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The Maya. The Mayas. The great Mayan Civilization is an amazing part of world history! This presentation will provide a brief summary of;. Mayan territory, religion, gods, cities, writing, arts and crafts and mathematics and astronomy. . Mayan Territory. Mayan Territory.

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The Mayas

The great Mayan Civilization

is an amazing part of world history!

This presentation will provide a brief summary of;

Mayan territory, religion, gods, cities, writing,

arts and crafts and mathematics and astronomy.

.

slide3

Mayan Territory

Mayan Territory

Mexico

Central America

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The Mayan culture spread through southern Mexico and Central America.  

It included the Yucatan Peninsula to the north as well as today's countries of Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, and Guatemala to the south.  It stretched from the Gulf of Mexico in the west to the Caribbean Sea in the east.  

This area included rugged mountains as well as dense swamps.  

Mayan Territory

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Religion was important to every part of Mayan life.  The Mayas worshipped many different gods.  Each day, month, city, and occupation had its own special god or goddess.  The Mayas had a variety of religious festivals and celebrations.  Most of these celebrations included human sacrifice.

halach uinic.

The Mayan empire was divided into many city-states.  Each city-state had its own ruler.  His name was halach uinic – who presided over these celebrations.

The Mayan Religion

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The Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichén Itzá

The Mayas used carved stone for the main buildings of the city.  They carved the giant building stones with simple tools that were also made of stone, since they did not have metal tools.   A cement made of limestone provided mortar between the stones.  The Mayas spread a limestone stucco or cement over stones to give the buildings smooth surfaces and then painted the buildings in bright colors.

Mayan Cities

mayan regions
Mayan Regions
  • Classic Maya culture developed in three regions in Mesoamerica.

By far the most important and most complete urban developments occurred in the lowlands in the "central region" of southern Guatemala.

The principal city in this region was Tikal and Copan

highland mayas
Highland Mayas
  • The highlands are more temperate and seem to have been the main suppliers of raw materials to the central urban centers. The largest and most complete urban center was Palenque.
  • The highlands are more temperate and seem to have been the main suppliers of raw materials to the central urban centers. The largest and most complete urban center was Palenque.

PALENQUE

yucatan peninsula
Yucatan Peninsula
  • The other major region of Mayan development was the Yucatan peninsula making up the southern and eastern portions of modern-day Mexico. This is a dry region and, although urban centers were built in this region, including Chichen Itza and Uxmal (pronounced "Oosh-mal"), most scholars believe that this was a culturally marginal area. After the abandonment of the Classic Mayan cities, the Yucatán peninsula became the principal region of a new, synthetic culture called Toltec-Mayan which was formed when Toltecs migrating from the north integrated with indigenous Maya peoples.

El Castillo

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The Mayas used the most advanced system of writing of the ancient Americans.  They probably borrowed the idea of picture writing from the Olmecs.  They then developed their own system of writing based on that.

They did not use an alphabet.  Instead, they used a combination of pictures to represent ideas and symbols to represent sounds.  The pictures and symbols used in their writing are called glyphs.  The Mayas combined glyphs into groups.  These groupings have a square or oval shape.  We know of about 800 different glyphs.

Mayan Writing

the ball game
THE BALL GAME

The ball games had rich religious symbolism. In the Mayan culture, the battle between the teams signified the battle of life versus death during the third creation. The court's floor represented the earth surface. The life and death battle symbolism was literal in Olmecs, Maya, Aztecs, and Huaxtec societies.

popol vuh
Popol Vuh
  • THERE is no document of greater importance to the study of the pre-Columbian mythology of America than the "Popol Vuh."
  • This sacred manuscript is considered as the bible of the Mayan people. It is also known as Popol Buj, the Book of the Council, the Sacred Book, the Book of the Community and the National Book of the Quiche¢. The Popol Vuh contains a wealth of the ancient oral traditions of the Mayan people.
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The Mayas developed an important  system of mathematics.  It was more advanced than the systems used by the ancient Eyptians, Greeks, or Romans.

The Mayas were perhaps the first people to use the idea of a zero.  This was an important invention.  They used a picture of shell to equal zero.  They also used a dot to equal one.  A bar equaled five.   The Mayas used a base of 20 the same way we use a base of ten.

However, they wrote their numbers from top to bottom instead of from left to right as we do.

Mayan Mathematics

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One of the great mysteries of the history of civilization is what happened to the Mayas.  The Mayas suddenly abandoned their cities about 850 A.D.  The Mayan society collapsed, and the people scattered through the countryside.  Scholars have formed many theories about the cause of the collapse.

The mystery of the last days of the Mayas is still being debated.

The Great Mystery