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The Mayans

[pic] By Chandler Anschutz Standard to be covered by this project: Describe the diverse characteristics of early American Civilizations and societies in North, Central, and South America by comparing and contrasting the major aspects (government, religion, interactions with the environment, economy, and social life) of American Indian civilizations and societies such as the Maya, Aztec, Inca, Pueblo, and/or Eastern Woodland peoples.[pic] Rise and Fall of the Mayans The Maya people lived from 11,000 B.C.

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to almost 1500 A. D. At 11,000 B. C. he first hunter-gatherers settle into the Maya Highlands. According to Mayans Long Count Calendar the creation of the world takes place in 3114-3113 B. C. In the year 2000 B. C. the Olmec civilization is on the rise, the root of many traditions in the Mayan Culture. 700 B. C. Maya people form a written language of a form of hieroglyphics. The Mayan script is logosyllabic combining about 550 logograms (which represent whole words) and 150 syllabograms (which represent syllables). There were also about 100 glyphs representing place names and the names of gods.

Only about 300 of these glyphs were commonly used. In 300 B. C. the Mayans adopted the idea of a hierarchical society ruled by nobles and kings. The city of Teotihuacan is founded in 100 B. C. and becomes the center of culture, religion and trading in Mesoamerican for centuries. The Mayan people learned to farm the harsh tropical land. As populations grew, they adopted more intensive methods of cultivation including composting, terracing, and irrigation. They filled in swamps to creating fields and used silt and muck from bottomlands to fertilize enclosed gardens.

Artificial ponds gave a place to hold fish, and corrals held deer and other game flushed from the forest. Their settlements grew into large city-states and with the city-states came large palaces and temples. They were very artistic; they made ceramics, murals, and sculptures. They understood the concept of zero and formed a very extensive hieroglyphic form of writing. Their year had 365 days to it and they even had made the leap year correction. They predicted solar eclipses, watched the stars, and even had their temples built so that at a certain time of year they’d face the sunrise or sunset exactly.

The Mayans were led by Maya Kings, who got their power from the gods. They were both priests, interpreting religion and as leaders in times of peace and war. These kings would perform public rituals giving metaphysical meaning to the movement of the heavens, changing calendars, and even royal succession. Besides the spiritual rituals the Maya cities functioned just as a normal city would trading, fighting, making alliances, and gaining/losing land. Waka, a Maya city had become a large center of trade. Goods like jade, obsidian, and pyrite even made it to the Mayans.

Waka also had a tributary to the San Pedro, it was sheltered and had room to lodge large canoes. The Mayans also invented a type of flak jacket. It was a cotton vest, stuffed with rock salt. A guy by the name of Fire is Born led an army toward Waka in means to gain reinforcements. Fire is Born was sent to conquer Tikal. With his new found reinforcements from Waka it took him a week to reach Tikal and conquer them. Fire is Born became the cities new overlord. Following Fire is Born’s take over of Tikal, Tikal itself started to expand. In the year 800 A. D.

Cancun was overrun by invaders. These invaders took 31 royal hostages into the court yard, probably members of the royal family, and systematically decapitated every one of them. The king of Cancun was not spared, nor was his wife or children. The invaders took none of the riches or valuable items of the city, instead they defaced all of the monuments and toppled them face down. Almost every city was met by its end in this way or simply faded out of existence. Nobles abandoned palaces; even the homeless who had come to live in the palaces eventually abandoned them.

