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Transcript of Ancient Maya
Location in the world
The ancient Mayans lived in apart of the world we call now central America. The Maya included parts of the world we call today:
Northwestern El Salvador
The Maya was also in a part of the world we call the tropics. It was located between:
The tropic of cancer
The Tropic of Capricorn
The Tropic of Cancer and The Tropic of Capricorn are both lines of latitude.
The social structure of Ancient Maya had 5 ranks. One of the ranks- common people- were divided into 3 sections.
Craftspeople - weavers, metal workers, woodworkers, potters etc- would make items such as clothes, vases and bowls, jewelry, farm tools, paintings etc.
lived outside the city-state, close to their fields
grew food such as squash, chilies, peppers, pumpkin, yam, corn, cassava, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Whether they are common people or nobles girls were considered adults at the age of 12
Girls got married at the age of 14
Boys were considered adults at the age of 14
Boys got married at the age of 18 or 20
Did you know that?
Entire families-Children, parents, grandparents- all lived together in the same house and all contributed to household chores
Nobles and kings:
lived in large palaces/houses
Climate and Land
Never made clothes that were tight-fitting
Some materials used were cotton, bark cloth, and hemp fiber
dyed their clothing with various animal, plant and mineral sources
Either wore complicated headdress that involved intertwining the cloth with hair or a turban like headdress
Sometimes tied a ribbon around their head called a Cinta
Sometimes wore jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, and rings
Necklaces, earrings, and rings were made that included materials such as…
Did you know that…
In the earliest period of the Maya civilization jewelry was made out of jaguar teeth and bones, stones, shells and feathers. This was because at that time, metal was very hard to get. Then as natural resources were easier to find...
Sometimes wore turban like headdresses
Single men wore more brightly coloured clothing then married men
Wore a bag called a morral
The ancient Mayans believed in many gods and goddesses, this belief was called polytheism(the belief of many gods and goddesses).
Gods and Goddesses
Gods and Goddesses
The god of corn/maize
often has an ear of corn sticking out of his head or is wearing a headdress made of corn
god of agriculture
God of death
ruled over the 9th underworld, the lowest and the worst
god of rain
god of weather
god of war
god of human sacrifice
God of wine
God of travelers
Early Mayan Settlements
Settlers that were looking for fertile land form the first Mayan villages. This happened around 1000 BCE.
Larger Maya settlements
From 600 BCE to 300 CE, Mayan villages became bigger. They formed into towns, then cities and then city states. The Mayans began building pyramids and started advancing in the architectural world.
Mayan Golden Age
From 300 CE to 925 CE the Mayan civilization experienced its greatest growth. During this time period the Mayans advanced the most and made many achievements
Achievements in Science and Math
Did you know that the
Ancient Mayans had over
150 gods and Goddesses
in their complex religious
The Mayan Calender
The Mayan calendar consists of three separate but corresponding calendars. Those calendars are known as:
The Long count
The Haab is a 365 day calendar divided into 19 months, each with 20 days and one month only with 5 days(Uayeb). The Haab isn't completely accurate though, since it is 365.2420 days and an actual solar year is 365.2422 days long.
The Tzolkin is a 260 day calendar which has 20 periods of 13 days. The Tzolkin clendar is used to determine the date of religious ceromonies and festivals.
The Long Count calendar is used to track longer periods of time. Each cycle of this calendar is 2 880 000 days(approx 7885 years). The mayans believed at the end of each cycle the universe was destroyed and then recreated leading to the world apparently being destroyed on december 21 2012.
The Mayan land was rich in natural resources such as plants and animals. It was not that until they cleared the land and grew crops such as maize,beans and squash. The mountains in the Mayan region contained:
The central region was covered by rain forests.Also the northern region was driest of all three regions.
To be continued...
The climate was hot and humid. Also February to may was the dry season.
Did you know that?
A rainfall in the Mayan civilization could be up to 160 inches per year in the lower regions!
Ancient Maya region
Did you know that?
The Mayans were the first ones to make hot chocolate!
avocados and guacamole
squash and pumpkins
rabbits and turkeys
Here are some foods the Mayans ate or drank:
Mayans used many spices including cocoa, vanilla, epazote, achiote (and the annatto seed), Canella, Piper auritum, avocado leaves, garlic vine, Mexican oregano, and allspice.
Their main foods often included maize(corn), beans, squash, and chili peppers
Some meats the Mayans used were, turkey, deer, armadillo, monkey, tapir, fish, and shellfish
The ancient Mayans ate lots of tortillas and the dough often included ground maize
Did you know that?!?!?!
Maize was not only a staple of the Mayan diet but it also played a a significant roll in Mayan Mythology!
