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The Rise and Fall of the Classic Maya Civilization

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1 The Rise and Fall of the Classic Maya Civilization
The Mayas The Rise and Fall of the Classic Maya Civilization

2 Why were the Maya a successful civilization?
Located on the Yucatan Peninsula so it was surrounded by water They developed a writing system and kept a records.

3 More Reasons Why the Maya were successful…
Made advances in art and literature They had a strong government system They created advanced cities They traded within the empire Strong religious system Able leaders Made many technological advances

4 Advances in Agriculture
The Maya used terrace farming to grow a large amount of crops. They drained water from marshes to create more farmland and to maximize irrigation.

5 Mayan Writing The Maya created their own form of writing known as glyphs. There were hundreds of different characters in their written language. The Maya used their writing to write books, stories, religious tales and laws on paper made from bark. This type of book is known as a Codex.

6 Mayan Architecture Mayan architects built many cities. The cities became centers for trade and religion.Cities featured giant pyramids, temples, palaces and stone carvings. The largest city was Tikal Tikal had two stone temples and a huge plaza.

7 Other advances in Architecture
The Maya built temples that looked like flat-topped pyramids. The Mayans built observatories to study the stars. These were large round stone buildings.

8 Government System Each Mayan city had its own ruler and its own way of life. The laws of each city depended upon the needs of the people.

9 Economic System The Mayan economy was varied. People living near mountains made knives and jewelry for trade. People on the plains grew cotton and made pottery. People along the coast traded salt.

10 Religion The Ancient Mayans were polytheistic.
They believed that each day was a living god. Mayans made offerings of food, flowers and human sacrifice to their gods. Religion was an important aspect of everyday Mayan life.

11 Class System The Mayan culture was a theocracy. The king was considered both a political and religious leader. The was a definite class system during the Classic Maya period. These classes included slaves, farmer /merchant class, priests, kings.

12 Technological Advances
Technological advances of the Maya included: The development of a 365 day calendar. A base 20 number system A huge public works system that created cities for tens of thousands

13 Other Interesting Information…
The Tikal pyramids were the tallest structures in the Americas until 1903 when the Flatiron Building was built in New York city. Only 3 ancient Codex books survive today. Cacao (chocolate) beans sometimes served as money in the Mayan world.

14 Why did the Mayas fall? No one knows what happened to the Mayans.
Theories for the fall include: Internal fighting Violence that cause Maya to flee the cities. Population growth and over-farming caused food shortages, famine and disease

15 Why we think the Mayas disappeared
As with most empires, internal fighting was most likely the reason for the decline of the Classic Maya. Internal struggle leaves a civilization ripe for take-over, shortages, and/or collapse.

16 Comparison of Classic Maya and Ancient Egypt
Built pyramids Used system of glyphics Class system Polytheistic Theocracy Believed in the afterlife EGYPT Built pyramids Used system of hieroglyphics Class system Polytheistic Theocracy Believed in the afterlife

17 How the Mayan civilization has affected our own
The Mayans have impacted our civilization in the areas of: Architecture Mathematics Agriculture Manufacturing Engineering

18 Works Cited

19 Works Cited (continued)

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