Maya Maya- 1200 BC-900 AD • Mayan cities were city-states. Each ruler a god. Cities unified by a common language, culture, and roads. Maya- 1200 BC-900 AD • Cities were centers for religion and trade. They had temples, pyramids, and ball courts. • Tikal was almost 50 square miles and had a population of 55,000 people Maya- 1200 BC-900 AD • The pyramid at Tikal is 212 feet high. It was the tallest building in the Americas until 1903. It was built so that Jupiter and Venus align over the pyramid. Maya- 1200 BC-900 AD • The pyramid at Chichen Itza was built so that a shadow crept down the stairs like a snake only during the fall/spring equinox. • This pyramid had 91 steps on 4 staircases plus the top =365 Maya- 1200 BC-900 AD • Artisans made cotton cloth, jade/gold ornaments. Priests studied astronomy. Merchants traded by land/sea. Laborers built pyramids. Architects designed buildings. • Farmers built raised fields that could drain water. Also terraced hillsides. Maya- 1200 BC-900 AD • Maya offered blood sacrifices to Gods. Gods could be good, evil, or both. Also human sacrifice. • Itzam Na- creator God- also fire, rain, crops, earth- becomes Quetzalcoatl- most powerful ruler adopts the name Quetzalcoatl- like Caesar/Romans Maya- 1200 BC-900 AD • Had the most accurate calendar in the world. Only .0002 of a day off our modern calendar! • Two calendars- one 260 day religious calendar- 13 months 20 days each, one 365 day solar calendar- 18 months 20 days each Maya- 1200 BC-900 AD • Mayan writing- glyphs- over 800 • Books called codex written on paper made from bark • Also invented concept of zero Maya Timeline • Lowland Maya descendents of Olmec- arrive 1000BC • 550 AD- fall of Teotihuacan- breakdown of centralized power at Tikal • Increased power of local elites- more building projects and growing population- scarce food- competition for land-warfare • 900 AD Toltec invade N. Yucatan- power shifts from Tikal to Chichen Itza. Mayan Timeline • About 1200 Chichen Itza abandoned- power shifts to Mayapan- a walled city • Revolt destroyed Mayapan in 1441 • By the arrival of Spaniards, empire dead. • Toltec migrate to Valley of Mexico where they are destroyed. • Legend of Quetzalcoatl lives on… • Civilizations worshipping the Feathered Serpent included the Olmec, Mixtec, Toltec, Aztec, who adopted it from the people of Teotihuacan, and the Maya.
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