Similarities Between The Maya And Aztec Civilizations

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Third Paper
The Aztec and the Maya are well-known Mesoamerican civilizations. These civilizations are widely known today as a result of the preserved artifacts and origin stories. Some artifacts found from the Aztec culture are pieces of stonework that depict gods, calendars, and origin stories. The most preserved and sought after artifacts are those of the Maya. The Maya civilization passed on their life work in calendars and origin stories. These objects have provided insight of who the Aztecs and Mayan were and it has enabled us to grasp a better understanding of their culture and religion. But most importantly it has helped us find similarities and differences between the Aztec and the Maya.
The Aztec and Maya were two very distinct civilizations
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There are distinct pieces of evidence that show the uniqueness of the Aztec and Maya civilization. The Aztec civilization adapted a more militaristic religion meanwhile the Maya adapted a more sophisticated numerically metaphoric religion. In the Aztec civilization, we see for the first time the birth of a warrior, Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and sun. Huitzilopochtli was born a warrior and went on to slay his sister along with 400 of her relatives. The slaying of his sister and 400 relatives were taken as human sacrifices to nourish the gods. Oftentimes the Aztecs would engage in war and enslave enemies to use as sacrificial offerings. This is mainly due to the belief that human sacrifices can open “ways of communication with the deities” (Carrasco, 83). The Aztec civilization had a setting that “was a dynamic, unstable, destructive one distinguished by sharp alternations between order and disorder, cosmic life, and cosmic death… by combats, sacrifice, and rebellion” (Carrasco, 65). The Mayan religion revolved around the notion that time should be controlled. They were passionate about time to the extent that they built a calendar that reflected their passion “for pattern and the passion for regeneration of time and life” (Carrasco, 136). The calendars required sophisticated forms of mathematics; this led to the development of the concept of zero. Without the development of …show more content…
The calendar would inform them of events (e.g., wars and rituals) that had to take place and period-ending dates. But the calendar ultimately served one purpose, and it was to ensure the renewal of their civilization. Another difference between the Aztecs and the Mayan was their take on the calendar. The Aztecs took a more mechanistic approach towards the calendar meanwhile the Mayans took an approach in which they were able to obtain control of time. It is argued that the Aztecs took a mechanistic approach because “Aztec ceremonies, were guided by detailed ritual calendars” (66, Carrasco). Franke J. Neumann author of The Experience of Time in Nahuatl Religion, explains that the Aztecs looked upon the calendar as a “central fact of their filled a very large place in the ceremonial life of people” (256, Neumann). On the other hand, the Mayan largely focused on the calculations that helped develop the calendar in order to predict future occurrences and the renewal of their

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