20 May 2010
The ancient civilizations are the base of the world as we know it. In the same way that we can find a lot of common things between the people of different regions of the world, we can find people with a lot of differences, all these is due to the existence of the ancient civilizations; the knowledge of the worldnowadays is the research of the one of each of the ancient civilizations. The American continent is distinguished by its cultural wealth, specially the Mexican territory has a multicultural origin, with the influence of the Europeans but with roots in the Mesoamerican cultures, principally the Aztec and the Mayan. The Mayan as a Mesoamerican civilization had an incredible sense to create new stuffs.The Mayan were one of the most extended civilization of the history, and of the best organized. The Mayan is one of the Mesoamerican civilizations that gave a lot of contributions to the Mexican and Universal knowledge.
I. Location and characteristics of the Mayan territory
The ancient Maya were adapted to the coastal environment of Mexico Gulf and Caribbean Sea, to the low and swampyearths of Tabasco, the lagoons of Campeche, the mountainous landscape of Chiapas and Guatemala, the peninsula of Yucatán and the tropical coasts of Honduras.
According to Piña, Chiapas and Guatemala are the places were the Mayan began to form their civilization (5).”As the largest sub-region in Mesoamerica, it encompassed a vast and varied landscape, from the mountainous regions of the SierraMadre to the semi-arid plains of northern Yucatán” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_civilization).
Due to its dimensions, the Mayan zone represents one of the most varied environments of the earth. There are contrasts between rocky lands, almost inaccessible and plane plains. The differences of altitude produce differences on the weather: in the great part of the high valley and plateausprevail a cold and temperate weather; and in the most of the minor elevations it prevail the hot and tropical conditions (Sharer, 36).
“Commonly, the water is abundant in rivers that flow freely; in other places it just can be found in caverns, very deep, down the surface, almost inaccessible. In some zones, deep volcanic grounds maintain a productive agriculture; in others, poor and thinlands only allow the growth of hawthorns and shrubs” (Sharer, 36).
According to Sharer, the southern part of the Mayan territory is very active in the geologic aspect. The volcanic eruptions and earthquakes had been produce local and regional disasters.
In his book, Sharer divided the Mayan lands in 3 zones: The plain of the Pacific coast, the high plateaus and the down earths. The first zonehave a tropical weather with temperatures between 25° and 35° the mayor part of the year, with a rainy season from may to december. The second zone is the most able to the agriculture, with a temperate weather and temperatures between 15° and 25°. The third zone commonly have a tropical weather similar to the one of the first zone, but in this region, the season of drought is limited to the months ofmarch and may (39).
The religion of the Mayan was surely at the principle an easy cult to the nature, a personification of the natural forces that surrounded them. With the introduction of the agriculture the religion began to be more formal and organized. The existence of fixed residences made possible to lift ceremonial centers and stimulated the erection of sanctuaries and thedevelopment of complex rituals. With the invention of the calendar, the chronology and the writing, the Mayan religion had been converted in a very developed cult, born of the fusion of a primitive personification of the nature with a more complex philosophy.
Morley affirms that the creator of the world according to the antique Mayan credence was a god called Hunab Ku that...