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Mayans:

Amanda Hebert, Cherokee Chavis, and Rosio Chavez
by

Amanda Hebert

on 28 January 2013

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Transcript of Mayans:

Geography .The Mayans were located Mexico and Central America.
Yucatan, Beilce, Guatemala, Honduras. .The Maya area is generally divided into three loosely defined zones: the southern Pacific lowlands, the highlands, and the northern lowlands The southern lowlands lie just south of the highlands, and incorporate a part of the Mexican state of Chiapas, the south coast of Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador. The northern lowlands cover all of the Yucatán Peninsula, including the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo, the Petén Department of Guatemala, and all of Belize. Parts of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas are also included in the northern lowlands What effect did the geographic setting have on the civilization that grew there? Both the Highlands and the Lowlands were important to the presence of trade within the Mayan civilization. The lowlands primarily produced crops which were used for their own personal consumption, the principle cultigen being maize Were they geographically isolated from other civilizations? No, not really. In fact it was the hub of the ancient world . Food and other items from other
The Caribbean on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Were they exposed to large bodies of water? Time period The ancestors of the Mayans were hunters but about 2,000 BC they adopted farming as a way of life. In the years from 300 BC to 250 AD organised Mayan kingdoms emerged. Then from 250 AD to 600 AD an advanced civilisation emerged. The Mayans invented writing and they made great advances in astronomy and mathematics. Mayan civilsation was at its peak from 600 AD to 900 AD. However after 900 AD it declined. In the central rain forest cities were abandoned. Government Government was an important part of the Maya civilization. Priests ran governments, ruled cities, led ceremonies and performed many other jobs. Maya priests were also the rulers of cities Mayan faith and religion played a central role in organizing politics and culture in Mayan civilization. The king, or high lord, and royal family occupied the top rung of a strict political hierarchy, followed by an elite tier of priests, warriors and scribes. The next tier of Mayan artisans and traders were appreciated for their economic value. Subsistence farmers and servants made up the bottom rung of Mayan civilization. Government The high lord of the Mayan kingdom was thought to hold sway with the gods of the underworld, who would assume the earthly form of a jaguar. laws Mayan law was very, very strict. It did not matter who you were but if you commited a crime you would be punished. This was enforced rigidly. Some of the punishments were things like a hefty fine, or having all of your possesions sold on auction, or being sold into slavery or possibly getting thrown into a jail for varying lengths of time. Mayan law was pretty fair. The Mayan's held good lawful trials. They collected evidence and presented it before a Judge. Economy The Mayan civilization was really dependent on trade. In truth, one of the primary reasons why the Mayan civilization collapsed was that its trade routes fell apart. The scarcity of trade prompted a breakdown of success, which ultimately led to the decline of Mayan society.

Generally speaking, the Mayans reaped benefits greatly from trade. It was the supply of luxury merchandise such as Jade and Turquoise for the upper classes. Trade delivered commoners with Obsidian and Salt for their work and day-to-day needs correspondingly. And since trade improved so did the power of the sellers, who in turn contributed to the success of Mayan civilization until their very end. What were their major products for trade? One of the most popular products that Mayans exchanged are Salt, Cotton Vanilla, Obsidian, Cacao and Vanilla. Other resources including Pyrite, Quartz, Magnatite, Clay and Cinnabar were also generally bought and sold for use in the creating of mirrors, arms, dyes, ceramics and apparel. How did their geography affect their trade? There trade network at first started as a linear route that ran from the Guatemala all the way to Mexico through the Preclassic period (around 2000 BC to 300 AD). Over time, this trading network would transform and shift in line with political and economic necessities. Among the major trading locations of the Mayan trade route contain big city states like Kaminaljuyu and Taka’lik A’baj. Was their economy based on a division of social classes? Predictably, a large class of merchants at some point produced as a result of the relatively vast Mayan trade network. These merchants would certainly enlist with the middle class, together with artisans and other specialists who assisted raise the demand for further commerce and production within Mayan society.

