Mayan Culture Essay
There are many great tribes that existed as early as 2,000BC. One of those great tribes were the Mayans. The Maya were a part of Mesoamerica and existed during the classic period. The Maya were decicated to calculating time. They lived in city states and they were highly advanced in mathematical calculations. They also were responsible for creating the most accurate calendar in the Americas. This civilization was one of the most advanced of its time.
Furthermore, I will discuss the Mayan Culture; agriculture, language, the mayan calendar, and many other things. The Mayans had many great achievements. One of the most important achievements was the establishment of a calendar with astonishing accuracy. They based their calendar off of one of their pyramids; the Pyramid of Kukulkan located in Chichen Itza. It was built in the late Mayan period and was used as the basis for the calendar. The pyramid had four stairways, with 91 steps each as well as a platform on the top.
All of this came together to a total of 365 days, which was equivalent to the number of days in a year based on the recent calendar. An article from TimeandDate. com states: “The Mayan Calendar consists of three separate corresponding calendars, the Long Count, the Tzolkin(divine calendar) and the Haab (civil calendar). Time is cyclical in the calendars and a set number of days must occur before a new cycle can begin”. Agriculture was the source of the economy for the Mayans.
Corn was their main crop whoever, they also grew squash, beans, chili, chocolate, vanilla, pineapple,tomato, peanut, avocado, potato, and jicama. “The Mayans supported themselves by using slash- and-burn agriculture. The vegetation was cut down and burned to clear the land and provide nutriments for the soil, which was then planted with crops. The Mayans also developed advance systems of irrigation and terracing. Terracing involves the construction of horizontal ridges in a hillside as a means of increasing the arable (farming) land”.
The Mayans established a trade network that linked several Central American Indian groups and eventually extended into central Mexico, where the Mayans exchanged goods with the Aztecs. The Mayans were ahead of other civilizations in the new world. They created their own form of writing called hieroglyphics. They wrote stories and covered their pyramids using this writing. “They created the only true writing system in the Americas (about a third of their hieroglyphics have been deciphered)”.
Although they had limited technology, the Mayans excelled in science and mathematics aswell. “Their astronomers traced the path of Venus with an error of only fourteen seconds a year”. The Mayans were also very religious. They believed in many Gods. They believed that the Gods would bring good things to them if the people honored them. If the Gods were angry, they would send disasters. The Mayans believed that they must offer a peace offering when these disasters would occur such as blood.
In closing, the Mayans had many great achievements in areas such as road building, the first writing system of hieroglyphics, mathematical systems, and most importantly, established a calendar with astonishing accuracy. Many of their discoveries are still used today.
•http://www. timeanddate. com/calendar/mayan. html •”Maya. ” Gale Encyclopedia of U. S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2000. 611. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. •Gonzales, Manuel G. Mexicanos: A History of Mexicans in the United States. Indiana University Press 1999.