Mayan Journal: Archeologist Zoey Viera<br />The year is 2110. I am venturing back as far as 2,000 B.C. and all the way up ...
Mayan journal
Mayan journal
Mayan journal
Mayan journal
Mayan journal
Mayan journal
Mayan journal
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Mayan journal

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Mayan journal

  1. 1. Mayan Journal: Archeologist Zoey Viera<br />The year is 2110. I am venturing back as far as 2,000 B.C. and all the way up to 1244 A.D. Within ten days, I hope to discover many aspects of Mayan history and culture, as well as successes and failures. The Ancient Mayans allow for many of our advances in science, mathematics, and agriculture today. This research will help me construct a better understanding of the root of civilization and the foundation of human society.<br />Day 1: Pop 0 (2600 B.C.)<br />Maya is on its way to power; the Olmec civilization is prospering and village farming is established. Overall, the Mayan people speak variations of Nab'ee Maya' Tzij ("the old Maya Language"). According to Zotz, a young, indigenous farm-boy, the leading crop is maize, and the main form of farming maize is known as Slash and Burn. Slash and Burn requires sacrificing a portion of Maya’s extensive jungle. They cut down all the vegetation, and burn it, so that the ashes from the burned vegetation provide a good crop land for many years. <br />Day 2: Zip 14 (700 A.D.)<br />A system of writing has developed all throughout Mesoamerica. Maya’s calligraphic style and pictorial complexity make their glyphs the most unique. This is the beginning of a truly advanced civilization for the Mayan. Just admiring the temples of Tikal, anybody could see that hieroglyphics are written everywhere to tell of legends. A temple guard, Ac Yanto, speaks of their creation myth. This began with four gods in the sky, and with a suggestion from the yellow god, they wanted to create man. The yellow, red, and black gods created man heartless. But then, the fourth god, the god without color, wanted to make man out of his very flesh. Though the man of flesh was not indestructible, he could feel, speak, and, best of all, praise the gods. <br />Day 3: Tzec 2 (400 B.C.)<br />The earliest major use of the Mayan solar calendar has arrived. Today I encountered several Mayan scholars in the Templo del Sol (solar temple). They speak of dates and predictions. Knowing the Earth’s tragedies of my time, this dating is quite accurate. Their calendar consists of a 365 day agricultural plan, as well as a 260 day sacred plan. The Long Count, the Tzolkin (divine calendar), and the Haab (civil calendar) are three different dating systems the Mayan use, written in parallel. Of these three, the Haab has an exact relationship to the length of our year. The dating of this journal is in Haab. <br />Day 4: Xul 0 (100 B.C)<br />I traveled to the city of Teotihuacan, which was just founded as the cultural, religious, and trading center of Mesoamerica. At this time Teotihuacan is about 20 square km, with about 60,000 to 80,000 inhabitants; it is the sixth largest city in the world! This city is home to the Sun Pyramid, located in the center of the Avenue of the Dead, and the Moon Pyramid, located in the far north of the Avenue of the Dead. Both pyramids are used for extreme rituals and gatherings. <br />Day 5: Mol 7 (50 A.D.)<br />The Maya city of Cerros was built roughly around 50 B.C. Over the years, their people built complex temples and ball courts. Ball games are very sacred to the Mayan. Speaking to a warrior of Cerros, Ah Puch, this game is based on the Myth of the Hero-Twins. In the myth, the Hero Twins had to battle the gods of death from the underworld by playing a ball game. The court would represent the earth, whereas the ball is believed to represent the moon and the sun. This game, played by warriors and kings, ends with the loser being beheaded. Unfortunately, the city of Cerros mysteriously disappears this year without warning.<br />Day 6: Chen 6 (683 A.D)<br />At the age of 80, The Emperor Pacal dies and is buried in the Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque. Pacal was one of the most beloved emperors, who worshiped the sun god (most emperors did not). Throughout 600 A.D., a bizarre, unknown event destroys all civilization at Teotihuacan, along with the empire it supported. With a population of 50,000, Tikal becomes the largest city-state in Mesoamerica. Over at least 123 square km of land, Tikal has a total of five step pyramids and three acropolises, including tomb chambers for the nobility, and a paved plaza. According to the indigenous of this city, it has several reservoirs to store water and it is the center for trade and farming.<br />Day 7: Zac 14 (751 A.D.)<br />Along with contradictory trade and inter-state conflict, this year notes the first signs of Maya’s decline. In all, strong Mayan economics are beginning to break down. Though farmers are paid little, agriculture is a vital contributor to the economy and trade in many Maya communities. In fact, the majority of scholars I spoke with believe that decline in many of the central lowland populations during this period was partially due to agricultural deficiency. They believe technological advances of irrigation and raised fields will strengthen the economy.<br />Day 8: Muan 12 (900 A.D.)<br />In 899 B.C. Tikal was abandoned. Rumors of plague, a natural disaster, and over-population are told throughout, yet the reason, like many others, is still unknown. This year, 900 A.D., marks the collapse of the southern lowland cities, yet Maya cities in the northern Yucatan continue to thrive. The fall of these southern lowlands are unknown, many theories are made, but no one knows for sure. Now Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Mayapan are the only Mayan cities left to flourish in the Northern Yucatan area. <br />Day 9: Pax 17 (1224 A.D.)<br />Many northern cities began to depopulate in 1200 A.D. Now, the city of Chichen Itza is abandoned by the Toltecs in 1224 A.D, and people known as the Uicil-abnal, who later call themselves the Itza, settle in this desolate city. Walls covered with snakes and skulls, images of a reclining Chac-Mool (red jaguar), and the colossal statues of the Atlantes demonstrate Toltec art. The Toltec influence the Itza in not only art, but also religion; they introduced human sacrifice. <br />Day 10: Cumku 19 (1244 A.D.)<br />Once again Chichen Itza is abandoned mysteriously by the Itza. At this point, it seems like all Ancient Maya cities are deserted for unexplained reasons. Though uninhabited, the art and agriculture of Chichen Itza adheres to the culture of the ingenuous once living there. A ball court, about 270 feet by 200 feet, is used for dance performances and extreme sport competitions. Also, the Pyramid El Castillo (castle) is the site of the Equinox solar phenomena. These are two extraordinary pieces of architecture and design. <br />This Mayan expedition makes it clear as to why this civilization is such a mystery. With all the Mayan cities disappearing without warning, I am left with more questions than answers. <br />

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