It was up to the merchants to handle large scale trade with the Mayan’s neighbors, to moving around from one point of the Mayan trade network to another. The transport of the merchant’s products was done by hired porters, taking into consideration the absence of the wheel as well as pack animals in Mesoamerica. Mayan religion was characterized by the worship of nature gods (especially the gods of sun, rain and corn), a priestly class, the importance of astronomy and astrology, rituals of human sacrifice, and the building of elaborate pyramidical temples. The Maya worshipped a pantheon of nature gods, each of which had both a benevolent side and a malevolent side. The most important deity was the supreme god Itzamná, the creator god, the god of the fire and god of the hearth. The Maya practiced a form of divination that centered on their elaborate calendar system and extensive knowledge of astronomy. It was the job of the priests to discern lucky days from unlucky ones, and advising the rulers on the best days to plant, harvest, wage war, etc. In fact, human sacrifice seems to have been a central Mayan religious practice. It was believed to encourage fertility, demonstrate piety, and propitiate the gods. The Mayan gods were thought to be nourished by human blood, and ritual bloodletting was seen as the only means of making contact with them. The Maya believed that if they neglected these rituals, cosmic disorder and chaos would result. Beliefs Beliefs Technology The ancient Maya, between about 300 and 900 A.D., the Maya were responsible for a number of remarkable scientific achievements--in astronomy, agriculture, engineering and communications. How Did The Mayans Build Buildings? The ancient Mayan people used limestone plaster to hold stones together Writing The ancient Mayans had a writing system of hieroglyphics (writing that uses pictures to represent things and sounds). They had nearly 800 signs in their writing. They even grasped the concepts of zero The Maya writing system (often called hieroglyphics from a vague superficial resemblance to the Egyptian writing, to which it is not related) was a combination of phonetic symbols and ideograms. It is the only writing system of the Pre-Columbian New World that can completely represent spoken language to the same degree as the written language of the old world The art was composed of delineation and painting upon paper and plaster, carvings in wood, Obsidian, bone, shells, Jade and stone, clay and stucco models, and terracotta figurines from molds. The technical process of metal working was also highly developed but as the resources were scarce, they only created ornaments in this media. Music was very appreciated and there is also proof of Theater plays being held in the public ceremonies. The Maya Kings commissioned finely crafted works to furnish their palaces and attest to their sovereignty and Warfare victories, among them, carved thrones and throne backs, where a king might reign supported by depictions of ancestors or gods ART slavery The people at the bottom of the Mayan social ladder were the farmers and slaves. These two groups made up the base of the power pyramid of the Mayas. Most people in Mayan civilization were farmers, but their rights in society were not much better than those of slaves. Slaves were usually captured enemies or criminals from within the Mayan citizenry.

The farmers and slaves performed most of the hard labor, and of course, the farmers provided the entire society with its most important resource--food. They likely made up a bulk of the Mayan military as well. The Maya Empire, centered in the tropical lowlands of what is now Guatemala, reached the peak of its power and influence around the sixth century A.D. The Maya excelled at agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar-making and mathematics, and left behind an astonishing amount of impressive architecture and symbolic artwork. Most of the great stone cities of the Maya were abandoned by A.D. 900, however, and since the 19th century scholars have debated what might have caused this dramatic decline. Rise and fall Maya civilization peaked around 800 A.D. or so before falling into decline. By the time of the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century, the Maya were rebuilding, with powerful city-states rising once again, but the Spanish defeated them. Contributions The Mayans achieved a very high cultural level, perfecting techniques of architecture, heiroglyphics, astronomy, agriculture, and metallurgy.
Many of the foodstuffs of today (corn, squash, chocolate, tropical fruits, turkeys) were perfected by the Mayans, as was the production of cotton.
Mayan weaving is considered among the finest textiles in history.
Jewellery and weapons made of jade, gold, and silver are outstanding examples of the craft. Mayan contributions were many. They developed an advanced writing system. Their history, entrusted to cactus fiber parchment, fared poorly against the ravages of time and Spanish censors saw to the destruction of much of the remainder. However, many of their carvings on stone have survived and provide much of what is known today about their civilization.

The Mayans also were gifted mathematicians who independently developed the concept of zero, and astronomers who deduced that a solar year was slightly more than 365 days. the end. contributions work cited. Minster, Christopher. "Ancient Maya Economy And Trade." About.com Latin American History. Minster, 28 Jan. 2113. Web. 28 Jan. 2013.
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