The Maya: An Ancient Civilization Essay

The Maya: An Ancient Civilization Essay

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The Mayans were an influential ancient civilization who created many things that are still used in modern society such as mathematics, the calendar, and pottery techniques. The traditions of the Maya were what connected the different cities because they did not have one single city ruling their civilization (Maloy 12). First of all, the Mayans did not believe in natural beauty. Instead they shaped their beauty by crossing their babies eyes, adding clay to enlarge their noses, and flattening their foreheads with a board(26). Another tradition that the Maya had was that they buried the dead under their house so as to keep them close (21). If the deceased were not buried under the house of the family then they would most likely be buried in caves. This was because the Maya believed that the spirit took a journey through caves to get to the underworld. Therefore, if the dead were buried in caves they would have a shorter journey to the underworld (29). In order to keep track of time the Maya used two different calendars. Their religious calendar consisted of 260 days meanwhile their farming calendar consisted of 365 days (32). In fact the Maya calendar was one of the most accurate in the ancient world (Maya Culture). To entertain themselves the Maya created a sport where they used body parts other than their hands and feet to get a ball through a hoop. The losing team was believed to often be killed as an offering (Maloy 27). In order to sustain their society the Mayans built reservoirs to maintain a water source and discovered a way to farm using swamps (12). In addition to farming in swamps the Maya used the slash and burn method to create more room for crops. However, with this technique they could only plant crops in that area for...


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...base page on the leaders of the Maya. It was very helpful because it gave insight on what kinds of people helped perform the ceremonies that the Maya often performed.



3. Sharer, Robert J. "Maya Glyphs." ABC CLIO. N.p., 2013. Web. Nov. 2013.


This short database entry talked about the Mayans writing. This was a very helpful entry because it had a lot of good information.


4. Bialo, Ellen. "Maya Culture." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.


This database entry was one very general but contained a lot of different topics. It was helpful to use this entry while finding the last details to tie everything together.


5.Maloy, Jackie. The Ancient Maya. New York: Scholastic, 2010. Print.




This was a short book with an overall summary of the Maya. It was helpful because it showed many different topics of the Maya life in one source.

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