Mayan Civilization

By Will Rhynhart

Mayan Civilization

These are the key topics of the Mayan Culture

Military

The Mayan military started out very basic with wooden clubs and flint knives. As they grew and used cultural diffusion they got the bow and arrow, two handed swords, and atlatls. Their tactics in battle were either a front on attack or an "ambush."

Farming

"The major form of crop creation is known as Slash and Burn." Their main crops were maize, beans, pumpkins, cacao, squash, chile, tomatoes, and advocados. The one that they most used and produced was corn though. Another form of farming was multi cropping, which was that they planted on the same ground more than once a year.

Food

The way the Mayans got food was from harvesting their crops, hunting, and fishing. The food they got was maize, beans, pumpkins, etc. Their diet was mostly made up of corn and then they had the other necessary foods to survive, such as meat, beans, water, etc. They used corn to make pudding, muffins, and just plain on the cob. Another delicacy was chocolate which they used in drinks and other various foods.

Gods

There were a lot of gods in the Mayan culture. The main gods were Quetzacoatal, Chac, Kinich Ahau, Yumil Kaxob, and Yum Cimil or Ac Puch. Each of these gods had a specific aspect they were known in.

Quetzacoatal- He was the winged god and was believed to "watch" over Meso-America and Peru.

Chac-He was the god of rain. The Mayans prayed to him to have a good crop season.

Kinich Ahau-He was the sun god. The people of Itzamal thought that he came down everyday at noon and ate their offerings. The representation of him was he was a macaw. A lot people considered him to look like a jaguar.

Yum Cimil or Ac Puch-The god of the underworld or death

Religion

The Mayans were very precise in their religion. Corn was the godly crop or the crop that the gods gave the people. The symbol of Mayan ceremonies is in "the Sacred Cenote", which is located in Citzen Itza. Another religious ceremony they did was human sacrifice. If a soldier of war was more pretigious than others, he would be sacrificed to the gods.

Art

When the Mayans made art it depicted them or their lives. They made terra cotta figures or figurines. They carved a lot with wood and stone.They really didn't use metal a lot because they didn't find a lot. Another form of their art was they drew hieroglyphics, these hieroglyphics were best shown on a stairway in Copan.

Writing

The Mayans had an alphabet called the Syllabary. This alphabet consisted of "Phonetic signs and ideograms." For the first time the written language corresponded with the spoken language. There arre four shows of this work. They are the Dresden Codex, Madud Codex, Paris Codex, and Grolier Codex.

Government

The Mayans government were run by kings and upper class men. The second in line behind the kings were the priests. To be a king, he must get a captive of war and sacrifice him to the gods. When or if a son of a king was born the king must get blood form himself as a tocan to the gods.

Cities

The biggest city of the Maya was Tikal, this city had over 100,000 people. The city that is second is Copan. Then the third largest is Chitzen Itza.

Architecture

Most of the Mayan people lived in hay huts, these huts poles were 2.2 meters at max. Then from there the roofs were 4.5 meters tall. On another note their pyramids were step like, so they could "reach" the gods and to get to the top of the pyramid.

Inventions

The Mayans had a lot of inventions in their time. They made irrigation for their crops. The Mayans did a lot of activities, but the most worthy one for them was a ball gamty played. Finally they contributed astronomy, which was held on top of their temples/pyramids.

Odd Child Life

When a baby came into the world a plank was placed on its head to make its forehead flat. Another thing they woul do was dangle something infront of their eyes to make them crosseyed. A normal concept was that a baby was normally named after day that they were born on.

Jewelry

The Mayans used a lot of jade beacuse they believed it was holy. They used jade to make masks and other various jewelry. Other minerals that were used to make jewelry and masks were gold and and diamonds.

Astronomy

The Mayans had sticks that were crossed to chart positions in the sky. They built temples to help get higher towards the sky. Also these temples were directed in specific directions, such as equinoxes.Also they were pointed at planets, such as Venus.

Calendar

The Mayan calendars had a lot of interlocking circles. The first circle has 260 days, it was called Tzolk’in. The second circle had 360 days or 18 months of 20 days. Then they had a 5 day month. This was called the Haab. Then they had a 52 year calendar for a longer period.