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Mayan mathematics. By: Hector. The area of the Mayan civilization. The Maya had many large cities in the areas now known as Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize. Facts about the Maya. The Maya were the first civilization to use zero, nearly a thousand years before the Europeans

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the area of the mayan civilization
The area of the Mayan civilization
  • The Maya had many large cities in the areas now known as Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize
facts about the maya
Facts about the Maya
  • The Maya were the first civilization to use zero, nearly a thousand years before the Europeans
  • Their methods of calculating were more advanced than the Europeans
  • The accuracy of their calendar was far more advanced than the calendar of the Europeans
  • They thought 3 was a lucky number
  • Their “beginning” started of the Long Count which is August 13, 3114 B.C.
  • They had the most developed civilization in the Americas
record keeping
Record keeping
  • Paper made from the inner bark of fig trees was folded to make a “book” of records. This was called a Codex
a prediction for the future
A prediction for the future…
  • The Maya calculated that the world will end on December 23, 2012
the number table
The number table
  • A shell represented zero
  • Each dot was one unit
  • Every bar was five units
the long count and the calendar round
The Long Count and the Calendar Round
  • This is a 1,872,000 day cycle
  • Every date would appear once in the cycle
  • The sacred and solar calendars were connected like gears
  • This system helped the Maya know exactly where they were in the cycle of time
the mayan ritual calendar
The Mayan ritual calendar
  • A ritual calendar only had 13 months
  • Each month was for each different god
  • This calendar was called the tzolkin
  • It had 260 days
the celestial calendar
The celestial calendar
  • Another calendar was the celestial calendar
  • This calendar was called the haab
  • The celestial calendar had 365 days
  • The calendar was divided up into 18 uinals with 20 days to an uinal. This equaled 360 days
  • They added 5 extra days in a short 19th month.
  • These days were considered unlucky
mayan astronomy
Mayan astronomy
  • The Mayans calculated the position of planets and moons, relative to a building or marker in the earth
  • They observed the cycles of the moon and planets to create the months of the year
  • Many of the Mayan cities had temples that were also observatories
  • The official day count for a year was 365.242 days
  • Secrets in Stone All About Maya Hieroglyphs by Laura Coulter
  • Math of the Maya by Lawrence W. Swienciki (poster)
  • The Maya. Facts, Stories, Activities by Robert Nicholson
  • Rain Player by David Wisniewski
  • Educational Oasis Magazine, Nov/Dec 1990, “Guatemala” by Judith Nielsen