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Bellwork How did the Olmec and the Zapotec influence later cultures?

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Presentation on theme: "Bellwork How did the Olmec and the Zapotec influence later cultures?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Bellwork How did the Olmec and the Zapotec influence later cultures?

2 Section 5, Unit 1 pt. 2 The Maya
World History Section 5, Unit 1 pt. 2 The Maya

3 Objectives Analyze the geography of the Mesoamerican region occupied by the Maya. Describe how the Olmec and Zapotec influenced the Maya civilization. Examine the Mayan religion and how their religion influenced their everyday lives.

4 Beginning of Civilization
In the early centuries AD, most North American peoples were beginning to develop complex societies (i.e. Native Americans). However, farther south, the peoples of Mexico and Central America were blossoming into a great and powerful civilization. Heading the great civilizations of this time were the Maya, who built their civilization in the heart of Mesoamerica.

5 Geography The homeland of the Maya stretched from southern Mexico into northern Central America. This area includes a highland region and a lowland region. The lowlands include a region known as the Yucatan Peninsula and the dense jungles of southeastern Mexico.

6 Geography The highlands are further south– they are made up of a range of cool, cloud-weathered mountains that stretch from Mexico to El Salvador.

7 Changes While the Olmec were building their civilization along the Gulf Coast in the period of 1200 B.C. to 400 B.C., the Maya were also evolving. They took on Olmec influences, blending local customs. By AD 250, Mayan culture has burst into a flourishing civilization.

8 Mayan Civilization The period from AD is known as the Classic Period of Mayan civilization. During this time, the Maya built spectacular cities such as Tikal, a major center in northern Guatamala. Other cities include Copan, Palenque (Pah-len-Kay), Uxmal, and Chichen Itza.

9 Mayan Civilization Each Mayan city-state was entirely independent and was ruled by a god-king. The cities each served as a center for religious ceremonies and trade. Like Mesopotamia, the Maya were made up of individual city-states that all shared a common culture.

10 Mayan Civilization Mayan cities feature giant pyramids, temples, palaces, and elaborate stone carvings dedicated to the gods and to important rulers. Tens of thousands of people lived within the cities and the cities bustled with activity.

11 Mayan Civilization Aside from great temples- at the highest went 212 feet into the sky- the Mayan’s also built sports centers. These centers had both religious and political significance. The Maya believed that by playing this game they would maintain the cycles of the sun and moon and bring rain.

12 Agriculture and Economy
Although the Mayan city-states were independent, they were linked through alliances, trade, and a shared culture. Cities exchanged the products of their local environment, such as salt, flint, feathers, shells, and honey.

13 Agriculture and Economy
The Maya, however, did not have a uniform currency. In this, they used cacao (chocolate) beans as a form of currency.

14 Agriculture and Economy
As in the rest of Mesoamerica, agriculture provided the basis for their life. They focused primarily on growing maize, beans, and squash. Mayan farmers developed sophisticated methods of agriculture, such as planting on raised beds above swamps and on hillside terraces. These methods allowed for Mayan farmers to grow massive amounts of food.

15 Wealth Successful farming methods led to the accumulation of wealth and the development of social classes. The noble class, which included priests and the leading warriors, occupied the top rung of Mayan society. Question: So far, how can we tell that religion is very significant to the Mayan peoples?

16 Wealth Below the upper class sat the merchants and those with specialized knowledge, such as master artisans. Finally, at the bottom of the social pyramid lie the peasant majority.

17 Wealth However, at the very top of the pyramid lie the king who was regarded as a holy figure and whose rulership was hereditary.

18 Religion Religion influenced Mayan life.
The Maya believed in many gods, who inhabited the 13 layers of the sky and 9 layers of the underworld. There were gods of corn, death, rain, and war.

19 Religion Gods could be good or evil; or sometimes both.
Gods also were associated with the four directions and different colors: white for north, black for west, yellow for south, red for east, and green in the center. The actual Mayan Calendar

20 Religion The Maya even went so far as to believe that each day represented a different god and that the day could be predicted with the help of intricate calendars.

21 Religion The Maya worshipped their gods in various ways.
They prayed and made offerings of food, flowers, and incense. They also pierced their bodies and offered blood, believing that would nourish the gods.

22 Religion The Maya- to a much lesser extent as other Mesoamerican groups- engaged in human sacrifices. Usually, these were of captured enemies. The Maya believed these sacrifices pleased the gods and kept the world in balance. Cenote: a deep sinkhole in the Yucatan where the Maya threw human offerings.

23 Mathematics Mayan religious beliefs inspired the development of the calendar, mathematics, and astronomy. Mayans believed that time was a burden carried on the back of a god. At the end of any day, month, or year, one god would give the burden to another. Depending on the god, the day could be lucky or unlucky and thus it was important to have an accurate calendar. Question: How is this similar to Muslim peoples?

24 Mathematics The Maya developed a 260-day religious Calendar, which consisted of twenty 13-day months. A second 365 day solar calendar consisted of day months, with a separate period of 5 days at the end. The two calendars interlocked and any given day could be identified.

25 Astronomy The Maya based their calendar on careful observations of the planets, sun, and moon. Highly skilled Mayan astronomers and mathematicians calculated the solar year at days (only short). The Mayan astronomers were able to attain such great precision at the math system that they included the concept of zero. Mayans were one of the first peoples to develop the concept of zero.

26 Language The Maya also developed the most advanced writing system in the ancient Americas. Mayan writing consisted of 800 hieroglyphic symbols or glyphs. Some of the glyphs stood for whole words while others represented syllables.

27 Language The Maya used their writing system to record important historical events, carving their glyphs into stone or recording them on bark-paper known as a codex. Aside from this, the Maya- after the arrival of the Spanish- wrote down much of their history, stories, and customs.

28 Decline The history of the Maya ended in the late 800s, shrouded in mystery. For unknown reasons, the Maya abandoned many of their cities. Some cities continued to thrive, but the lands the Maya abandoned became inhabited by the Toltec. Question: Why might the Maya have abandoned their cities? Think back to why other civilizations fell or were abandoned.

29 Decline While no one knows why the Maya disappeared, experts suspect that the Maya declined due to: Warfare in the 700s that forced them to flee. Economic hardship Population growth and over-farming led to ecological disaster.

30 Decline Regardless of what occurred, what is known is that by the time the Spanish arrived in the 1500s, the Maya were a group of small, weak city-states.

31 Maya While the Mayan civilization ceased to exist, through their temples, mathematical contributions, and amazing cities, their culture heavily influenced later Mesoamerican peoples and even modern Hispanic cultures today. There is an estimated 7 million Mayan people today.

32 Questions If you have any questions, please ask now.

33 Next lesson In the next lesson, we are going to discuss the rise of the Aztec peoples.

34 Review Give three (3) examples of how the Maya showed how important their religion is. While the Maya were independent city-states, what characteristics united them as a people? Why did the Maya create accurate calendars? Describe two (2) accomplishments the Maya made in the field of astronomy or mathematics. What three (3) factors may have led to the decline of the Mayan peoples? How do the Maya meet the five characteristics of the civilization: advanced cities, specialized workers, complex institutions, record keeping, advanced technology. Please be sure to explain each of the 5 characteristics with a supporting detail/example.

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