Presentation on theme: "Uncovering the World of the Mayans. Olmecs First major civilization in Mexico 1200-400 B.C. on the Mexico’s Gulf Coast Built cities with large pyramids,"— Presentation transcript:
Olmecs First major civilization in Mexico 1200-400 B.C. on the Mexico’s Gulf Coast Built cities with large pyramids, developed religious practices, and created calendars and writing systems. Influenced the culture and religion of the Mayans
Mayans Mayans reached their peak from 300-900 A.D. The Mayans had built more than a 100 city- states. Each with its own ruler and its own government. The Mayas were not a unified people but many nations with different, but related, cultures, religions, and languages. Created the Americas most advanced writing, calendar, mathematics, and farming methods.
Mayan Cities Largest city was Tikal with up to 100,000 people and eight pyramids Cities had a ceremonial center, tall pyramids, large open plazas, and palaces The ruler and priests lived in the center, upper and middle class houses surrounded the center, and the peasants lived in huts on the outer edge of the city. They built raised roads, and their buildings were made of stone and cement.
Mayan Agriculture Hunter and Gatherer society They used the slash and burn method which means they cut down trees, dried, and then burned them. This made ashes which fertilized the soil. They cut out terraces in hilly terrain in order to have a flat planting surface. Their major food sources were maize, beans, chili, squash, tomatoes, avocado, pumpkin, and cacao.
Mayan Social Class 1 st level- Ruler 2 nd level- Nobles and Priests 3 rd level- Merchants and Artisans 4 th level- Peasants 5 th level- Slaves
Mayans Religion They had a polytheistic religion Most Gods dealt with nature and daily life The ruler was seen as the High Priest and the living god of the Mayans. The Mayans believed when their rulers died, they became Gods. One of the reasons the Mayans built pyramids was because they felt it got them closer to their Gods.
Mayans Disappearing Around 900 A.D. The Mayans suddenly and mysteriously abandoned their cities. There are many theories on this subject. The cause could have been from disease, natural disaster, deforestation, or even revolt.
Mayans 2012 http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/official-2012- countdown This ‘Long Calendar’ started on August 13 th 3114 B.C., in current calendar years. To them it was simply a count from day zero. They had a period that consisted of 5125 years, it is called a Great Cycle. Mayans believed the end of one of these great cycles signified the end of an age and catastrophe. This is where the various tales of a Mayan prophecy arise, because 2012 will be the end of one of these cycles.