American History Honors
18 September 2015
The Ancient Mayans
The ancient Mayans were an ancient civilization indigenous to Mexico and Central America, specifically the lands comprised of modern day Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas in Mexico and southward through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. Their origins are still being debated and no one knows for sure how they came to be but Dr.Takeshi Inomata says the most likely explanation is “Mayan culture developed as part of a broader social movement that unfurled across Mesoamerica — a region extending from central Mexico to Central America — between the years 1500 and 800 BC.” The Mayans had a very simple system of economy. They did not use any form of money, they traded goods. There were two types of goods traded by the Mayans: Prestige items and Subsistence items. Prestige items were things gold, copper, jade, ritual items, etc. that were a symbol of higher status. Subsistence items were things like food, clothing, tools, etc. that were …show more content…
Unlike the Incas and the Aztecs, the Mayans were not one unified empire. They were a series of city-states in the same area, linked to one another by language, trade, and certain cultural similarities. However they often went to war with each other over resources, power, and influence. Wars and major raids were led by the ahau (King). It is believed that many cities, especially larger ones, had large, skilled armies. Most Mayan cities had to build walls around them for defense in case a rival city was going to attack. Sometimes they got so desperate that some buildings in the city would be disassembled for stone to build a wall. Between 700 and 900 A.D. most of the Mayan cities in the central and southern regions of the civilization had been abandoned. The cause of the civilizations decline is unknown, but warfare almost certainly had something to do with their
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The Mayans lived in Southern Mexico and Central America in their capital, Tikal, which is in present day Guatemala. The Mayans were known for their engineering, one structure they were famous for is their pyramid temple in Tikal (Document 1). This pyramid was the tallest structure in the Americas up until the 20th century and is still standing today. The government must have been strong and well organized in order to carry out such a large task. The Mayan religion had multiple gods and this pyramid was most likely devoted to one or used as a place for sacrifices. Another accomplishment of the Mayans was the creation of their calendar. An extra document that would be useful is one that explains how the calendar was created. The Mayans must have studied astronomy and math to a great length. Similar to the Ancient Egyptians, they wrote with symbols and pictures known as glyphs that were used in the calendar. These glyphs were gods, such as Zotz (Document 2). The use of glyphs is an acknowledgement of a writing system, which is another accomplishment.
Starting with the economy of each empire, unlike the Inca the Maya based their economy food and agriculture. The Inca’s however, had a social economy, in which the government would take taxes, and with a certain amount of those taxes the Gov would give a portion of the money to the poor.
The Maya and Aztec civilizations were both indigenous people that flourished in Mesoamerica during different periods of time. Maya 's classic period is dated from 250 to 900 AD, which was considered to be the peak of their civilization. They covered much of the Yucatan Peninsula and were centered in what is now known as Guatemala. The Aztecs dominated from 1325 AD to 1521 AD, in what is now modern day Mexico. Although they shared cultural similarities such as their social structure, they also had their differences in military and religious rituals.
The Maya Civilization originated in the Yucatán region during the Preclassic Period at around 2000 BC. There is some argument as to when the Preclassic Period began for the Maya. It 's argued to have began as late as 2600 BC, while there 's claim that it 's earlier because there are permanent Maya settlements along the Pacific coast that date to 1800 BC. A difference of eight hundred years, depending on region.
The ancient Mayans were a very well developed society with a very accurate calendar, skilled architects, artisans, extensive traders and hunters. They are known to have developed medicine and astronomy as well. All of this was developed while the Europeans were still in the Dark Ages.
When the Spanish began to arrive in Mexico and in Central America in the early 15th century, one of the many civilizations they found was the Maya. The Maya, building upon the Olmec culture, were located in present-day Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, southern Mexico, and the Yucatan Peninsula. Even though they had many similarities, the Maya were separated by language differences. Because of that they were organized into city-states. Since there wasn’t a single city-state powerful enough to impose a political structure, the period from 200 A.D. to the arrival of the Spanish was characterized by the struggle of rival kingdoms for dominance.
