2 Geography: A Growing Civilization The Maya lived in the Yucatan PeninsulaSpread out over 125,000 square milesThe Highlands / lowlandsWith mountains and valleys
3 Geography: A Growing Civilization Archaeologists think the Maya began working the land as early as 1800 B.C.They built small farming villagesBy 200 A.D., some of these villages grew into cities.Warriors fought over land and powerNo ruler united the entire Mayan kingdom
4 Cities / TemplesMayan cities were built around religious centers. Some cities had great palaces.The Maya built flat-topped pyramids made of limestone. At the top of these pyramids were temples. That was where the Mayan priest-kings held religious rituals.Tikal, Guatemala
5 An Economy Based on Agriculture As Mayan cities grew, farmers needed to produce more food. They found ways to farm places they had not farmed before.They farmed the sides of hills (carved into flat terraces)They build raised fields in the wet lowlandsThey burned trees and plants in forests to clear the land for farmingThey moved good soil to areas that had poor soilThey dug water systems (irrigation) to bring water to dry areas
7 AgricultureBy using these techniques, they grew corn, beans and squash.They traded their extra food between the highland and lowland people and with people in Central America and MexicoIn return, they received goods that they couldn’t produce themselves, such as jade, feathers and cacao beans.Cacao beans held great value (used as money) and was restricted to only the most important MayanObsidian – A glass like volcanic rock was also traded/used as money
9 The RulersPolytheism-The Maya worshipped many gods. The also worshipped their rulers.They thought their rulers could influence the gods.One Mayan ruler was named Pascal. He ruled the Maya for 68 years. Like other Maya rulers he was a priest as well as a warrior.Priest-kings like Pascal killed animals and sometimes people as offerings to the gods.The City of Palenque build a temple that was used to record his achievements
10 The Maya wanted to keep the gods happy and prevent disaster They believe that the gods needed bloodPriest-kings like Pascal killed animals and sometimes people as offerings to the gods.
12 Mayan Achievements: Mayan H.A.M. H= hieroglyphs (a writing system) Each picture stood for an object and/or a sound. Some hieroglyphs stood for whole ideas, such as life or happiness.Hieroglyphs were carved on the stone columns and record books called a codex
14 A= Astronomy A= Astronomy- They knew exact moon phases Able to predict sun and moon eclypsesThey created very precise 365 day calendars for harvesting.They also had a 120 day calendar for religious events.
15 M= MathematicsMathematics- A number system. Were the first to use the symbol of zero (binary math)The number system was based on units of 20.
17 Recreation The Mayan Ball Game Players tried to hit a solid rubber ball through a stone ring by using their leather-padded elbows, wrists, and hips.People from all levels of Mayan society watched and placed bets on the outcome of the gameSlaves, land and homes could be won and lost during a gameThe losing team were sacrificed and the captain of the defeated team was beheaded.
19 The End of the MayaThe collapse of the Classic Mayan civilization is one of the great mysteries.The Mayan culture thrived for about 600 years.By 900 C.E., the Maya had abandoned their cities to the junglePossible causes:Populations of the cities grew to fast for the farming systemLong periods of drought (dry weather) causing crop failureWarfare – wars were very bloody, hand-to-hand fighting with clubs and spearsInvaders from central Mexico helped to destroy the city-states