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					                            Welcome to the Mayan
          Museum Entrance

n Room
Mayan Religion

                 Room 2

                    Mayan Food
           Room 3

Mayan Writing

Room 4

               Artifact 1: Chichen Itza
•   Chichen Itza is perhaps the most famous of
    all the Mayan cities. It served as the capital
    of the second great Mayan empire (1,000 to
    1,450 A.D.). Chichen Itza means “at the
    mouth of the well of the Itza”. The city got
    its water from two large sink holes called
    “cenotes”. They were extremely important
    because there are no rivers that run through
    the northern Yucatan where Chichen Itza is.
    The Temple of Kukulcan is a four sided,
    step pyramid with stairways going up all                            Image acquired at:
    four sides. Each stairway has 91 steps 
    totaling 364 when all four sides are counted.
    The top of the pyramid is the final step
    making 365, the number of days in a year.
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                      Artifact 2: Copan
•   Settlement in the area of Copan may have
    begun as early as 2,000 B.C. As the city
    developed Mayan art and astronomy
    flourished. While the buildings at Copan
    were not as large the buildings in other
    Mayan cities, the detail and elegant carvings
    on the buildings are astounding. Some of the
    stone carvings even give the names of
    former rulers of Copan: Smoke Jaguar, 18
    Rabbit, Squirrel, Leaf Jaguar, Dawn, and
    Smoke Monkey. Yax-Kuk-Mo began the
                                                                 Image acquired at:
    first of the ruling dynasties in Copan at
    about 160 A.D. From 465 A.D. to 800 A.D.                          copan.gif

    Copan was at its height of science, art, and
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                          Artifact 3: Tikal

•    Tikal was occupied
     between 800 B.C. and
     900 A.D. At its height,
     about 700 A.D., it was
     home to more than
     people. The city once covered an area of 23 square                     Image acquired at:
    miles and was made up of more than 10,000                                     tikal.gif
    structures; from grand temples to huts. The central part
    of this city was the Great Plaza. This plaza was
    surrounded by five grand temples, seventy stelae
    (stone monuments covered with carved glyphs), and
    rows of alters. This place is so amazing; it was used as
    the set for a rebel base in the film “Star Wars”.
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                      Artifact 4: Tulum
•   Tulum, which means “wall” in Maya, once
    was called Zama, which means “the place of
    the dawning sun”. The city is unique
    because it is enclosed by walls on three
    sides, with 40 foot cliffs dropping to the
    Caribbean Sea on the forth side. This city
    reached its height between 1,000 A.D. and
    1,600 A.D. During this time it served as a
    central port for Mayan trade. The city has
    one main building called “El Castillo” and                      Image acquired at:
    other smaller structures adorned with 

    interesting carvings of faces on the corners.
    Tulum was the only Mayan city that was
    thriving when the Spanish Conquistadors
    arrived in Mexico.
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                                     Artifact 5: Itzamna
                                                     Itzamna is the Mayan god of creation and the
                                                     founder of the Mayan religion. He ruled the
                                                     heavens and was thought to be the one who began
                                                     the Mayan culture. He was believed to have
                                                     invented the Mayan math and writing systems, and
                                                     taught the Mayans the use of the calendar. He was
                                                     depicted as a large jaw, toothless, cross-eyed old
                                                     man and was considered to be the chief of the
                                                     Mayan gods. He was the lord of all the heavens
                                                     during both day and night.

                Image acquired at:
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                                           Artifact 6: Chac
                                                •   Chac was the Mayan god of fertility, rain, and
                                                    lighting. He is one of the oldest Mayan gods. The
                                                    Mayan people believed when time began, Chac struck
                                                    a sacred stone with his axe, and the first ear of maize
                                                    sprung out. Worshipping him was done primarily at
                                                    sources of fresh water and sacred wells. The Mayan
                                                    depicted him with his body covered with the scales of
                                                    a reptile. The Mayan city of Chichen Itza was a center
                                                    of worship for his followers. Frogs were associated
                                                    with Chac, because they croak when rain is coming.

              Image acquired at:
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                                Artifact 7: Yum Kax

                                            •   Yum Kax was the god of Mayan agriculture
                                                and Maize. He was usually depicted as a
                                                young man with a very sloped forehead,
                                                holding a pot of maize and looking very
                                                unhappy. While he was powerful, his power
                                                was limited by the powers of the other gods
                                                who controlled rain, drought, and famine. In
                                                Mayan myths he is constantly getting into
                                                fights with these other gods.