Instead of unifying their empire, the Mayan civilization had “city-states”. “City-states only ruled the surrounding area, or nearby states if they were powerful enough” (http://latinamericanhistory.about.com). The idea of “kings” wasn’t apparent until the late preclassic periods. Mayan kings claim to have descended from the gods and planets. “The Kings and royal family had important roles at public ceremonies. They channeled their connection to the Gods through sacrifices, dance, spiritual trances and hallucinogenic enemas” (http://latinamericanhistory.about.com). The Mayans political system didn’t fully develop until the Classic Era. This system had a four-tiered political hierarchy, starting with the kings and his major cities. After the major cities came small groups of vassal city-states. The third tier in the hierarchy was the affiliated villages. Finally, the fourth tier, the hamlets, cities devoted to
The Maya were an advanced society, rich and full extraordinary architecture with great complexity of patterns and variety of expressions, that flourished in Mesoamerica long before the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. They were skilled architects, building prodigious cities of primarily of limestone that remain a thousand years after their civilization fell into decline. Greatness and Grandeur was the signature of all Mayan cities, from the terminal pre-classic period and continued until the abandonment of all the city states by the beginning of the ninth century. The Maya built pyramids, temples, palaces, walls, residences and more. The limestone structures, faced with lime stucco, were the hallmark of ancient Maya architecture.
When people think of the Mayans, they think of people that live in the deep, dark jungle. People are wrong. The Mayans are a smart group of people that lived in a big city on the top of the mountain. Their culture was centered on their belief in many gods. The ancient Maya were religious people that enjoyed practicing their religion by using sacrifices, sport and a strong belief in the afterlife.
The Mayan civilization was located in southeastern Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. One of the first American civilizations, it lasted from about 1000 B.C.-1542 A.D. Their civilization flourished during the Sixth Century. They built many temples and over forty cities. The Mayan population consisted of almost fifteen million people who were all living in one of the many cities. The Mayan people were extremely religious and believed in multiple gods which meant they were polytheistic. Their most commonly worshiped god was the Maize God, or god of corn, as corn was the most grown and most relied on crop. The Mayans grew all of their own food so they needed to have useful farming methods. The one they used most often was the slash and burn method, which involved cutting down trees and burning them to make the soil fertil which was necessary to grow crops. This method worked for many years, but soon started to backfire. The Mayans were ahead of their time, but that did not prevent their mysterious decline which occurred between the years 800 A.D.-900 A.D. Although it is not known exactly why the powerful empire fell, but there are various probable theories. The mysterious decline of the Mayans may have been caused by
In South America the Mayans were the most dominant civilization in modern day Guatemala. The Mayans grew to the height of their rule from 300 - 900 AD. They began and fought wars with smaller civilizations solely for religious purposes. Provoking and fighting wars primarily to imprison their enemy and use them for human sacrifice to appease their gods. Goods were collected as religious offerings throughout the Mayan domain. These Mayan soldiers believed that they needed to provide the Gods with human sacrifices so the crops can grow and prosper. The King of the Mayans truly believed that they needed more people to sacrifice to please their gods so they could have a productive harvest season and live. The Mayans needed to continue to conquer others because they constantly needed sacrifices for their many religious ceremonies. Similarly to the Mayans, the Aztecs dominated massive territories throughout Mesoamerica. The Aztecs began their reign after fall of the Mayans. Religion was the main power in the Aztec empire as religious leaders appointed the King. The Aztecs grew an empire of over a million people who were primarily conquered tribes. The Aztecs empire grew as a result of their agriculture. Successful crop growth fueled the Aztec army who in return conquered more territories. While when the aztecs conquered people they allowed
In the Central America, most notably the Yucatan Peninsula, are the Maya, a group of people whose polytheistic religion and advanced civilization once flourished (Houston, 43). The Maya reached their peak during the Classic Period from around CE 250 to the ninth century CE when the civilization fell and dispersed (Sharer, 1). Although much has been lost, the gods and goddesses and the religious practices of the Classic Maya give insight into their lives and reveal what was important to this society.
The ancient Mayans, a diverse group of indigenous people who lived in the Yucatan Peninsula, had one of the most sophisticated civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. They were responsible for a number of remarkable scientific achievements in agriculture, astronomy and communications.Early Mayans developed a farming society, they were able to adapted to their environment buy using a system of clearing the dense rain forests called slash and burn which made farming easier. their farming consisted of their most important crop, maize. They would also cultivated beans, squash, maize together they called this process the three sisters this was important to the Mayan because it was a nutritionally complete diet. Astronomy was one of the greatest achievements of the Mayan Empire, The Mayans knew how many days were in a year and also developed a calendar according to their knowledge of astronomy. Another great achievement of the Mayan Empire is their system ...
The Maya civilization is a very important culture that has left a great impact on our world today. They are known for their written language, art, mathematical system and astronomical system. The Maya territory includes Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, and southern Mexico. In these areas the Maya thrived in their religious practices, politics, and their use of the territory.