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Ancient Maya by Mind Map: Ancient Maya
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Ancient Maya


Cutting throat, disemboweling, casting into a well, cutting open chest and removing a still beating heart.

The Collapse of the Maya

There is no universally accepted theory to explain the collapse.  


Current theories fall into two catagories. Non-ecological and ecological




Mayan Art


Consisted of inscriptions and architecture

Reflected their culture and lifestyle

Types of Artwork

Painting on paper

building plaster

stucco molds

stone, wood, clay

terra cotta figurines

funerary pottery


scarce usage

Azul Blue

Also known as "Maya Blue" It is a beautiful turquoise color that has survived through the centuries due to its unique chemical characteristics. Maya blue survived until the 16th century, this was when the technique was lost    

Most important for apperance


Body Art

Different colors of body paint, Priest wore blue, Warriors wore red and black, and the youth wore white







Crops such as maize, beans, squash, and chile peppers grew well in the highlands, but sweet manioc, along with other root vegetables, was easier to produce in the lowlands.

Maize, Preparation of maize, 3. Dough made into 'tamamles' or 'tortillas'., 2. Hominy ground into dough



Chile peppers

Sweet manioc

Geography/ Topography


The highlands can reach an altitude of nearly 1,000 ft (305 m).  There are many extinct and actve vocanoes with altitudes of more than 13,000 ft (3,960 m).  Beyond these are ancient metamorphic and igneous rock, and even further beyond are tertiary and cretaceos limestones.  In the far northeast are the Mayan mountains which are as old as many of the limestones. Where these natural landforms are not present, rain and erosion have carved deep ravines between cambered ridges in the land. There are also some broader valleys in Guatemala City, Quetzaltenagro, and Comitán. The rainy season is the same here as in the lowlands: from May to early November, receiving the heaviest rainfall in June and October. The most has ben recorded in areas around Chipas and Guatemala, cities known in pre-Conquest times for the production of cacao. The vegetation in the highlands consists of pines and grasses on the tops of ridges and slopes, and oaks deeper into the ravines. This area also has a denser population.


The Petén-Yucatán is a great limestone shelf right up to the Gulf of Mexico, which borders the shelf on the western and northern coasts. Its eastern shores border the Caribbean. The southern Petén region is old and rugged and covered in broken hills. Farther north in Yucatán, however, the terrain appears flat and featureless, although it is really pitted with porous limestone. In the most northern reach of Yucatán is the Puuc range, a chain of hillsabout a hundred feet hgh. It is very hot in the lowlands ner the end of the dry season, and even in the rainy season it receives very little rain compared to other tropical areas.


Monsoon Forest


Thorny Jungle

Animals, Deer and wild turkey, Spider monkeys and howler mokeys, Jaguar, Tapir


There were some rivers in the lowlands, although there were none in the west or southeast.







Social Hierarchy





It was hereditary and absolute monarchy. The leader was called an ajaw. Crimes were punished with death.

Basic History and information


10th millennium BCE

Mayan Time periods, Classic period, Pre-Classic, Post-Classic


The large temples were built by the kings. Each time a knew king ruled it added a level to the temples. By the end of the Post-Classic period, these buldings were many stories high. Many of the buldings were also ceremonial centers


The Mayas are regarded as inventors of many aspects of Meso-American cultures, including the first calender and heiroglyphic writing in the Western Hemisphere.  


Class System

There was a distinct class systen in ancient Maya. There was a distinct difference between the ruling class and the farmer/laborers. But there was also a middle class, they were the educated scribes, artists, and architects.


The men wore a coton breethcloth that wrapped around the middle, sometimes  they wore a sleevless shirt that was white or dyed. The woman wore a skirt that sat on their waists, and hair was grown long. The men and woman all wore sandals, and they all painted their body and faces.


The maya were noted for personal neatness and they frequently bathed with both hot and cold water  


Marriage between the same gender, and within sister or wife was forbidden. No one could marry out of their rank. Marriage was preformed by priests, and concubinage was permitted and divrce was easy.



Itzamna, main god, brought his people maize and cacao and taught them script, healing, and the use of calendars, Abilites

Kukulcan, god of resurrection and reincarnation, god of four elements, earth, water fire, air

Chac, rain god, associated with the wind god, Kukulcan


Sacrifices, Bloodletting, Small animals were used for smaller requests and big animals were used for more grand rituals., Ex: Seventeen jaguars were sacrificed to dedicate a temple altar in the city of Copan.

Reasons, maintaining order of society and the balance of the two dimensions, Bring rain, increase crops, and dedicate temples and ball courts.

Ball Courts

Much like modern day basketball




Logographic Writing

Logograms are signs that stand for parts of words or, less commonly, whole words. Some phonetic and semantic signs were used to help the reader. Since memorization of logograms was essential for writing, reading was easier than writing.



Made of stone and clay

Two types of pyramids, Ones that where not meant to be climed, Ones that were meant to be climed, These where used for religious reasons


Stone and clay

were important to their ritual value

priest would preform their sacrifical ritual on these temples

Behind the plat form would be a picture of the god of that city


Made out of organic material, Straw, Mud, Clay, Stone, Wood


Mayan economy was mostly based on agriculture. Farmers would give up their crop or salt, honey, cloth, or domestic animals to the government as taxes. They also used these items to trade fr other goods. Maize was the crop they most heavily relied on for food. Cash crops, such as cotton and cacao, were also grown. The Maya raised turkeys, guinea pigs, and ducks, and bees were used to produce wax and honey.


Katie Norchi

Chelsea Jackson

Claire Delzell

Sarah Thompson


Chelsea Jackson

Claire Delzell