Maya Civilization

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The presentation that I used for my class when we discussed the Maya Civilization.

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Maya Civilization

  1. 1. <ul><li>300-900 A.D. </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Yucatan Peninsula & Central America </li></ul><ul><li>Settled in dense rain forests and cleared land for living and farming </li></ul><ul><li>Chichén Itzá- Center of Mayan trade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We don’t know much about Chichén Itzá </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Archeological evidence suggests collapse was violent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Largest Mayan city- Tikal (modern day Guatemala) </li></ul>
  3. 6. <ul><li>Arranged into city-states </li></ul><ul><li>Every city-state had a ruling chief </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ruling chief usually a man though sometimes women served </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nobles under the chief led the military, collected taxes, and enforced laws </li></ul>
  4. 7. <ul><li>Traders – No carts or transportation, carried goods on back </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traded honey, cocoa, and feathers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Farming Method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cleared rainforests and created raised fields that caught rain water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Channels drained excess water </li></ul></ul>
  5. 8. <ul><li>Polytheistic – Over 160 Gods </li></ul>God of Death God of Rain
  6. 9. <ul><li>Sacrifices took place on top of tall pyramids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sacrifice needed to keep order in the universe </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Three planes: underworld, sky, and earth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Underworld reached through caves and ball courts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No clear concept of good or bad – decided by season </li></ul><ul><li>Suicides, sacrifices, women who died in childbirth, and warriors went straight to heaven </li></ul>
  7. 11. <ul><li>Chief at the top </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Considered god-like </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moved on to sons – when sons born, blood sacrifice of chief’s blood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be king, have to take a captive and use captive as part of ceremonial sacrifice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ruling nobles </li></ul>
  8. 12. <ul><li>Priests – important because only they could perform religious ceremonies needed for success in war and good harvests </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of Mayas were farmers – grew corn, beans and squash </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Men cultivated while women made food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid taxes in food and helped build temples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beauty standards – skull deformation, piercings, and tattoos </li></ul></ul>
  9. 13. <ul><ul><li>Hieroglyphs – just recently deciphered </li></ul></ul>
  10. 14. <ul><ul><li>Books kept on bark </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ball games </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rubber ball – forbidden to use open hands or feet – usually used hips </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Captain of losing team or other members sometimes sacrificed </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 15. <ul><li>Math </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Priests decided ceremony times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numbering system included zero </li></ul></ul>
  12. 16. <ul><li>Calendar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>365 day solar calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>260 day calendar based on the orbit of Venus </li></ul></ul>
  13. 17. Mayan 365 day calendar with 260 day calendar added
  14. 18. <ul><li>Around 900 A.D., Mayan cities abandoned – don’t know why </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequent warfare causes Mayans to abandon homes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overpopulation = over farming = abandoning homes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peasant revolts from heavy taxing </li></ul></ul>

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