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The Maya Civilization

An SRA School Project. By: Joshua Stover

Joshua Stover

on 13 December 2012

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Transcript of The Maya Civilization

By: Joshua Stover Maya Civilization The General - Located in Mexico
- Came thousands of years before
the Aztecs
- No centrally controlled empire
- Instead = City States
- City States: Controlled by their
own ruling families
- Major urban centers - One of the first to have a complete system of writing
- Their alphabet was phonetic, meaning that their letter/words could be spoken
- 100's of phonetic symbols Stars - Priests studied the night sky for hundreds of years
- Very important part of their day-to-day life
- Calculated a calender had only one error over a 6,000 year period
- Tracted the sun and star's patterns in the sky
- Predicted things like famines and floods by studying the sky - helped them plan
ahead = planting
- Believed in a flat earth Geography - Located in the Yucatan Penizula
- In Mexico
- It's Great cities included: Copan,
Quirigua, Xunantunich, Yaxha,

- Parts of Guetamala
- Parts of El Salvador
- Parts of Honduras
- Parts of Belize Religion Arts Government - Worshiping their gods was
a huge part of their daily life
- The Maya worshiped their
gods of nature every day
- Some gods included:
- God of Rain
- Lady Rainbow
- God of Maize (corn)
- God of Sun
- The Maya believed that without these
gods, there would be no crops and
everyone would starve Afterlife - The Maya believed in an
- When a Mayan's relative
died, the family would bury
them under the floor of their
- They did this to keep their
ancestors easily posted on
their daily life - They believed that if they had a rough life, that their afterlife would compensate for that Religious "Worlds" 1 2 3 - The Maya have 3 layers of "worlds" - The Heavens - The Earth - The Underworld The Maya conducted many ceremonies to keep the demons, creatures and gods in the Underworld, where they belonged Ceremonies & Rituals - - During certain religious ceremonies, priests dressed up like jaguars
- They wanted to be equally as scary as the
inhabitants of the Underworld if they ever
faced them Temples - Were places of worship
- The homes of many priests

- At the foot of the temples: played games
- Had a central courtyard: it offered
privacy to those that lived there
- Never used as tombs; the tombs were
in the pyramids Palaces - Were built for the Mayan rulers
- Each city had a palace built for that city's ruler
- Typically ONE palace per city - One noble family controlled
each city
- Ruling noble died: job passed
to son (male)
- Did not rule alone
- A Council of Elders controlled
Laws and Law enforcement
- Warriors controlled war - very strict but fair
- Examples: - if you stole something, the person you stole from decides your punishment

- less severe crimes: your hair would get cut short short hair: sign a disgrace

- a medium crime: your stuff sold at auction = 240,000 sq km Family Life - 5-7 family members
- Men: Hunted/Farmed
- Woman: Cook/Wove/Watched Children
- Children: Helped their mothers with chores Inventions/Achievements - The Mayas created the first chocolate drink Discovered - The constellations Itzam Ye and the White Boned Serpent - Children = treated like adults
- Main role was to help the adults
- Noble family children when to school
- Cross-eyed and flat foreheads were signs of beauty Food - Breakfast consisted of hot chocolate, tortillas, and tamales - Their diets consisted of meals of corn, squash, and beans, supplemented with an occasional turkey or rabbit. FARMING - The Maya were mostly farmers
- They grew corn, beans, squash, pear, avocado, sweet potato, guava, chili peppers, cocoa beans, vanilla beans, papaya, tomatoes, and various fruits. They used the "slash and burn" farming technique

They would clear the land by cutting down and burning all the foliage in the spring before the summer rains

Then plant by poking sticks in the ground and planting seeds in the holes CLOTHING - Very STRICT dress code; if violated = death
- Women: Wore
- a skirt with a sash
- a mantle wrapped
around the head
- a huipil (oversized
blouse or scarf)
- Men: Wore
- loincloths
- added shirts, tunics, and cloaks if the weather was cold
- Children: Wore
PEASANTS LE LEADERS PRIESTS NOBLES - The Maya sculpted, painted, wove, and created elaborate costumes
- They carved jade
- Jade was worth more than gold Music Games The Maya only used flutes for their musical ceremonies The Maya played a game called ball game

Was a ritualistic game SHELTER - Adobe
houses - Thatched Roofs ARCHITECTURE - The Maya were known for creating
elaborate ceremonial architecture
- Examples: Pyramids, Temples,
Palaces, and Observatories
- These structures were all built without
metal tools Communication - Mayan language was
formed from the
Amerind family
- A lot of the Mayan
words are based from
common cultural
such as: salt, chili, and beans Math/Numbers Would Mean 0 Would Mean 1 Would Mean 5 Trade - Mayan trade began in 300 BC
- Traded luxurious and everyday items Jewelry - Was for the noble people
- Types of jewelry: necklaces, bracelets,
breastplates, ear flares, labrets, and nose
plugs Climate Its climate varied from tropical to desert. Natural Resources Petroleum, Silver, Copper, Gold, Lead, Zinc, Natural gas, and Timber Archeology Medicine - The Maya used "painkillers"
- During rituals and their day-to-day life
- Hallucinogenic Drugs Used:
- Certain mushrooms, tobacco, and
plants used to make alcoholic
substance - Nearly 20 Mayan "ruins" sites
- Date from about 3,000 years ago
- Ruins scattered throughout the Yucatan Peninsula

- Chichen Itza is the most often visited
- Thought of as one of the new "seven wonders" of the world Chichen Itza - One of Mexico's most popular tourist destinations
- 1,500 years old
- The main attraction is the central pyramid, also known as El Castillo (to the left) WAR - The Maya lived in relative peace for
the first 200 years
- After that, their main "wars" were
wars between their own city-states
- When waring, not about tactics;
instead, rituals/gods
- Weapons used: Bow and arrows,
knifes, and spears Conquests/Expansion/Decline - 250-290 BC = The Maya's expansion
within themselves (figuring out life)
- Most famous conquest = The Spanish
Conquest of the Yucatan
- This conquest ended the Mayan's "reign"
- The Mayas = harder to conquer than the
Aztecs or Incas
- It took the Spainish 170 years to conquer
because of the city-states (they had to
capture each one individually) Maya Civilization Begins 2600 BC Writing of the Mayans Created Maya Civilization Ends Earliest known solar calendars were carved Mayan city of Cerros built with huge ball court The first GREAT Mayan city is built: Tikal Trade between Mayan cities declined Tikal is abandoned Chichen Itza is abandoned for reasons unknown 700 BC 400 BC 50 BC 500 AD 751 AD 899 AD 1244 AD 1511 AD The End. Audience: *claps* Sources - http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1574-the-ancient-maya-a-commercial-empire
- http://www.neok12.com/Maya-Civilization.htm
- http://mayas.mrdonn.org/dailylife.html
- http://www.kidskonnect.com/subjectindex/16-educational/history/256-ancient-mayan.html
- http://listverse.com/2009/09/21/top-10-fascinating-facts-about-the-mayans/
- http://www.brainpopjr.com/socialstudies/ancienthistory/mayacivilization/grownups.weml
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