The great American civilizations: The mayas

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The great American civilizations: The mayas

  1. 1. The Great American Civilizations The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times
  2. 2. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times Spanish explores found three great civilizations, in the 16th century, at the American Continent.   Two in Mesoamerica – the Mayas and the Aztecs, Aztecs And the other in South America – the Incas. Incas The earliest civilization was the Maya. Maya Arrived in the Yucatan Peninsula, east of Mexico, and settled in the present-day territories of Guatemala, Belice, and Honduras.
  3. 3. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times They were organized in independent city states. states  city state – is a territory with a government and an army of its own. The main Mayan cities were Chichen Itza, Palenque and Tikal.
  4. 4. Tikal Picture from: 2011-Ediciones Santilla inc; Social Studies 5 text book
  5. 5. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times The city state was ruled by the priest. This kind of government in known as a theocracy. theocracy  Theocracy – is a form of government in which power is in the hands of religious leaders. They were very respected, they were considered messengers of the Mayan gods on Earth.
  6. 6. Picture from: 2011-Ediciones Santilla inc; Social Studies 5 text book
  7. 7. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times The Maya society was organized in clans. clans     clan – is a group of people who have a common ancestor, in which family ties and obedience to a leader are very important. The members were organized in social levels, according to the activity they engaged in. Those who held the highest level (the priests) were the most respected. The ones occupying the lowest level (the slaves) were the least respected.
  8. 8. Picture from: 2011-Ediciones Santilla inc; Social Studies 5 text book
  9. 9. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times The Mayas were an agricultural people. The products they grew were corn, cocoa, cotton, and tomato. Their cultivation system was called milpa, milpa or land clearing. They burned the existing vegetation and used the ashes as fertilizer.
  10. 10. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times Religion was influential in almost all aspects of Maya life. The Mayas worshipped many gods. This kind of belief is known as polytheism. polytheism Their gods were related to elements of nature. (rain, earth and sun).
  11. 11. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times The priest received the messages from the gods at the ceremonial centers. They also engaged in ball games that had religious significance, because they were part of the worship to the sun god.
  12. 12. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times Mayas acquired knowledge in astronomy, architecture, and mathematics. They observed the stars. From what they saw, the made two calendars:   a religious one, for the worship of the gods, which was made up two hundred and sixty days; and a common one for daily life, which had three hundred and sixty-five days, just like our own.
  13. 13. The Mayas: A People Ahead of Their Times The most original characteristics of Maya architecture, the great pyramidal temples. Other cultural accomplishments were the use of the zero in Mathematics and hieroglyphic writing, which consisted of a system of drawings known as glyphs that represented objects or ideas.
  14. 14. Information and pictures obtained from:  2011 – Ediciones Santillana, Inc.; Social Studies 5, text book. (p.106-111)

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