The Maya Civilization Created by Christina Dunne
Who were the Maya?• The Maya were an ancient civilization• Their people were one of the most advanced civilizations in the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of the Europeans.• This civilization flourished from the year 250 to the year 909.• Archaelogists are still puzzled today why the Maya people abandon their cities.
Where did the Maya people live?The Maya lived in:• eastern & southern Mexico• Guatemala• Belize• El Salvador• and western Hondorus
What did these people look like?• They were short but very sturdy.• The average woman was about 4ft. 8 in.• The average man was about 5ft. 1 in.• They had black hair.• They had dark skin and brown eyes.
Farming Became an Important Way of Life• Farming changed the Indians’ way of life.• They began building permanent homes and had more belongings.• They lived closer together to work and protect their fields.• They made laws.• They worshipped gods of nature, such as rain, earth, wind, and sun.
What farming method did the Maya use?• They used the slash and burn technique. They cut down the forest with stone axes. Then they set fire to the fallen trees and brush during the months of March and April.
What did they do once the land was cleared?• They planted in May. A farmer would use a pointed stick to make a hole. Then five or six grains of corn were dropped in the hole. Then the hole was covered with soil.• The crop was harvested by the men.
What was their main crop?• There main crop was maize, a form of corn.• But they also planted squash, beans, pumpkins, and chili-peppers.
What farming technique did they use for hilly areas?• When they were planting in an area that was hilly, they used terraced farming.• They dug into hills and created flat steps where they could plant rows of plants.
Were they gatherers?• They gathered crops that grew wild such as papayas, bananas, nuts, and plantains
Why was the Maya civilization considered so advanced?• One reason they were considered so advanced was the Mayan calendar. The Mayan calendar consisted of two calendars. One was a religious calendar, and one was a solar calendar. Each calendar operated independently.• They determined that a year was a little more than 365 days. However, unlike our calendar, their calendar had 18 months of 20 days and one month of 5 days.
The Maya were known for their number system.• The Maya used a system of dots and bars to write numbers. They even had a symbol for zero.
The Maya also had a written language.• The Maya used picture symbols for words. This is called hieroglyphics.• They carved these symbols on stone or painted them on bark.• There were about 800 symbols.
They were also known for their buildings.• They built huge limestone temples, pyramids, and palaces that still stand. today without the use of heavy equipment. They pushed the heavy stones over great distances using logs as rollers.
Did the Maya people live in these elaborate buildings?• The elaborate buildings were found in their cities.• The buildings were used as centers for religious ceremonies, courts, and important festivals.• At the bottom of the buildings were rooms used by priests.• But the people lived outside the city centers.• The rich lived closer to the city than the farmers.
What were their homes like?• The rich lived in houses of stone covered with stucco. Their rooms were built around a central patio.• The farmers lived in huts near the fields. The walls of their homes were made out of wooden poles tied together by vines. Their roofs were thatched and made out of palm leaves or grasses.
What mystery is associated with the Maya civilization?• After 900 A.D. the Maya cities were abandoned.• Archaeologists are puzzled why this occurred. There are many theories: • A great famine or sickness swept the land. • Their cities were attacked by others. • The poor revolted against the rich or the rulers