End of the mayan empire

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End of Mayan Empire

End of Mayan Empire

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  • 1. END OF THE MAYAN EMPIRE What happened to the Mayans?
  • 2. Review Information… The End of the Maya Empire: In 800 C.E., the Maya Empire consisted of a number of powerful city-states spreading from southern Mexico to northern Honduras. These cities were home to vast populations and were ruled by a dominant elite who could command mighty armies and claimed to be descended from the stars and planets themselves. Maya culture was at its peak: mighty temples were lined up in precision with the night sky, stone carvings were made to celebrate the accomplishments of great leaders and long-distance trade was flourishing. Yet a hundred years later, the cities were in ruins, abandoned and left to the jungle to reclaim. What happened to the Maya?
  • 3. Classic Maya Culture: • The Classic Era Maya civilization was quite advanced. Powerful city- states wanted power militarily and culturally. Close ties with the grand city of Teoithuacán, far to the north, helped Maya civilization reach its peak around 600-800 C.E. The Maya were keen astronomers, plotting every aspect of the sky and accurately predicting eclipses and other phenomena. They had a series of overlapping calendars which were quite accurate. They were polytheistic which meant they believed in many gods.
  • 4. The Collapse of Maya Civilization: The fall of the Maya is one of history’s great mysteries. One of the mightiest civilizations in the ancient Americas simply fell into ruin in a very short time. Mighty cities like Tikal were abandoned and Maya stonemasons stopped making temples. There are many theories as to what happened to the Maya, but little consensus among experts.
  • 5. Theory 1 -The Disaster Theory: Early Maya researchers believed that some catastrophic event may have doomed the Maya. An earthquake, volcanic eruption or sudden epidemic disease could have destroyed cities and killed or displaced tens of thousands of people, bringing the Maya civilization crashing down. These theories have been discarded today, however, largely because of the fact that the decline of the Maya took about 200 years: some cities fell while others thrived, at least for a while longer. An earthquake, disease or other widespread calamity would have snuffed out the great Maya cities more or less simultaneously. *STOP AND DO QUESTION! (A)
  • 6. Theory 2: The Warfare Theory The Maya were once thought to have been a peaceful, pacific culture. New discoveries and newly deciphered stone carvings clearly indicate that the Maya warred frequently and viciously among themselves. They fought for land, resources, or religious reasons within their City-States. War brings with it economic disaster as well as collateral damage that could have caused a domino effect in the Maya cities.
  • 7. Theory 3: The Famine Theory Many historians thought that part of why the Mayan civilization fell apart was that they could not grow enough food to feed their growing population. -Farming was not easy in some regions they lived. They lived in thick forests with little surface water and poor soil.
  • 8. D) What did the Mayans do to try to solve farming issues? -In mountain areas, they built terraces or flat, earth steps into the hills to create more space for farming. -In swamps, they constructed canals to drain extra water.
  • 9. E) They also tried SLASH AND BURN AGRICULTURE! -This is technique was used to clear land by purposely cutting and burning plants/trees. They would then plant their crops in the cleared land spaces. -Unfortunately, what they did not know was that this also took nutrients out of the soil. -Soil could then only be used 2-4 years before it no longer could grow crops.