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The Mayans by Mind Map: The Mayans
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The Mayans

CREATORS!!!! Sarah Thompson Katie Norchi Claire Dezell Chelsea Jackson  

maintaining order of society and the balance of the two dimensions


Central America

What is now Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize and southern mexico


volcanic mountains, which comprised the highlands in the South, to a porous limestone shelf, known as the Lowlands, in the central and northern regions

Lowlands- produced crops

Highlands- source of metals



Itzamna, main god, brought his people maize and cacao and taught them script, healing, and the use of calendars, superhuman strength, stamina, vitality and resistance to injury. He also has the ability to tap into and manipulate mystical energies on the level of Zeus, Odin or Osiris

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 was a Mayan practice. Bloodletting is the cutting (not necessarily killing) of a person or animal to release blood. Source of blood dependent on the desired outcome of the ritual., 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.

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

Reasons, Bring rain, increase crops, and dedicate temples and ball courts.

Ball Courts

Much like modern day basketball

Winning captain would be decapitated. Considered a great honor. Winner would get a direct ticket to heaven instead of going through the 13 steps that the Mayan's believed they had to go through in order to reach heaven..

The field, size of football field, is bordered by two imposing walls 26 feet tall. Seven combatants on each team tried to get a small rubber ball to go through a small stone hoop 23 feet above the ground without using their hands or feet to touch the ball.



Made of Limestone 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

Used as landmarks, and sometimes a burial for high ranking Officials


Limestone 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

Each mayan city had one


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



Mostly done in their books

On stone, walls, clothing, pottery, rocks ,and sometimes jade

Mainly painted on their wars, depressions and ceremonies


Most important for apperance


Long necks

Flat heads

Hooked nose

Body art

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



Not a unified empire

A multitude of separate entities

Priest were the rulers also

Only priests/rulers/kings were allowed to be in the temples.

The priests lived in huge palaces.

Priests in small villages were the godfathers and assisted in births.

Priests led ceremonies like ch'acak to please the gods.ew node

hereditary= absolute monarchy

Taxes were paid

Crimes were punished with death

Social Hierarchy






the bow and arrow, blowguns, spears, axes, knives with blades of volcanic glass , and spear-throwing slings called ‘atatls’.


Farmers would give up their crop or salt, honey, cloth, or domestic animals to the government as taxes. Mayan economy was mostly based on agriculture.  They also used these items to trade for 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.

Primly crop

Food and agriculture

Farmers were a big part to the economy

Brought in food for the civilization


Domesticated animals, crops, and jewelery

Farmers gave a portion of their crop away for wealth

small towns did not need to take part in long-distance trading, trade to local bartering and exchange


Hieroglyphic Writing

like no other writing system

a number of simple word-pictures or a sophisticated phonetic system

combinations of only 26 signs—that list of letters we call an Alphabet.

Logographic Writing

Logograms are signs that stand for parts of words or, less commonly, whole words.



Calendar, predict when the sun would set, what time of day it was, even predicted the world would end in 2012

numeral system, Three symbols, horizontal line, a dot and a oval symbol


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.  






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

Maize, Preparation of maize, 1. Kernels boiled in lime, 2. Hominy ground into dough, 3. Dough made into 'tamales' or 'tortillas'



Chile peppers

Sweet manoic

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.

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