Ancient Mayan Facts

Mayan geography The Mayans had three areas in which they lived. The Southern area, or highlands, was rocky and dry with a mountain range that had active volcanoes along it. Other areas had long rainy seasons and deep fertile soils which made that area good for farming. The Northern and Central areas had dense tropical forests, dry grass, and cacti.

Facts about Religion

Mayan religion The Maya worshipped a pantheon of nature gods (especially the gods of sun, rain and corn), each of which had both a benevolent side and a malevolent side. Their main Gods were Itzamná; Kukulcán (Quetzalcóatl); Bolon Tzacab; Chac which talked of practicing Astronomy, divination, human sacrifice, elaborate burial for royalty, and worship in stone pyramid-temples.

Mayan Rulers were seen as intermediaries between the gods and the people. The Mayan view of the afterlife consisted primarily of a dangerous voyage of the soul through the underworld, which was populated by sinister gods and represented by the jaguar, symbol of night. To the Maya, science and religion were one and the same.

Facts about Inventions

Writing, language and calendars The various groups spoke nearly 30 closely related languages and dialects, including the Mayan and Huastec.

The Maya had 800 distinct hieroglyphs, with the first evidence of language written on stela and walls of buildings beginning ca 300 BC. Bark cloth paper codexes were being used no later than the 1500s, but all but a handful were destroyed by Spanish.

The "long count" calendar was invented by Mixe-Zoquean speakers. The earliest inscription in long count among the Maya was made dated AD 292. Earliest date listed on the "long count" calendar is about August 11, 3114 BC, what the Maya said was the founding date of their civilization.

Architecture Facts

Mayan Architecture The first steles are associated with the Classic period, and the earliest is from Tikal, where a stele is dated AD 292. Distinctive architectural styles of the Maya are Rio Bec (7th-9th centuries AD, block masonry palaces with towers and central doorways); Chenes (7th-9th centuries AD, related to the Rio Bec but without the towers at Hochob Santa rosa Xtampack, Dzibilnocac); Puuc (AD 700-950, intricately designed facades and doorjambs at Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Sayil, Labna, Kabah); and Toltec (or Maya Toltec AD 950-1250, at Chichén Itzá.

Facts about Military

Warfare and weapons The Maya had fortified sites, and military themes and battles events are illustrated in Maya art by the Early Classic period. Warrior classes, including some professional warriors, were part of the Maya society. Wars were fought over territory, slaves, to avenge insults, and to establish succession. The weapons used by the Mayans were axes, clubs, maces, throwing spears, shields and helmets, bladed spears.

Daily life in the Mayan Mayan families all lived together- the parents, children, grandparents, and even great grandparents.

A lot of what they ate was corn; in fact, they even had a God that was the "God of Corn".

Facts on Clothing

Men wore a loincloth-a strip of cloth around their hips and through their legs-daily. Women wore loose dresses that went down to their ankles, perfect for the hot weather. These clothing were hand woven from cotton and other fibers similar to cotton. If the family were wealthy then they would wear more extravagant clothing with ornaments and embroidery on their clothes.

One major game that they played was a ball game where they were rewarded with fine jewelry including a necklace made out of jade beads.

Jobs

The Mayans mainly focused on farming, and was mostly done by men. They farmed beans, squash, tomatoes, chili peppers, carao (chocolate), avocado and Maize (corn) where Maize was the most important crop to them. Mayans also used plants; herbs for healing people from illnesses.They used chert and obsidian to create tools.

They used bone to create needles and fishing hooks. Wood was also used for making handles for things, levers, and bows for hunting and warriors. Later on in the 1200's they used copper for tweezers and fishing hooks.

For decoration of dresses, bone, jade, oyster shells, and any other dark green stone were used. Usually the girls would make the clothing and jewels, along with other chores such as bringing in wood and water. They would make sculptures and necklaces out of these resources. They also wove baskets and clothing. Natural dyes were used for this purpose.

Last Mayan state The island city of Tayasal was the last independent Mayan kingdom and some Spanish priests peacefully visited and preached to the last Itza king, Canek, as late as 1696. The Itza kingdom finally submitted to Spanish rule on March 13, 1697



This site covers several articles on ancient mayan, aztec histoty and Inca civilization. It also covers the differences and similarities between these cultures.
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