Ancient Mayan Civilization: Yucatan Peninsula

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Ancient Maya
Geography
Mayan civilization occupied most of what is now the Yucatan Peninsula.
In the early days in Mayan society, they were situated around Mexico, and Central America
The Mayans built small huts with thatched roofs, usually one-room. The walls consisted of interwoven wooden poles, and dried mud.
Huts were used primarily for sleeping, cooking and other daily chores took place outside.
Decision Making
The King or High Priest were at the top of the Hierarchy
The King was believed to be related to the Gods
Priests prepared and helped perform sacrifices and rituals. High priests were the only ones who enter the other pyramid because they were close to the Gods
Important in this society
Beauty
It was considered attractive to have crossed eyes and a flat forehead
Young children had a braid with a bead at the end hung inbetween their eyes to make them look inwards.
For a flat forehead they would bind a young child’s head to a wooden plank
Astronomy and astrology were extremely important to the Mayans
Rituals
Since they believed that rituals and sacrifice pleased the Gods, the had a certain pyramid ( the one with steps) to perform sacrifice for the Gods.
The other pyramid was not to be climbed or entered by anyone other than the priests
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The 365 day calendar was related with the seasons, solar cycle and agriculture
18 months of 20 days
260 Day Sacred round
Related with the celestial events, it determined important events related to the Gods, predict the future and marriage.
Mayan Society men looked after construction and cornfields, women prepared food, made clothing, and tended to the family.
Society was organized in hierarchy by kings, nobles, teachers, scribes, warriors, architects, administrators, craftsmen, merchants, labourers, and farmers.
By 900 A.D., the population was growing, crops were failing, and there were serious food shortages, and malnutrition. Other factors in the collapse of society may have been thanks to:
-the escalation of hostilities later in the Classic Period
-The high price of increased warfare and maintaining kings and nobles/ building higher and more elaborate temples
-the practice of taking commoners for human sacrifice
A new era of Mayan culture was born around 1541, after the Spanish invaded. Mayan books were burned, whilst attempts were made to obliterate the mayan

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