           Image acquired at:                                            Return to Room
                  Artifact 8: Ek Chuah
•   Ek Chuah was the Mayan scorpion god, the
    god of war, the god of traveling merchants,
    and the god of cacao planters. Cacao seeds
    were a form of currency in the Mayan
    empire this is why he was the god of both
    cacao planters (those who grew the valuable
    crop) and traveling merchants (those who
    had goods to sell in exchange for the seeds).
    Mayan travelers and merchants use to carry
    incense that they would burn each night they
    were traveling and pray to Ek Chuah to
    “bring them home safe.” Chuah means                             Image acquired at:
    "black" in Maya. Ek Chuah usually had 
    some black on his face. His name hieroglyph
    is an eye with a black ring around it.
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                Artifact 9: Mayan Diet

•   The Maya ate wild animals they caught like:
    fish, turtles, ducks, deer, dogs, turkeys,
    parrots, eagles, foxes, rabbits, armadillo,
    monkey, iguana, wild boar, and alligators.
    They also ate fruit like: banana, pineapple,
    guava, watermelon, and mangos. In addition
    to corn, the Maya grew: beans, squash,
    pumpkin, chili peppers, tomatoes, and sweet
    potatoes. This variety of food gave the Maya
    a good balanced diet.                                          Image acquired at:

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                       Artifact 10: Cacao

•   The Maya would harvest the pineapple size
    fruit of the cacao tree. Inside this fruit is 20
    to 60 seeds or „beans”. The seeds are what
    the Mayas used to make “The Drink of the
    Gods”. They used these „coco beans‟ to
    make many chocolate drinks. They even had
    a cacao god, Ek Chuah. The cacao bean
    were sometimes considered more valuable
    than gold to the Maya.
                                                                     Image acquired at:

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                Artifact 11: Bug Tacos

•   The ancient Maya filled their tacos with
    caterpillars, worms, ants, and even crickets.
    Because the Maya had so few domesticated
    animals, insects, which are high in protein,
    were a big part of the Maya diet. They also
    ate flies, beetles, ant eggs, wasps, and

                                                                    Image acquired at:

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                     Artifact 12: Maize

•   Maize was the single most important crop
    produced by the Maya. It has been estimated
    that ¾ of the food eaten by the Maya was
    maize in some form or another. Maize was
    commonly dried, processed, and ground;
    then it was used to make tortillas. For the
    Maya, the tortilla proved to be a way to
    wrap and hold other types of food while
    eating. It also was a great way to take their
    food out with them when working in the
    fields or on some community project all day.                  Image acquired at:

    The Maya even had a god of maize, Yum 

    Kaax, who they prayed and offer sacrifices
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          Artifact 13: Mayan Writing

•   The Maya developed an original form of
    hieroglyphic writing. Each picture or
    symbol represented a different word or
    idea. Hieroglyphics are found on many of
    the Mayan buildings, on Codices (Mayan
    books), and on large stone monuments
    called stela. Stela are stone carvings the
    Maya used to record important events on.
    The Maya were the only culture to have
    developed a writing system in the Ancient
                                                                  Image acquired at:

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        Artifact 14: Mayan Numbers

•   The Maya developed an original numeric
    system that allowed them to study the
    stars, develop a very accurate calendar,
    and to build their large and complex
    buildings. Our number system uses 10 as a
    base; the Mayan number system uses 20.
    Their system is also unique because it only
    uses three symbols (a dot, a bar, and a
    shell). The dot represents 1, the bar 5, and
    the shell 0. By arranging these symbols in                           Image acquired at:
    the correct order, the Maya could represent
    any number.

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                  Artifact 15: Mayan Codices

                                            •   The Maya had books called Codices. These books
                                                were made out of long strips of the inner bark of fig
                                                trees. This bark was folded into sections to make the
                                                pages of the book. The Maya would write in these
                                                codices with turkey feather quills, thorns from cactus,
                                                chips of bone, and animal hair brushes. Each
                                                hieroglyph was outlined in a black ink made from coal
                                                and then colored in. All but four codices were burned
                                                by the Spanish when they conquered the Maya.

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              Image acquired at:
        Artifact 16: Mayan Calendar

•   The Mayan Calendar was very accurate. It is
    made up of three rings that have interlocking
    points that are used to tell the Mayan date.
    The Mayan tracked a 365 day solar year and
    a 260 day Sacred Count Calendar. The
    Sacred Count Calendar involved a new day
    name for every set of 13 days that passed.
    The 365 day Solar Calendar involved a new
    month name for every set of 19 days that
    passed. It also included the Long Count                        Image acquired at:
    Calendar that ends on Sunday, December
    23, 2012.

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                Artifact 17 Title
Add text here

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                                       Place URL here

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                                                            John Yoder

   John Yoder is a 4th grade teacher at
   Paradise PDS. He has a B.A. in
   Communications and a M.A. in
   Curriculum and Instruction. He has been
   teaching for 3 years.

   Contact John Yoder

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