The Mayans

Blake Watson, Issac Pena, Jhe`lab Bell, Alex Figueroa

A little about the Mayans

The Mayans were located in what is now known as Guatemala. Their achievements were in the fields of hieroglyph writing, pottery, agriculture, mathematics, and calendar making and they left behind a great amount of architecture and symbolic artwork. By A.D. 900 many of the stone cities they made were left behind and abandoned.

Big image

Mayan astronomers had an amazing grasp of the movement of the heavenly bodies. Most scholars agree Maya priests obtained this knowledge through a careful study of the cosmos, and particularly its cycles, over long periods of time. the mayan priest believed time was laid out in a set of interconnected cycles, the cycles of the heavens corresponded with the cycles of the calendars is what they believed. Many of the Maya's measurements of the heavenly cycles are preserved in the Dresden codex.

Dresden codex

The Dresden Codex contains the highest concentration of astronomical phenomena observations and calculations of any of the surviving texts (it appears that the data in this codex is primarily or exclusively of an astronomical nature). Examination and analysis of this codex reveals that Venus was the most important astronomical object to the Maya, even more important to them than the sun
Big image

The Mayans understood the universe with mathematical precisions, and had very accurate calendars. The Mayans also charted eclipses of the sun and moon, and built their building to cast certain shadows during solstice.


  • 1 kin = 1 day

  • 1 uinal = 20 days

  • 1 tun = 360 days (approximately 1 year)

  • 1 katun = 7,200 days (approximately 20 years)

  • 1 baktun = 144,000 days (approximately 395 years)

  • 1 pictun = 2,880,000 days (approximately 7,885 years)

Some words to know


A person who studies the planets, sun, moon, and stars and all other celestial bodies.


A carved, three-dimensional picture, usually in stone, wood, or plaster, in which the image is raised above the background.


A handmade book written on a long strip of bark paper and folded into accordion-like pages.


To figure out the meaning of something in code or in an ancient language.


A group of people within a society who are in a socially superior position and have more power and privileges than others.


The two times each year—March 21 and September 23—when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length.


A figure (often carved into stone or wood) used as a symbol to represent words, ideas, or sounds.


A glyph expressing a whole word or concept.


A mixed system of writing in which some symbols represent whole words or ideas, while other symbols represent the syllables or units of sound that make up words.

Pre-Columbian American:

A person living in the Americas before the arrival of Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492.


The period of time in any given region, beginning with the appearance of the first human beings there and ending with the occurrence of the first written records. All human history that occurred before the existence of written records is considered prehistoric.


A formal act performed the same way each time, usually used as a means of religious worship by a particular group.


A stone box used for burial, containing the coffin and body of the deceased, or sometimes only the body.


Someone hired to write down the language, to copy a manuscript, or record a spoken passage.


The two times each year—June 21 and December 21—when the sun is farthest from the equator and days and nights most unequal in length.


A stone pillar carved with images or writing, often used to provide historical details or for religious or political purposes.


Symbols that represent the sounds of a language (usually a combination of a vowel sound and consonants).


Based on the number twenty (as a numeric system).