Geography and the Early Mayas
Mesoamerica stretches from the central area of Mexico south to the northern part of Central America. In Mesoamerica the Mayas developed a great civilization. The Mayas began settling in the lowlands of what is now northen Guatemala. They cleared the area for farming, they grow a great variety of crops like beans squash, avocados and maize or corn.Forests animals such as deer, rabbits, and monkeys were a source of food. The Mayas built there houses with trees, mud and other plants. They lived in small isolated villages, but eventually this villages start with each other and with other groups in Mesoamerica. As trade increased the villages grew and by AD200 had begun to built large cities in Mesoamerica.
The Classic Age
Between AD 250and 900 the Maya civilization reached its height. This time in Maya history is known as the Classic Age. The Maya territory had more than 40 cities in this time. The cities were more city states with its own goverment and his own king. They never united there cities but trading hold the Mayas cities together. People Exchange there goods for products that were not available locally. For examplelowlands Mayas exported cotton and cacao and they receive in return Obsidian (a volcanic rock) jade and colorful bird feathers. Also through trade Mayas got supplies for construction. The Mayas built palaces decorated with carving and paintings. They also built temples,some of this temples were use to honor a king. The Mayas also built Canals and used stone walls to shape hillsides into flat terracesfor farming. Almost every city had his own stone court to play there own special ball game. The players had to bounce a hard and heavy rubber ball using only there heads, shoulders and hips. In the World history book they say that the winner get Jewels and cloth but in Google says that the winner was sacificed for the gods with was concidered a great honor.
The Mayas wereinfluenced by two main forces, one is social structure ad the other was religión.
The king was in the highest position because the Mayas believed that he was related to the gods. Priests, merchants, and noble warriors were also part of the upper class. Together with the king they held all the power in Maya society. Most Maya belonged to the lower class. This Group was made offarming familieswho lived outsider the cities. Lower class Mayas had to pay there rulers by giving part of their cloth, crops and salt. They also had to help construst temples and other public buildings. If the city went to war the men had to serve in the army , if there were captured they usualy became slaves to the upper class Mayas.
The Maya worshipped many gods. It wasbelieve that each god control a different aspect of daily life. People tried to please the gods to get their help. They believed that the gods needed blood to prevent the end of the world, so each Maya offered blood to the gods by piercing their tongue or skin. On special occasions they made human sacrifies, they usualy used prisioners captured in battle.
The Mayas did impressiveadvances in science do to their religious believes. They built observatorios so there priest could watch the starts and plan the best times for religious festivals. With the knowledge they gained from astronomy they develop two calendars . One with with 365 days guided planning harvesting and other farming activities.
These calendar was more accurate that the one they used in Europe at that time.The other one was a 260 day calendar that they use for keeping track of religious events. The mayas were skilled mathematicians. They created a number system that help them made complex calculations and were among the first people to have a symbol for zero. With the number system they record key dates in their history. The mayas also developed a writing system.they writed in stone tablets and...
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