The Maya Civilization

1574 Words 6 Pages
The Maya were an advanced civilization that existed in present-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, northern Honduras, and El Salvador. They were positioned in one geographic area covering the Yucatan Peninsula; this smart choice of area indicated that the Maya were aware and looked to remained somewhat protected from invasion by other Mesoamerican groups that could come in from northern areas. Unlike some other indigenous populations of Mesoamerica, the Maya were not one united empire, but rather a series of powerful states that often allied with or fought against one another. Originally recognized during the pre-classic era (c. 2000 BCE to CE 250), many Maya states and municipalities were at the peak state of their development by the classic …show more content…
Throughout the six centuries of the classic period the Maya civilization thrived, first in the forests of the Petén in Guatemala and neighboring areas creating cities like Tikal, Uaxactun, Quirigua, Copan, and Palenque and then in northern Yucatan creating amazing pilgrimage centers as Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Labna, Etzna, Chichen, and Coba. There is no accurate population assessment, but research has shown that it could have possibly be in the millions. In the 1600s, the Spanish reported to have an estimated count between 600,000-1 million people living in Yucatan only. The larger cities probably had populations of 100,000, but that is not taking into consideration the rural areas that reinforced some of the larger cities. The first Maya settlement dates to about 1800 BCE. This last is what it’s known as the beginning of the pre classic or formative …show more content…
These buildings have given the Maya the reputation as the prodigious artists of Mesoamerica. Directed by their holy ceremonies, the Maya also made important progress in mathematics and astronomy, including the usage of the number zero and the creation and development of an intricate calendar system centered on 365 days. The once called “long count calendar”, “Mayan long count calendar” or just “Maya calendar” (which is a version of the extinct Mesoamerican calendar) was adapted by the Maya by the classic period (200 C.E.). The earliest inscription made in the Maya calendar it’s estimated to date back to 292 C.E. The earliest date listed on the Maya calendar is approximately August 11, 3114 B.C.E., which is what the Maya believed to have been the creation date of their civilization. The Maya calendar is characterized as a five place notation arrangement of ascending cycles - kins (days), winals (20-day months), tuns (360 days), k 'atuns (20 tuns), and bak 'tuns (20 k 'atuns). It is important to note that the Maya version of a year, the tun, is only 360 days and not the solar count of 365 as it is popularly

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