OLMEC Photo courtesy of Michel Meynsbrughen 1200BCE - 400BCE It is typically thought that the colossal heads (currently the count is at 17) were actually the portraits of leaders. Although most of these have been found around San Lorenzo and La Venta, the stone used (volcanic basalt) was transported vast distances, the transportation method still a mystery. They range from 1.5 to 3.5 meters in height, while some weigh up to 20 tones. “ La Cultura Madre” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Estela_C_de_Tres_Zapotes.jpg Isthmian Script - Stela C from Tres Zapotes shows the Long Count date: 7,16,6,16,18. This corresponds to September 3rd, 32BCE.
OLMEC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Olmec_Bird_jug.jpg Photos courtesy of Madman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Olmec-style_bottle_1.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Olmec_mask_at_Met.jpg Jadite Mask - function unknown http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Kunz_Axe.jpg The Kunz votive axe head made from jade had solely a ceremonial function. Perhaps the face is that of a shaman, with the mouth of a jaguar - an empowering symbol. An excellent and beautiful tool - considering the hardness of the material. 1200BCE - 400BCE
TEOTIHUACÁN Photo courtesy of Philipp Kleinschmit Avenue of the Dead The Pyramid of the Moon The Pyramid of the Sun An Important trading center, Teotihuacan was a city of over 2,000 structures. Although farmers lived in wooden houses, others lived in stone structures,and some of these houses had very elaborate drainage system. In 400CE, with around 125,000 inhabitants Teotihuacán was the sixth largest city in the world - 300 years later it was found virtually abandoned. First Great City of the Western Hemisphere,Teotihuacán was known by the Aztecs as, “the place where men become gods” 200BCE - 650BCE
TEOTIHUACÁN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Teotihuacancityplan.png Plan view of the ceremonial city center In 650AD, the ceremonial center was damaged extensively by fire, as act of arson quite possibly stemming from inhabitants of the city itself. There would be no “reconstruction” - and slowly the metropolis became a ghost town. Why did people leave this powerhouse trading center? Perhaps an over-exploitation of natural resources is the answer. Perhaps famine or drought. The answer may never be known. 200BCE - 650BCE
The Pyramid of the Moon This pyramid is a four-tiered structure located to the north on the Avenue of the Dead. A five-tiered platform was attached to the front. During the high point of the city most of the structures were stuccoed and painted. The Pyramid of the Sun This stepped pyramid is the third largest in the world and the largest in the Teotihuacan complex. It is actually made from several pyramids built on top of each other. It is made from earth and adobe bricks, then surfaced with small stones. TEOTIHUACÁN 200BCE - 650BCE Photos Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange
TEOTIHUACÁN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Taludtablerostyles.png http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Taludtablero.png A typical architectural style found in the pre-Columbian pyramids, Talud-tablero is made of of two parts: a steep slope broken up by intermittently placed tables. 200BCE - 650BCE Photo Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange
TEOTIHUACÁN 200BCE - 650BCE Quetzalpapalotl palace complex Photos Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange
Photos Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange TEOTIHUACÁN 200BCE - 650BCE
Teotihuacan's artistic tradition used pictorial forms of visual communication rather than glyphic writing and Teotihuacan art incorporates standardized glyphic elements. TEOTIHUACÁN Photo courtesy Michel Meynsbrughen Turquoise, coral, obsidian, and shell inlays are the materials that make up this mosaic mask. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Teotihuacan_mask_Branly_70-1999-12-1.jpg Stone mask from Teotihuacán. Stone, Mexico, Classical Period (3rd-7th century). http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Teotihuacan_mask_Louvre_MH_78-1-187.jpg Lithic mask from Teotihuacán. Mexico, Classical Period (3rd-7th century) 200BCE - 650BCE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Zea_mays.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:MyanRainGodChac0180Rot.jpg This Terra cotta Effigy Urns represents Chaac, the god of rain. DIETIES http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:MayanSunGodEffigyClip.jpg Maize - the staple food and symbol of life had its own god
Mayans The Mayans had an Olmec foundation. (The Olmecs were an earlier group of Meso-Americans, the Mayans worshipped Gods from Olmec times.) Mayans inhabited the Yucatan (in Mexico), Guatemala and Northern Honduras. They were able to keep large populations in the tropical rainforest where insects, animals, disease and climate could be a great obstacle. The Mayans were able to build great cities even thought they were technologically in the “stone age”, they didn’t have ploughs or metal tools and did not conceive of the wheel, but they still built large stone structures like the Egyptians. Earliest Mayans: 3rd or 4th century bc Greatest Period: between 6th and 9th centuries ad, this is when the best architecture, pottery and sculptures were produced. Religion: Religion was very important to the Mayan society and government, rulers were approved in religious ceremonies which included ritual sacrifice, worship was based on cycles. In order to successfully grow crops in the rain forest they had to accurately predict the natural cycles of their environment. From theses cycles developed carefully from astronomical observation came several cyclical calendar systems. These calendars where to keep the Mayans in sync with the natural cycle of the universe. One calendar was called TUN , this calendar was made up of 360 days plus 5 unlucky days, another calendar was called KATUN , this calendar was a cycle of 20 TUNS . The calendars developed by Mayans prove that they had a deep understanding of time.
