HI121 World History I Mayan Civilization Presentation


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  • Good Evening everyone…I would like to kindly ask you to put your pens down. Stop taking notes. Breathe. & Just listen.Our group kindly provided you with notes already…& everything that I will say is on that paper in front of you.So just sit back. Relax. Absorb information…it’ll happen by osmosis. Trust me.
  • I want you to picture this..-It’s thousands of years after the disappearance of the Olmecs.-Complex societies are springing up everywhere in all the MesoAmerican regions. [show a map later]-human population is growingPicture ceremonial centers popping up at sites far away from the Olmec heartlandSome evolving into genuine citiesAttracting large population of permanent residentsEmbarking on ambitious programs of constructionMaintaining marketsEncouragement of increased specialization of laborNetworks of long distance trade linked urban centersSocieties wanted to extend their influence to all parts of MesoAmericaIn the cities priest were devising languages & people were compiling a large body of astronomical knowledge.OH man! This was an exciting time!In short…a lot of things were happening… & MesoAmerica was the place to be!Now, if you still cant see it…then open your eyes…[show pics]THIS is WHERE we ARE at now.This is where I want to take all of you…at this period of time in history.And in particular…we take a look at one of the mysterious and remarkable society that had developed.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen…My name is Patricia Rodriguez& I present to you the Heirs of the Olmecs…THE MAYAS
  • Why the Mayas were so cool…Put yourself in their position…If I were a Maya…my people were cool becauseThey were the heirs of the Olmecs…one of the first civilization in MesoAmerica, as discussed before..they inherited much of the cultural and agricultural practices of the Olmecs & expanded on it.
  • The Mayas were geographically and agriculturally LUCKY!Located in the region now occupied by southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.The Mayans banked on the highlands of Guatamala
  • Permanent villages began to appear during the 3rd century B.C.EMost prominent, KaminaljuyuLocated on the site of modern Guatemala CityWas a ceremonial center rather than a true cityDominated the life of other communities in the regionSome 12thousand – 15thousand laborers worked to build its templesIts products traveled the trade routes as far as central MexicoDuring the 4th century C.E. Kaminaljuyu fellUnder the economic and perhaps the political dominance of the much larger city of Teotihuacan in central Mexico and lost much of its influence in the Maya society
  • After 4th century Maya society flourishedMostly in the poorly drained Mesoamerican lowlandsWhere thin, tropical soils quickly lost their fertilityTo Enhance agricultural potential of the regionMaya built terraces designed to trap silt carried by the numerous rivers passing through the lowlands.By artificially retaining the rich earth they dramatically increased the agricultural productivity of their landsharvested maize in abundancecultivated cotton from which they wove fine textiles highly prized both in their own society and by trading partners in other parts of Mesoamerica.Raised cacao (the large bean that is the source of chocolate)A precious commodity consumed mostly by nobles in Maya societyWhisked powdered cacao into water to create a stimulating beverageSometimes even ate the bitter cacao beans as snacksProduct was so valuable used cacao as money 
  • From 300 -900 C.E. Mayas built more than 80 large ceremonial centers in the lowlandsAll with pyramids, palaces, and templesAs well as numerous smaller settlements Some of the larger centers attracted dense populations & evolved into genuine citiesTIKAL, most important Maya political center between the 4th & the 9th centuries C.E.(at its height 600-800 C.E) wealthy & bustling cityWith a population approaching 40 thousandBoasted enormous paved plazasScores of temples, pyramids, palaces and public buildingsTemple of the Giant Jaguar, a stepped pyramid rising sharply to a height of 47 meters dominated the skylineRepresented Tikal’s control over the surrounding region, which had a population of about 5 hundred thousand
  • Maya kings bore menacing namesCurl ScoutSmoking FrogStormy SkyPopular names were associated by the Jaguar (most dangerous predator of the Mesoamerican forestsProminent Maya kings includedGreat Jaguar PawShield JaguarBird JaguarJaguar Penis 
  • They stripped the captives of their fine dress & Symbols of rankSometimes they kept high-ranking captives alive for years, displaying them as trophiesUltimately most captives ended their lives either as slaves or as sacrificial victims to Maya GodsHigh-ranking captives in particular often underwent ritual torture and sacrifice in public ceremonies on important occasions
  • Maya kingdoms fought constantly with each otherVictors generally destroyed the peoples the defeatedTook over their ceremonial centersThe purpose of Maya warfare was not so much to kill enemiesas to capture them in hand-to-hand combat on the battlefieldWarriors won enormous prestige when they brought back important captives from neighboring kingdoms
  • By 800 C.E. most Maya population had begun to desert their citiesWithin a century Maya society was in full decline everywhere except the Northern Yucatan, where the Chichen Itza continued to flourish Historians have suggested many possible causes of the declineIncluding invasion by foreigners from MexicoInternal dissension & civil warFailure of the system of water control leading to diminished harvest and demographic collapseEcological problems caused by destruction of the forestsThe spread of epidemic diseasesNatural catastrophe such as earthquakes
  • REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENED …THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MAYAS… In any case the population declined, the people abandoned their cities, and long-distance trade with central Mexico came to a haltMeanwhile the tropical jungles of the lowlands encroached upon human settlements and gradually smothered the cities, temples, pyramids, and monuments of a once-vibrant society
  • HI121 World History I Mayan Civilization Presentation

    1. 1. Put your pens down.Stop taking notes.Breathe.&JUST LISTEN.<br />
    3. 3.
