Welcome to the Mayan Museum Museum Entrance Press for Curator Writin g Room Religio n Room Food Room Mayan Religion Room 2 Museum Entrance Mayan Food Room 3 Museum Entrance Mayan Writing Room 4 Entrance Museum 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 http://www.creighton.edu/langlab/classes/spn202fs05/mexic o2/chichenitza.jpg 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. Return to Room 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 http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/maya/old- about 160 A.D. From 465 A.D. to 800 A.D. copan.gif Copan was at its height of science, art, and culture. Return to Room 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 60,000 people. The city once covered an area of 23 square Image acquired at: http://www.authenticmaya.com/images/ancient- 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”. Return to Room 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 http://www.ecotravelmexico.com/imagenes/tulum.jpg interesting carvings of faces on the corners. Tulum was the only Mayan city that was thriving when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Mexico. Return to Room 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: Return to Room http://sanghavedanta.com/macanche/index.php?option =com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=39 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: Return to Room http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/mythol ogy/images/chac_maya_jpg_image.html 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 http://www.polapa.com/tienda/imagenes/60- 62verdes.jpg 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 http://library.thinkquest.org/C004577/religion6.php3 some black on his face. His name hieroglyph is an eye with a black ring around it. Return to Room 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: http://www.civilization.ca/civil/maya/mmj01eng.html Return to Room 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: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/chocolate.htm Return to Room 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 grasshoppers. Image acquired at: http://www.mayankids.com/mmkpeople/mkbugtaco.htm Return to Room 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Zea_mays.jpg Kaax, who they prayed and offer sacrifices to. Return to Room 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: Americas. http://www.civilization.ca/civil/maya/images/maycrv3 b.gif Return to Room 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 http://concise.britannica.com/ebc/art-441/The-Mayan-number-system- which-is-base-20-with-simple any number. Return to Room 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. Return to Room Image acquired at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_codices 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 http://www.calendariomaya.com/images/Tzolkin.gif 23, 2012. Return to Room Artifact 17 Title Add text here Image acquired at: Place URL here Return to Room 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 Return to Room Note: Virtual museums were first introduced by educators at Keith Valley Middle School in Horsham, Pennsylvania. This template was designed by Dr. Christy Keeler based on one of the sample virtual museums provided by the Keith Valley staff at ISTE‟s NECC 2005. Contact Dr. Keeler for more information on using this template.