TIKAL Photo Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange Aerial Plan View of the Tikal site. The two main pyramids sit opposite each other.
TIKAL Photos courtesy Ryan Weis Easterly Temple of the Grand Jaguar - 695CE Located in Guatamala, Tikal is the largest, and one of the most important “classic” Maya lowland cities. It is highly possible that the city had a direct influence / connection with Teotihuacán in the Mexican highlands, possibly through subjugation, by one known as Siyaj K'ak’, which translates as “Fire is Born”. By the end of the first millenium (CE), the city had been abandoned, possibly due to environmental factors. 9 levels comprise the tomb/temple, and these are thought to symbolize the 9 levels of the underground, or 9 gods that ruled over consecutive nights.
TIKAL Westerly Temple of the Masks Temple 5 Photos Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange Tikal was a risk in terms of city-planning. There were no local streams or lakes to support the water needs of the population. Instead they relied on Chultuns , or underground storage wells, which would collect the seasonal rainfall. Although this seemed a success, drought is still a possibility into why the civilization eventually collapsed.
TIKAL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Acropolis_del_Norte.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tikal_Ballcourt.jpg Ballcourt Northern Acropolis Tikal was often at war with fellow city-states, and certain alliances were born, much as in the Greek tradition, without the Greeks or their traditions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:TempleIIILintelMaudslay.jpg
Some sites for various local resources Photo Courtesy Wes Whanson
PALENQUE Photo courtesy Daniel Andres Forero http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:PacalII.jpg Pacal “shield” Photo courtesy George and Audrey DeLange Photo courtesy Hadley Coull Temple of the Inscriptions, tomb of Pacal
UXMAL Photo courtesy Claudia Martínez http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Arco_maya.jpg Photo courtesy of Sancho Panza The Corbelled Arch, which had also been invented in other parts of the world, was used extensively by the Maya. The were however, able to refine its use at Palenque, to span larger distances, create larger spaces, and thereby allowing more natural light from the exterior. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Corbelledarch.png 600CE - 1100CE Nunnery Quadrangle Photo courtesy George and Audrey DeLange
UXMAL Photo courtesy Michel Meynsbrughen Temple of the Magician Oval rather than rectalinear, the temple was built in five phases. The staircase was constructed as a steep 60 degree angle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Uxmal-Great-Pyramid-Sculptured-Temple.jpg Sculptured Walls of the Temple atop the Great Pyramid. 600CE - 1100CE Photo courtesy George and Audrey DeLange
GLYPHS http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Maya_numbers_0-20.png The Maya were one of the few civilizations (along with the Hindus and Babylonians) to discover the concept of “zero”
Photo courtesy Benjamin Earwicker Codex - only 4 remain CODICES
CODICES & MURALS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dresden_Codex_p09.jpg Interactive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SBmural.jpg Photo courtesy of Authenticmaya The San Bartolo Mural communicates the Maya myth of creation. The murals have been dated from around 100BCE.
GLYPHS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Palenque_glyphs-edit1.jpg Stucco glyphs at Palenque Interactive
BONAMPAK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Bonampak_painting%2Bcontrast.jpg The Temple of Fresco Murals - 790CE Actual historic events are realistically shown in three chambers.
Photos courtesy of Phil Carter BONAMPAK The murals dispelled the myth that the Maya were a completely peaceful, harmonious civilization. In the murals, scenes of war and “bloodletting” are evident, as well as indications that human sacrifice of prisoners of war, and even ritual cannibalism existed.
CHICHEN ITZA Photo courtesy Kashfia Rahman El Castillo - “The Castle” Chichén Itzá, the ancient city whose name means “in the mouth at the Itzáe's Well”, was, in its time of grandeur (between 800 and 1200 A.D.), the centre of political, religious and military power in Yucatán.
CHICHEN ITZA Photo courtesy Franklin Isabell Temple of the Warriors http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Karta_ChichenItza.PNG Photo Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange
CHICHEN ITZA On the Vernal Equinox the dying sun would cast a shadow of a serpent writhing down the steps of the pyramid. Photo courtesy tbee Photo courtesy Phil Carter Chocmool Photo Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange Jaguar
CHICHEN ITZA Photo courtesy Daniel Hatch The Observatory South of the Castillo is a strange round building known as the Carocal. Several of its windows point towards the equinox sunset and the southernmost and northernmost points on the horizon where Venus rises. (advanced astronomical knowledge) Photo Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange Photo Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange
CHICHEN ITZA Maya Ball Court http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Codex-borgia-tlachtli.png The Mayans were great sportsmen and build huge ball courts to play their games. The Great Ball court of Chichén Itzá are 545 feet long and 225 feet wide. A rubber ball was used, and losers were often sacrificed. Photo Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange Photo Courtesy George and Audrey DeLange
Questions 1.Who were the Olmec? 2. What is the Teotihuacan's artistic tradition? 3. What areas did the Mayans inhabit? 4. Describe the type of government the Maya civilization had. 5. What inspired the Mayans to develop a calendar system? 6. What domestic materials were used for Maya products, architecture, & fashion? 7. Who was Pacal, and why was he important? 8. Describe the design characteristics of the Maya. 9. Explain the decline of the Maya.