MAYAN CIVILIZATION

Tori Herbert

When and Where

The Mayan civilization was founded in Southern Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. First founded in 250 A.D. The peak of its power was in the 6th century and declined in 1100 B.C.

Religion

The Mayans were polytheistic, they believed in many gods. They believed suicide lead to heaven so they would kill themselves to sacrifice there lives for god, for example Ixtab the goddess of sacrificial suicide. They believed in the sun god, god of death, god of rain, wind god, and feathered serpent god.

Economy/Trade

Instead of using money they used universally accepted form currency, which could be used anywhere in the Mayan region. Maya outstripped their food production increasing food trade. They had many valuable items that varied in value from one region to another. They had an intensive trade system. Some people produced or found their own valuable items.

Social Class

Their structure depended on social structure to keep society in order. The lower class and middle class believed upper class was granted to rule. Upper or high class was rich in power or wealth, they were the nobles and priests of the society. Women were members of all social classes depending on who they were married or their family position. The hierarchy depended on the slave labor.

Art/Architecture

Mayans were very skilled farmers, they built large undergrounds under the rainforest. Some people weaved and made pottery. Some people cleared routes through the jungles and swamps which allowed them to sell and trade the goods they made.

Agriculture

Agriculture was the foundation to the civilization. Maya relied on the slash and burn method. They would burn the forest. Some trees hung on by ground water and produced; oilseeds, fruits, wood, medicines, and allspice. Sadly there was an annual dry season.

Government

The priests which is known as the upper class ran the government, ruled cities, led ceremonies and preformed other jobs and tasks. Lora Pacal was the most famous rulers. he took the thrown legally at age twelve and became king at age 6.

Decline

The Mayans abused their land trying to produce agriculture which led to lack of agriculture. They used slash and burn method clearing the forest in order to produce ground for crops. That led to lack of natural food for the wildlife and eventually forced migration. Nobles and Priests didn't know how to run the government or work the land when the underclass gave there life away or returned back to the jungle by themselves.