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Presentation on theme: "MAYA CIVILIZATION."— Presentation transcript:


2 MAYA TIMELINE Olmec 1200-1000 BCE Early Preclassic Maya 1800-900 BCE
Middle Preclassic Maya BCE Late Preclassic Maya 300 BCE - CE 250 Early Classic Maya CE Late Classic Maya CE Post Classic Maya CE Colonial period CE Independent Mexico to the present

3 MAYA GEOGRAPHY Lowlands Highlands
West borders Pacific Ocean, fertile plain Yucatan Peninsula Cenotes (excavated caverns) for water in east Highlands granite and volcanic area of Sierra Madre (Mexican Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras) Rich land, abundant water Concentrated settlement

4 MAYA HISTORY Did not record history or daily lives, so much of what we know comes from archaeology and European (colonial) records Many holes in our knowledge, and educated guesses

5 MAYA HISTORY Never recognized themselves as one people
Related dialects – similar language City-states (Palenque, Copan, Chichen Itza) No king or emperor but nobility City-states tried to dominate each other (sound familiar?)

6 MAYA HISTORY Olmec lived in tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico
Provided basis for Mesoamerican civilizations Bloodletting, glyphs similar to Maya Distinctive art (colossal heads)

7 MAYA ART Stelae – carved stone monuments Rulers in elaborate costumes
Often with texts that described lineage and accomplishments Headdress, ceremonial bar

8 MAYA ART Pacal death mask Love of jade Pottery popular

9 MAYA ARCHITECTURE Houses of poles and thatch (cool)
Tikal (left) and Palenque (right)

10 MAYA SOCIETY class society
Caste (membership hereditary and movement rare) Little known about women, but evidence of city-state queens

11 MAYA CULTURE Corn (maize), beans, squash, chilies for flavour, domesticated turkey Loved dance, music pok-a-tuk (pok-a-tok) Maya ball game Losers (including coach) sacrificed

12 MAYA CULTURE Pierced ears, tattoos, body painting, straight black hair, Large headdress for importance (Pacal, leader of Palenque, to right)

13 MAYA TRADE AND ECONOMY Salt valued from Yucatan coast (preserve food, medicine, religious ceremonies) from north granite from low mountains of Belize Jade, volcanic glass, and obsidian from Chiapas highlands of western Guatemala Tikal and Copan ‘middlemen’ cities in trade cacao

14 MAYA ECONOMY/TRADE Quetzal feathers for nobility headdress
Extensive trade over 1000 miles Porters carry goods (no beasts of burden)

Calendar 260 days Also tracked solar 365 calendar

Math based on multiples of 20 0, 1, 2 5, 6 10, 11 15, 16

17 MAYA WRITING Writing 800 glyphs (picture/symbol represents an object, idea, or sound Read left to right and top to bottom Only elite could read as writing considered to be gift from the gods Wrote many books (destroyed by Spanish)

18 MAYA RELIGION Driving force behind every aspect of life
Public temples and household shrines Organized religion Established schedule for agriculture Polytheistic and revolved around nature (eg. Chac – Rain God)

19 MAYA RELIGION Priestly blood sacrifice
Human sacrifice later in Post classic Period (Mexican influence) Religious festival every 20 days World 3 layers – Heavens, Earth, Under(Other)world Priest dressed as jaguars , scary masks to scare demons of Underworld Belief in afterlife


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