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The Maya

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Title: Lands of the Maya Author: Jeremy Millhouse Last modified by: Lewisville ISD Created Date: 10/12/2009 7:44:15 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Maya


1
The Maya
2
Lands of the Maya
3
Political Characteristics
  • Never form a unified political system
  • Do create a unified culture
  • Larger city-states dominated smaller city-states
  • Large city-states built elaborate commercial and
    religious centers
  • Chichen-Itza

4
El Castillo at Chichen Itza
5
El Castillo
6
Maya Economy
  • Cultivated maize, cotton, and cacao
  • Increased agricultural production by draining
    swamps, terraced fields, and irrigation ditches
  • Led to environmental degradation
  • Hereditary nobility controlled most of the land
  • Maya merchants came from ruling class
  • Traded primarily in luxury products

7
Maya Society
  • Elite women participated in bloodletting rituals
    and other ceremonies
  • Women rarely held any political power
  • Common women played a role in agriculture and
    textile production
  • Coercive labor used to build large palaces and
    temples

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9
Maya Religion
  • Polytheistic
  • Cosmos consisted of three layers the heavens,
    the human world, and the underworld
  • Priests could communicate with residents of both
    supernatural worlds
  • Mayan developments calendar, writing system, and
    mathematics
  • Used to determine religious holidays

10
Maya sacrifice
  • Had to please the gods via sacrifice
  • Piercing of bodies with needle
  • Human Sacrifice
  • Sacrificed prisoners of war, slaves, and children

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Maya Accomplishments
  • Understood movement of heavenly bodies
  • Invented the concept of zero
  • Calculated the length of a solar year
  • Off by 17 seconds
  • Created an elaborate calendar
  • Two calendars solar and ritual
  • Glyphic writing system

15
Maya Writing
16
Maya Decline
  • Maya city-states were abandoned or destroyed
    between 800-900 CE
  • Causes for decline include
  • The disruption of trade after the decline of
    Teotihuacan in Central Mexico
  • Environmental degradation caused by
    overpopulation
  • Epidemic disease
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