0 1600 CE Aztecs 1100-1521 CE Maya 300-900 CE Incas 1200-1500 CE Timeline
The Mayas What geographical features did the Mayan lands include? Southern Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula), Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras Gulf of Mexico to Caribbean Sea Rugged highlands/swamps
The Mayas What did the Mayans look like? Short with straight, black hair, painted bodies, tattoos, crossed eyes, flattened foreheads
The Mayas Why did Mayas tie objects from their infants’ foreheads? To encourage their eyes to cross Why did some Mayas tie boards to their children’s heads? To flatten their foreheads – this was a sign of beauty in their culture
The Mayas What did early Mayas eat? They fished and they grew maize (corn), beans, squash, peppers, avocados, and papayas
The Mayan Eras Pre-Classic: 2,500BC to AD 250 – fishing villages/learned to plant crops Classic Era: AD 250 – AD 900 – built cities, pyramid temples, developed advanced math and astronomy and writing Post-Classic Era: AD 900 – 1500 – Mayas left their great cities and scattered through out countryside – not sure why – we will discuss possible reasons
The Maya - Tikal Largest city - Tikal (in present day Guatemala) – 100,000+ people
The Maya – Copan 2 nd Largest city – Copán (in present day Honduras) The Great Staircase: 30ft wide, 63 steps, picture writing covers each step
Chichen Itza – Large observatory tower used by ancient astronomers and Well of Sacrifice
Mayan Writing Borrowed a writing from Olmecs Developed a system of writing using pictures (glyphs) and symbols
Mayan Books Made paper by pounding fibers from bark of ficus tree into pulp and glued it together with tree sap When the paper dried they coated it with white lime A Mayan book is called a codex Fiber paper/deer hide for covers Why did the Spanish destroy Mayan books? Why do you think they thought they were evil?
Mayan Calendar The Mayan priest used their knowledge of astronomy and math to develop two accurate calendars One was sacred (religious), the other was for planning The Mayan Calendar – solar year of 365 days. – divided into 18 months of 20 days each, followed by a five-day period that was highly unlucky. – Did the Mayan’s predicted that the world would end on December 21, 2012?
The Great Mystery of the Maya Around AD 850/900 the Mayas suddenly left their cities and were scattered throughout the countryside – Why?? Some theories for why they did this include: Natural Disasters – earthquake, hurricane, drought Disease Crop failures/famine (no plow, did not develop new agriculture methods) Peasant rebellion against the priests and nobles who ruled the cities Invaders - Toltecs