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Mayas. Mesoamerican Setting. Central Mexico to northern Central America Maya Homeland Highlands to south Some by active volcanoes – ash made rich fertile soil Cool with wet and dry seasons Lowlands to north Yucatan Peninsula North = flat and hot South = wetter & greener.

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Mesoamerican setting
Mesoamerican Setting

Central Mexico to northern Central America

Maya Homeland

Highlands to south

Some by active volcanoes – ash made rich fertile soil

Cool with wet and dry seasons

Lowlands to north

Yucatan Peninsula

North = flat and hot

South = wetter & greener


Mesoamerican setting1
Mesoamerican Setting

Rainforest Agriculture

Lowland rainforest

Soil fragile & thing

Hot and steamy

80 inches of rain/year

Slash-and-burn

Cut down trees/brush & burn

Use for a few years and move on

Years later return

Need 70 acres for 5 people


Maya civilization
Maya Civilization

Lost Cities

John Stephens – American Explorer

Frederick Catherwood – British Artist


Maya civilization1
Maya Civilization

Pre-Classic Mayas

1800 BC to AD 250

Developed Skills


Maya civilization2
Maya Civilization

Classic Mayas

AD 250 to 900

Cities: Tikal, Palenque, Copan

Tikal had about 2700 buildings

Had few thousand inhabitants in actual city – most lived on farms within 3-5 miles


Maya civilization3
Maya Civilization

Post Classic Mayas

AD 900 to 1520

Ended after Spanish conquered Mexico

Chichen-itza built

Between 800 and 900 began to collapse

Warfare

Food shortage

Natural disaster

Drought


Quiz

Where was the Mayan civilization located?

What were the three main time periods?

How would they farm in the rainforests?

Where did most of the people live (city)?

Why did the civilization collapse?


Maya society
Maya Society

Life Among the Mayas

Social Structure

King/Ruler

Considered a god-king

Had advisors

Nobles, Priests, Warriors

Nobles

Read and write

Led armies during war

Collected taxes

Supervised construction

Priests maintained favor with the gods

Led rituals, sacrifices, consulted


Maya society1
Maya Society

Life Among the Mayas

Social Structure

Merchants, Artisans

Trade and crafts also a part of economy

Travel by sea, river, roads to other city-states

Painted murals of Mayan life and battles

Sculptures for temples

Weavers and potters

Peasants

Backbone of society

Grew maize, squash, beans and other crops

When not farming, working on temples

Soldiers during war

Women prepared food, wove

Slaves

Manual labor for owners

Sometimes parents sold children

War prisoner

Criminals

Sometimes better life than peasants

Sometimes sacrificed when master died


Maya society2
Maya Society

Life Among the Mayas

Daily Life

Men on farm, hunt, maintained buildings

Women raise children, tend to flocks, garden

Basic social unit – extended family

Several related families lived together – cluster of simple houses

Day of ceremonies – go to city

May trade

May attend ballgame


Maya society3
Maya Society

Gods and Rulers

Maya Rule

Each city had own king

Usually passed from father to son

Worked with nobles and priests

Gained prestige by winning wars

Had a sphere of influence

Area dominated by particular ruler

Created alliances


Maya society4
Maya Society

Gods and Rulers

Maya religion

Most gods represented natural phenomena like rain, lightning

Believe king descended from gods

Communicate to gods through sacred rituals

King carried on sacred rituals like the ballgame

Some rituals required spilled blood – kings pierce self to get blood for ritual

Human sacrifice – often removing heart

Prisoners

Slaves

Children

Festivals

Costumes, music, dancing


Quiz 2
Quiz #2

What role did nobles play?

Who was the backbone of society? Why?

How did slaves live better than peasants?

What was the kings job?

How did the people view him?

What is a sphere of influence?

What is the ballgame?

What do you know about how they would sacrifice humans?

What were festivals like?


Maya achievements
Maya Achievements

Writing

Based on hieroglyphs

History Carved in Stone

Carved in stone

Painted on walls, pottery, books

Records kept in codex

Astronomy

Predict solar and lunar eclipse

Math

Understood concept of “0”

Architecture

Pyramid with temple at top

Move stone with out wheel



The ball game
the Ball Game”




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