Mayan Village homes
made on mud and stone foundation
walls made of branches and mud
roof made of thatched palm
Used mud to keep out rain
Door was always made facing east
Built in the open to expose it to the sun so the thatched roof would not rot
Did not usually have windows
lived outside the city center
palaces were made of stone
lived in the city center
Here are some pictures
Huipil is a blouse like garment
Huipil is worn over a skirt called the Corte
In cooler, mountainous areas, women also sometimes wore a tzute
Tzute was a rectangular piece of cloth that was often thrown over the shoulders for decoration and sometimes pinned down as a shawl
In the warmer months, tzute is worn as a sun hat
A Rebozo can be used as a shawl but is not pinned down, unlike the Tzute or can be lain down on top of a dresser or small table
To connect a Huipil to a corte they used a sash called a faja
The Huipil and Corte combined by a Faja makes a Traje
Also wore headdress that were commonly complicated structures made using feathers, gems, and animal hides
Men wore a breech-clout that was wrapped around the waist a few times then was passed between the legs
Wore a belt that was woven on a piece of red or blue fabric
Did you know that the ancient Mayans believed that the first people were made by god mixing white corn and yellow corn together?
to honour the gods they held festivals at different times of year
During the festival everyone would come and perform chants and dances to honour a certain god or goddess
animals such as jaguars, turkeys and donkey were sacrificed
The ancient mayans believed in human sacrifice
During natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes,tornadoes etc.people were sacrificed to satisfy the angry gods and make them happy
Mayans believed in heaven and underworld
when important rulers died they were buried underneath the cities pyramids
important rulers were buried with food, weapons, jewelry, clothing and servants to serve them in the afterlife
Common people were buried underneath the floor of their family house along with food, drink and personal items to serve them in the afterlife
If a common person died, they were buried underneath the house then the family home was abandoned by the family members and a new house was built somewhere else
The Mayans were ruled by a halach uinic
Both religious and government leader
He was so important that cloth was held up in front of him so people wouldn’t be able to speak with him directly
If the Halach Uinic had no son there was a council of lords to select the next Halach Uinic from the noble Families.
The succession of the Halach Uinic is passed down into family.
The Halach Uinic was considered the most important person in Mayan Civilization.
Nobles along with the Halach uinic held all of the communities wealth and power
Controlled the government, warfare and trading
Early settlements were small and were decided by disscusion. In about 300 ce, each city-state was ruled by a Halach Uinic. The Halach Uinic had absolute power and was born into his position. The council of state advised the Halach Uinic on important decisions.
Lived in the central areas of Mayan cities
Did you know that?
The council of state was often the Halach Uinic's
performed religious ceremonies
Educated young males of nobility
performed Hieroglyphic writings
The Halach Uinic
Traders sold the items that craftspeople made locally or in other areas.
Used canoes that could hold up to 40 people to transport goods up and down river
Transported goods inland along rivers or streams to forest or mountain settlements.
Traded goods such as cocoa, rubber and salt from people who lived along the coast; goods such as corn, beans and squash from forest people, and jade, silver, obsidian, sandstone, and basalt from mountain settlements
Gods and Goddesses
Supreme being of the earth and sky
one of the ancient Mayans most important gods
was considered the creator of the world
he was believed to be the creator of writing, the world, and propecy
The husband of Ixchel
The wife of Itzamna
goddess of the moon
goddess of healing
Goddess of childbirth and the Mayans believed that she determined whether the child was a boy or girl
when she was happy she blessed the earth with rain
when she was in a bad mood she sends floods and hurricanes
mother of all
The mayans believed she held a rabbit while sitting in a crescent moon
Here are some pictures!
The Mayans used combinations of three symbols to represent numbers
The dot has a value of one, the horizontal has a value of five and the shell represents zero
These combinations of symbols represent numbers up to 19
They used paint to colour the inside and outside of the buildings, they also painted the pottery
to paint colours, they used different plants and minerals
favourite colour was blue made from the indigo plant
red was made from iron oxide (rust)
yellow was made from mineral ochre
brown was made out of asphalt or bitumen
black made from carbon or ashes
maya made clay utensils such as cups,plates,bowls,vases and other containers
made statues of gods and goddesses
reflective of their lifestyle and culture
art included paintings upon paper and plaster, carvings in wood, obsidian, bones, shells, jade and stone
The Mayans used a system of writing called Hieroglyphics, which represent combinations of sounds and ideas. Archaeologists have discovered more than 800 different hieroglyphics. Mayan writing was found on temples, walls of public buildings and on pottery. The Mayan people carved information about important dates and events in the lives of their rulers on big stone monuments called stelae. They also have painted on paper made of fig-tree bark.Many sheets of writing together were called codices.
The mayans art was very fascinating. They used many different materials.
Now to Science......
The ancient Mayans believed that time was under the control of gods. Therefore the priests should determine when a good or bad god was under the control of time. The Mayans built observatories from which priests studied the moon, sun and planets very closely. The priest's observations were so precise that they could predict eclipses. They calculated that there is 365.2420 days, which is very close to now a days which is 365.2422 .
What did the Mayans build?
The Mayans built:
Temples(which were the shrines on top of pyramids)
The materials the Mayans used are:
What materials did they use?
Did you know that? The ancient Mayans put paintings on the temple walls.
During the festivals the Mayans performed chants and dances. Here is a video:
Find out why later...
either born into this position or criminals or prisoners of war
Chores included heavy construction work or transporting goods for trade