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Mayan Civilization

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Manuel Espinoza

on 8 May 2015

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Transcript of Mayan Civilization

The Mayan Civilization
no central king ruling their huge empire
there were as many as 20 separate areas, similar to ancient Greece city-states
Each major city had its own ruler and noble class supported by smaller cities and the surrounding farms and villages.

wove beautiful fabrics and designed musical instruments like horns, drums and castanets
They also carved huge statues
Archaeologists can tell a great deal about the ancient Maya from their wonderful pottery and clay figures
The art they created honored their leaders, gods, and their daily life
Made sacrifices during rituals
ability to do complicated math and understand abstract ideas allowed them to:
develop complex, highly accurate calendars,
even predicting solar and lunar eclipses (amongst other celestial happenings)

writing tools crafted from animal hair and feathers
hydraulics system was very impressive
Many cities, including Kaminaljuyu, had sophisticated waterways, making use of hydraulic technology to successfully supply water throughout the sprawling communities.
allowed for farming with ease

Researchers believe that the Maya discovered the combination of rubber with other material accidentally, during a religious ritual
combined rubber tree and the morning-glory plant
made water-resistant cloth, glue, bindings for books, figurines and the large rubber balls used in the ritual game known as pokatok
able to create temples and cities without essential tools such as: metal and the wheel

advanced trading system with short, medium, and long trade routes.

no official form of currency.

Cacao beans,obsidian,copper bells,and sea shells were prestigious items.

Many items had different values depending on different regions

Goods in the Mayan Empire would be put into to categorizes which were prestige and subsistence
Social life of Mayan
religion touched many aspects of their daily lives
Kings served as intermediaries between gods and people
thought to be gods as well
only Gods started afterlife in heaven
believed in a large number of nature gods
Some considered more important and powerful than others
Itzamna - most important Maya god
god of fire who created the Earth
ruler of heaven as well as day and night
Kukulcan - powerful snake god
name means "feathered serpent"
primary god of the Itza people in the latter part of the Maya civilization
drawn to look like a dragon
The Maya believed he gave them the calendar and writing
It is thought that his name means "lizard house"
Bolon Tzacab - AKA Huracan
god of storms, wind, and fire
Maya mythology said that he caused a great flood to come when the Maya angered the gods
name means "one leg"
Chaac -
god of rain and lightning.
lighting axe that he used to strike the clouds and produce rain and storms

Ancient Maya had a class society
top: nobles and priests
middle class: made up of warriors, craftsmen and traders
bottom: farmers, workers and slaves
Yucatan divided into 18 separate Maya states
many smaller towns and villages under the jurisdiction of a capital city
Nine of these states were ruled by a single ruler called a halach uinic (or ahaw), while the others were led by councils of nobles of elite lineage or were allied with larger states
Rulers succeeded by sons, brothers, or a suitable candidate selected by priests and council
nacom- supreme military commander of each state
served a three year term
responsible for formulating military strategy and calling troops to battle
Individuals were enslaved as punishment for certain crimes
Prisoners of war who were not sacrificed would become slaves
impoverished individuals sometimes sold themselves or family members into slavery
Slavery status not passed on to children
unwanted orphan children became slaves and were sometimes sacrificed during religious rituals
Slaves were usually sacrificed when their owners died
If a man married a slave woman, he became a slave of the woman's owner and vice versa.
Maya writing system made up of 800 glyphs
Some glyphs were pictures and
others represented sounds
chiseled the glyphs into stone and inside codices
Codices: books that were folded like an accordion
pages were fig bark covered in white lime and bound in jaguar skins
wrote hundreds of these books
contained information on history, medicine, astronomy, and their religion
Spanish missionaries burned all but four of these books

Maya Empire- centered in tropical lowlands of today’s Guatemala
was at its peak of power and influence around 6th Century A.D
one of the most dominant indigenous civilization societies of Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America before the 16th century Spanish conquest)
centered in one block of the Yucatan Peninsula and today’s Guatemala
remained secure from invasion by other Mesoamericans
Mayapan was the capital
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