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In Search of the Maya

In Search of the Maya. Mayan culture explored. Mayan uses a base number of 20, whereas we us a base of 10. Mayan numbers are written from bottom to top. Mayan Mathematics. How does it all add up?. The Mayan region consists of present-day Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. It lies between

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In Search of the Maya

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  1. In Search of the Maya Mayan culture explored

  2. Mayan uses a base number of 20, whereas we us a base of 10. Mayan numbers are written from bottom to top. Mayan Mathematics How does it all add up?

  3. The Mayan region consists of present-day Mexico, Belizeand Guatemala. It lies between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator. The Maya worked with copper and gold, but jade was highly prized. Rainforests covered most of the land, and The climate was generally hot and humid. rainfall was influenced by the coastal mountains nearby. Mayan Environment

  4. The rainy season is between May and December when the humidity stays above 80%. From January to April, the humidity drops to around 60%. Mayan climate regions • Lowlands/ • Yucatan Peninsula • Central Rainforest • Southern Highlands/ • Pacific Slope F = (9/5) x C + 32

  5. The Maya developed a highly complex system of writing using pictographs and sound or syllabic elements. • Their writing was highly sophisticated, probably only members of the higher classes were able to read their symbols. *Stone *Codex Bark paper covered in wood or deer hide Mayan Writing

  6. The contents of the codices must have varied, but some of them were evidently similar to astronomic almanacs. We have examples of a Venus table and eclipse tables in a codex in Dresden. *eclipse tables *zodiac *almanac *planting info *records of royalty There is a codex in Paris that seems to contain some kind of Maya Zodiac. Another major example of Maya almanacs are present in the Madrid Codex. The fourth codex is called the Grolier and probably contained much of the information used by priests or the noble class to determine dates of importance or seasonal interest. Mayans may have written poetry or drama as well. Mayan Codices

  7. Of all the world's ancient calendar systems, the Maya and other Mesoamerican systems are the most complex, intricate and accurate. Calculations of the congruence of the 260-day and the 365-day Maya cycles. Astronomy They used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun, the stars and planets in order to observe, calculate and record this information in their chronicles, or “codices.” In Maya cities, ceremonial buildings were precisely aligned with compass directions. At the spring and fall equinoxes, for example, the Sun might be made to cast its rays through small openings in a Maya observatory, lighting up the observatory's interior walls.

  8. Other alignments might relate to the exteriors of temples and palaces. The most famous example of this kind of alignment can be observed at ChichenItza, the principal Maya city of the Yucatan Peninsula. People still gather there each year, as they have for centuries, to observe the sun illuminate the stairs of a pyramid dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent god. At the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Sun gradually illuminates the pyramid stairs and the serpent head at its base, creating the image of a snake slithering down the sacred mountain to Earth. Mayan Astronomy

  9. Maya murals and carvings show rulers wearing symbols of the heavens, including a belt or sky-band made of a chain of symbols relating to the Moon, the Sun, Venus, day, night and the sky. Rulers also liked to associate themselves with auspicious gods of the sky such as the Sun God, and Maya rulers and priests in real life often "clothed themselves with the heavens" by dressing in the pelt of the jaguar, whose spots were taken to represent the stars. The Maya believed that the Sun and Moon continued to journey through the Underworld, threatened all the way by evil gods who wanted to stop their progress. The Maya believed that the heavenly bodies needed human help, which was provided through sacred rituals such as self-mutilation, torture, and human sacrifice. To the Maya, offering this help was simply the price to be paid for the continued survival of the universe. Death from such rituals was a privilege, and conferred immortality on those who died, or who offered themselves as victims.

  10. The crop that was first cultivated in Mesoamerica was maize. Arable land is land that can be farmed or cultivated. Secondary crops included beans, squash and tobacco. Slash and burn was the technique used to clear the jungle growth. Mayan Society After two seasons, fields would lie fallow for ten years, then farmed again.

  11. Cooking took place outside, usually by small groups of women. Women also made clothing and tended to the needs of the household. Men built the hut shelters and tended crops.

  12. HIERARCHY and SOCIAL GROUPS The hierarchical method of organization divides members into varying social classes. Some Mayan social groups were: *kings *nobles *teachers *scribes *warriors *architects *administrators *craftsmen *merchants *laborers *farmers

  13. There may be several reasons why the Maya moved away from the small farming communities ruled by local officials to the complex kingdoms. Finding ways to collect rainwater and creating more arable land for agriculture played a major role in bringing about these changes. A sizeable labor force was organized to build and maintain the waterworks (reservoirs, cisterns, and canals) and tend the cornfields. These innovations set the stage for increased food production, creating a surplus that led to enhanced trade with neighboring states, and subsequent population growth. The need for a government to administer these activities may in part explain why the Maya adopted the king as head of state.

  14. More and more arable land was taken up by growing cities that continued to swell in size, partly owing to the influx of people arriving from outside the region. A growing population, drought, and crop failure may have led to serious food shortages and malnutrition. When crops failed, people may have been forced to move elsewhere to survive. Other factors in the collapse of the southern lowland cities around A.D. 900. may have been: • the escalation of hostilities; • the high price of increased warfare; • the expense of maintaining kings and nobles, and of building higher and more elaborate temples; • and the practice of taking commoners for human sacrifice (early on, only kings and captured nobles were used as human sacrifices). • Whatever the reasons, the Maya decided to return to a simpler form of life as farmers of maize -- living in rural villages much as they do today.

  15. The Maya used two calendars, a sacred year of 260 days and a vague year of 365 days. Along with other Mesoamerican peoples, the Maya use the sacred year for religious purposes and to name children. The vague year is used for such things as planting crops. The sacred calendar that developed in Mesoamerica used a count of 260 days. This calendar gave each day a name, much like our days of the week. There were 20 day names, each represented by a unique symbol. The days were numbered from 1 to 13. The Maya also tracked a vague solar year in which they counted 365 days per yearand months that were given names and numbered 0-19. A special five-day month called Wayebhad days which were considered unnamed and unlucky. Mayan Calendar

  16. Day Name Imix Ik Akbal Kan Chikchan Day Name Kimi Manik Lamat Muluk Ok Day Name Chuwen Eb Ben Ix Men Day Name Kib Kaban Etznab Kawak Ahaw Month Name Pohp Wo Sip Sotz Sec Month Name Xul Yaxkin Mol Chen Yax Month Name Zak Keh Mak Kankin Muwan Month Name Pax Kayab Kumku Wayeb Mayan Days *20 days* Mayan Months *19 months*

  17. Mayan Cartoons What is 2012 all about?

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