The downfall of the Maya civilization can not be put of one simple yet terrible event. The collapse is due to many possible problems that could have damaged the empire. Resources grew scarce; kings with religious rituals lost their luster, leading instability and desperation to fuel destruction warfare. These problems may have been the cause of the fall of the Mayan civilization. There is not one exact known reason for the end of the Mayans and is for now still a mystery. | [pic] |[pic]  | [pic]  [pic] | | IMIX | IK’ |AK’BAL |K’AN | |ee mesh |eek’ |ok bol  |k’ on  | |waterlily, world |wind |night-house |maize | | [pic] | [pic] |[pic]  | [pic] | | CHIKCHAN | KIMI |MANIK’ |LAMAT | |cheek chon |kee me |ma neek’ |la mot  | |snake |death | hand |Venus | |[pic]  | [pic] | [pic] |[pic]  | | MULUK’ |OK | CHUEN | EB | |mul ok’ |ak  |chew in |eb | |water |dog |monkey |tooth | | [pic] | [pic] |[pic]  | [pic] | |BEN |IX |MEN |KIB | |ben  |eesh  |men  |keeb  | |reed |jaguar |eagle |soul | | [pic] | [pic] | [pic] |[pic]  | |KABAN |ETZ’NAB |KAWAK |AHAW | |kah bon |ehts’ nob  |kah wok  |ah how  | |earth  |flint, knife |storm |Lord |

These symbols were the symbols the Mayans used to represent the 20 days of their month. With each symbol are their Yucatec names, pronunciation and approximate translation. These are the Mayan words for units of time: Day = Kin (keen) Month of 20 days = Uinal (wee nal) Year of 360 days = Tun (toon) 20 Tuns = K’atun (k’ ah toon) 20 K’atuns = Baktun (bock toon) [pic] This is a picture of Hunab Ku. He is the supreme god of the Mayans religion. He is also the creator god. He is the Mayan equivalent for Greeks Zeus. Hunab Ku has power over the other gods. [pic] This is Cizin, the Mayan god of death. He would be a darker equivalent of the Greeks Hades.

He requires a brutal sacrifice such of decapitation. Some of the religious rituals Maya Kings performed were sacrifices to this god to keep his wrath at bay. [pic] Kinich Ahau, the Mayan sun god. He brought the sun across the sky. He was an important god to the Mayans; they needed the sun to grow their crops. Sacrifices were also made to this particular god so he’d continue to bring the sun out. [pic] The Mayan god of rain and lightning, Chac, was also very important to the Maya. He brought rain to water the crops. Sacrifices were made to him to continue bringing the rain and to not use lightning against the Mayans. Chac played an important role in the Mayan religion. [pic]

This is an ancient Mayan temple in Cancun. From the Mayan Classic Period, 300-900 A. D. this temple was used as a site for religious rituals. These rituals, performed by the king of the city, would have been sacrifices to the gods. Many gods were sacrificed to for the Mayans believed that the gods would be kind to them and help them if they had been sacrificed in return. [pic] This is a map of where the Maya Civilization lived. This part of the world is the southern end of Mexico and Guatemala. The sites shown on the map are locations of Mayan cities and villages. There were many of cities in Central America. [pic] This is a Mayan Ruins site. It’s the site of Tikal, a great city.

Fire is Born conquered this city just a week after gaining reinforcements at Waka. This city later went on the offensive and expanded. [pic] These are the ruins of Chichen Itza. Chichen Itza was a large city of the Mayans. The temple would have been of great religious importance. Many a sacrifice would have taken place within those walls. [pic] This is a temple from Uxmal, an ancient Mayan city. This temple would have been used as a religious place used for rituals and sacrifices. Mayans sacrificed people to the gods in return for peace and aid with whatever happened to be the problem at the moment. Bibliography • “The Mayan Civilization Timeline. ” Mexconnect. 01 Jan 2008. Web. Jan 2010. . • Criscenzo, Jeeni. “The Maya. ” The Maya. Web. 8 Jan 2010. . • Ager, Simon. “Mayan Scipt. ” Omniglot. Web. 8 Jan 2010. . • “The Mayan Calendar. ” Web Exhibits. IDEA, Web. 8 Jan 2010. . • “The Mayas. ” Minnesota State University. Web. 8 Jan 2010. . • “The Mayas. ” Civilizations in America. Web. 8 Jan 2010. . • “Mayan History Timeline. ” One World Journeys. Web. 8 Jan 2010. . • “The Mayan History. ” Mayan Indians. Web. 8 Jan 2010. . • “The Rise and Fall of the Mayan Empire. ” Science at NASA. Web. 8 Jan 2010. . • Gugliotta, Guy. “Maya Rise and Fall. ” National Geographic. 01 Aug 2007. Web. 8 Jan 2010. .

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