/Maya/p/The-Ancient-Maya-War-And-Warfare.htm>.
13. "The Mayas for Kids - Maya Justice, Crime, Court, Punishment ." The Ancient Maya Empire for Kids - The Mayas . N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2012. <http://mayas.mrdonn.org/justice.html>.
14. period, the Maya in the Late Classic, and when influence from central Mexico. "Mayan society." Lost civilizations. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2012. <http://www.lost-civilizations.net/mayan-society.html>.
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