Presentation on theme: "250 AD – 900s AD Maya. Main Ideas Geography helped shape the lives of the Maya. The Maya built great cities linked by trade. Maya culture was influenced."— Presentation transcript:
Main Ideas Geography helped shape the lives of the Maya. The Maya built great cities linked by trade. Maya culture was influenced by social structure, religion, and achievements in science and the arts. The decline of Maya civilization began in the 900s, for reasons that are still unclear.
Geography The region known as Mesoamerica stretches from the central area of Mexico south to the northern part of Central America. Maya civilization developed on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Thick tropical forests Grew a variety of crops (maize/corn, beans, squash, avocados) Natural resources provided game for hunting & materials for building
How is GEOGRAPHY influencing Maya civilization? Check for Understanding
Living Increased trade among small villages helped spur growth and the development of large city areas known as city-states Each city-state was ruled by a king & its own government; no one ever unified all the Maya cities, but trade kept the cities together because they were dependent on one another for materials that could not be found elsewhere Buildings: built large palaces, had stone pyramids with temples, built canals, had large paved plazas, or open squares, for public gatherings, stone walls shaped hillsides to create flat terraces for farming, stone courts for a special ball game (sport)
In regards to their buildings, what can you determine the Maya people value in society? Check for Understanding
Culture Social Structure KING – related to the gods = religious AND political authority Priests, merchants & warriors = UPPER class Farmers – LOWER class (most of society) Men – farmed, hunted, & crafted tools, served in army during times of war Women – care for children, cooked, made yarn, wove cloth Paid portion of crops to the upper class Slaves – carried goods along trade routes or were servants of the upper class
Religion Polytheistic (belief of many gods) Gods could be helpful or harmful
Think of social structure as a pyramid. Who would be on the top? The bottom? Check for Understanding
Achievements Built observatories – buildings where people could study the sky Study of astronomy help create 2 calendars 365 days – guided planting, harvesting, & other farming activities 260 day – religious events Number system – one of the first civilizations to use 0 Writing system similar to hieroglyphics to record their history Jewelry was made from gold & jade Tools were made from obsidian
Decline of Civilization MANY possible theories, but no one knows for sure Lower class decided to rebel against their kings, maybe left their cities Increased warfare may have destroyed cities, disrupted trade, & killed many people Too many people & not enough food – farming the same crops could have weakened the land and caused cities to fight over new land, leading to war Climate change – droughts occurred during the same period of the decline