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The Historians of The Mayan Empire : Liza Kouns, Emily King, Haley Kontol

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Liza Kouns

on 31 October 2012

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Transcript of The Historians of The Mayan Empire : Liza Kouns, Emily King, Haley Kontol

The Mayan Empire What made the Mayan Strong? The Collapse of the Empire Farming in the Mayan empire - The economy was a mixed capitalist/command system combining free market trade and direct government control over areas considered vital to the population of any specific state.

- Chief staples of Maya economic activities were centered primarily around foods like fish, squash, potatoes, corn, honey, beans, turkey, fruits, chocolate drinks; raw materials such as limestone, marble, jade, wood, copper and gold; and manufactured goods such as paper, books, furniture, jewelry, clothing, carvings, toys, weapons, and luxury goods. - No particular reason has been said to why the empire has collapsed - No monuments seem to have been produced after A.D. 822 -The collapse of the empire was so sudden - Mayans used slash/burn system

- Farming was had an impact on the Mayans

- Corn, beans, and squash were the most important crops to the Mayans

- Cotton and cacao trees which was important for trading, tropical fruits such as: papayas, sapodillas, and avocados, also they grew sweet potatoes and chili peppers. "The Golden Age"  - Maya agriculture opened the door to a "golden age."

- The population gradually increased as this pattern of land use replicated itself across the landscape like a wave in slow motion.

- It stayed like this for nearly 2000 years Mayan Astronomy Mayans believed the heavens consisted of 13 layers, and the
astronomers job was to look after them.
They used observatories, shadow-casting devices and
observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun.











Their calculations of the solar system are so accurate, the calendar they used based on it is still 1/10,000th of a day more accurate than ours. Black Holes "A dark rift in the center of the world that is the home of all evil and the doorway of the Underworld" This discovery was made 3000 years before modern astronomers discovered the black hole. One mayan calendar also charts the precession of the Earth. This cycle begins and ends on one day only in 25,920 years when the sun precisely eclipses that black hole. The fact that black holes give off no light and that only .0027% of this cycle can be observed within the human lifetime of 72 years makes the accuracy of this observation incredible. The Mayan Calendar Extremely accurate

Partially borrowed from the Aztecs and Toltecs.

-share number systems and construction
-have different names for specific days and months

The Mayan calendar uses 3 different ways of counting days at the same time.
-Long Count 12.18.16.2.6
-Tzolkin 3 Cimi
-Haab 4 Zotz Religion The Mayans were polytheistic which means they believed in more than one God. To keep the gods happy they practiced human sacrifice. They had many religious ceremonies that involved music and dancing. One religious ceremony involved a game called Pok-A-Tok.
Written Language Hieroglyphics Number System Years of Existence
established during the Pre-Classic period (2000 B.C.E. to 250 AD) reached it's highest during the Classic period (250 AD to 900 AD) and continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish War Meant control of neighboring city-states and the capture of slaves The highest class people became the military and spiritual leaders of the cities they captured. Warfare Had defensive walls around their cities as well Calendar Continued: Long Count A date is described as the number of days away from a mythological "starting" date.

-The date is written left to right.

-There are five number "places" in a date The first place is a b'ak'tun
The second place is a k'atun
The third place is a tun
The fourth place is a winal
The fifth and last place is a k'in 12.18.16.2.6 An example date Calendar Continued: The End of the World With long count, it seems as if the beginning date should be 0.0.0.0.0 BUT!
The first number, the b'ak'tun is counted 1-13 NOT 0-13
SO the beginning date is actually 13.0.0.0.0

The long count calendar will reach this beginning date again on December 21, 2012
This is why people believe the end of the world will happen. Calendar Continued: Tzolkin -
260 day year.
Each day of the 20 day cycle has a
-specific name,
-symbol,
- meaning behind it's name.

The Mayans knew a year was 365 days, so it is unknown why they made a 260 day year.

Some proposed reasons are that 260 is roughly the length of a pregnancy and the planting cycle of maize. Considered the oldest and most important calendar system
-Made up of combined cycles of 20 and 13 day periods Calendar Continued: Haab Mayan version of a 365 day year

Composed of 18 months of twenty days with five "nameless" days at the end of the year.

These nameless days were considered dangerous.

Special rituals were done to keep everyone safe.

The date is written as a number followed by the name of the month: 4 Zotz Date is written as the day number and name of the month 3 Cimi Example Date; Jasaw Chan Ruled Tikal from 682 to 734
-Tikal was one of the largest Mayan cities at the time.

Defeated the rival city of Calakmul in 695,
-defeat gave him power and influence in the region.

Two structures were made in his honor:

-Tikal Temple I: a classically styled stepped pyramid structure.
-Served as his tomb.
-Tikal Temple II (Temple of the Masks): Same style
-Served as the tomb of his wife, "Lady Twelve Macaw"

These structure face each other from opposite ends of the
Great Plaza at TIkal.

Successor was son Yik'in Chan K'awiil They did use the "normal" form of sacrifice through removing someone's heart while they were held on an alter.

Less bloody and just as well liked form of sacrifice:
-Limestone sinkholes were thought to be portals to the underworld and they would often toss people into them to please the water god Chac.

Children were also subject to sacrifice:
Beginning of the Mayan Calendar
Whenever a new ruler took power
OR whenever a new temple was built Temples: \ Jasaw's Tomb Human Sacrifice Less prolific in human sacrifices than their neighbors

Main reasons for sacrifice:
Believed that in order for the sun to rise everyday, they needed to sacrifice someone or something everyday,
Concerned with preventing drought.

Everyday blood sacrifices weren't so bad:-
Done in public by religious or political leaders
Pierce minor body parts, commonly the tongue or the ear.
Smear the blood on a statue of a god OR collect the blood on a collecting paper and burn the paper. Temple II Temple I Sacrifice Continued: Sinholes Sinkholes Mathematics of The Mayans - The Mayans devised a counting system that was able to represent very large numbers by using only 3 symbols, a dot, a bar, and a symbol for zero, or completion, usually a shell - The Mayans number symbols only
went from 0-29 It is not known whether a system
was developed for
multiplication and division. - Farming had an impact on the Mayans - Used slash/burn system - Maya agriculture opened the door to a golden age. The population increased as this pattern of land use replicated itself across the landscape like a wave in slow motion. Maya civilization rode that wave for nearly 2000 years. Farming in The Mayan Empire (contd.) - In the rainforest the Mayas used stone axes, and blades of obsidian and flint to cut down trees and bushes before burning them to make clearings.
- The ashes that were left behind were good for the soil, which was planted with seeds to farm during the rainy season
- On the sloping land, the Maya made flat terraces for their fields
- But many families only grew their crops for their families
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