    4. 4. Heirs of the Olmecs: The Maya<br />Dun. Dun. Dun.<br />Presented by<br />Patricia Rodriguez<br />
    5. 5. WHY THE MAYANS WERE SO COOL.<br />If I were a Maya…<br />my people were cool because…<br />They were heirs of the Olmecs<br />
    6. 6. WHY THE MAYANS WERE SO COOL.<br />If I were a Maya…my people were cool because…<br />They were geographically & <br />agriculturally lucky!<br />
    7. 7. WHY THE MAYANS WERE SO COOL.<br />INDEPTH: Highlands of Guatemala<br /><ul><li> offered fertile soil
    8. 8. excellent conditions for agriculture</li></li></ul><li>WHY THE MAYANS WERE SO COOL<br />INDEPTH: Highlands of Guatemala<br />Permanent villages appear in 3rd century B.C.E.<br /> Most prominent village, Kaminaljuyú<br />
    9. 9. WHY THE MAYANS WERE SO COOL.<br />Maya society flourished after the 4th century.<br /> mostly in poorly drained Mesoamerican lowlands<br />Thin soils quickly lost fertility<br />To enhance the agricultural potential of the region Mayans build terraces<br />harvested maize<br />cultivated cotton<br />raised cacao<br />
    10. 10. WHY THE MAYANS WERE SO COOL.<br />If I were a Maya…my people were cool because…<br />They built more than 80 ceremonial centers!<br /><ul><li> All with pyramids, palaces, & temples
    11. 11. TIKAL, most important Maya political center between the 4th & 9th centuries C.E. </li></ul>(as shown on left picture)<br />
    12. 12. WHY THE MAYANS WERE SO COOL.<br />If I were a Maya…my people were cool because…<br />Mayan kings bore menacing names!<br />Curl Scout<br />Smoking Frog<br />Stormy Sky<br />Prominent Maya kings included<br />Great Jaguar Paw<br />Shield Jaguar<br />Bird Jaguar<br />Jaguar Penis<br />
    13. 13. WE ARE THE MAYANS! WE LIKE TO FIGHT!<br />
    14. 14. WE ARE THE MAYANS! WE LIKE TO FIGHT!<br /><ul><li>Mayan kingdoms fought constantly
    15. 15. Take over ceremonial centers
    16. 16. Purpose of Mayan Warfare
    17. 17. Not kill enemies but capture them in hand-to-hand combat on the battlefield</li></li></ul><li>WHERE? OH WHERE DID THE MAYANS GO?<br /><ul><li>By 800 C.E. most of the Maya population</li></ul> had begun to desert their cities<br /><ul><li>Historians suggest the following causes of decline:
    18. 18. invasion by foreigners
    19. 19. Internal dissension & civil war
    20. 20. failure of the system of water control
    21. 21. destruction of the forests =‘s ecological problems
    22. 22. spread of epidemic diseases
    23. 23. Natural catastrophe such as earthquakes</li></li></ul><li>WHERE? OH WHERE DID THE MAYANS GO?<br />In any case this is what happened….<br />population declined<br />people abandoned their cities<br />long-distance trade came to a halt<br />tropical jungles of the lowlands took over human settlements <br />gradually smothered the cities, temples, pyramids <br />
    24. 24. “ A great civilization is not conquered from without until it is destroyed from within. ”<br /> —W. Durant<br />