Chapter 12.2
Classic Period
Mesoamerica The Maya
WHAP 2013
Introduction/Review
As Teotihuacán flourished, in the
South the Maya were building their
own empire.
Maya never politically unified
Rival kingdoms competed for
regional control.
Much like the Mycenaean era
Greeks.
Teotihuacán
100 BCE - 750 CE
Maya
250 CE - 900 CE
Olmec
1200 BCE - 400 BCE
Aim: What were the achievements
of the Mayan Civilization?
Do Now:
Based on this
image what could
you say about the
civilization that
built this?
Ask your neighbor: If a Mayan were to come
back to Latin America today what would they find
different today.
I. Mayan Civilization (1000 BC- 1500 AD)
A. Geography
Located in today’s Mexico, at the
Yucatan Peninsula
2. Most
of their land was flat and tropical
a. Used terraced landscaping
b. used irrigation in drier regions
Mayan Politics
Established a hereditary
monarchy.
A king ruled a region
There were many Mayan kings
2 women are known to have ruled
Mayan kingdoms
Mayan Economy
Main food staples
were corn and
beans
Traded with
Teotihuacán and
neighboring
tribes
Mayan Religion
Polytheistic
Sacrificed
victims were
typically
captured
nobility from
other areas.
Mayan Religion
Gods of Nature
Some gods included Lady
Rainbow
Gods of Rain, Maize, and
Sun.
Without the help of these
important gods, there
would be no crops and
everyone would starve.
Priests
•the most powerful people in the Maya
civilization next to the king.
•Maya believed that their priests could talk to
the gods.
The priests decided:
•when to plant crops
•when people could marry and
to whom.
•Priests approved all major
decisions for the society
Mayan Society
Organized in the Patrilineal
family system.
Women played central roles in
religious and economic life of
every home.
Maya Cities
The Maya did not have metal tools—they used
stone, bone, and wood tools to build hundreds of
magnificent cities.
•Cities were centers of
religion and learning.
Maya Cities
Every city had an impressive palace for its ruler
•a marketplace
•an open-air plaza
•at least one huge pyramid, a large temple, and
one ball court similar to the stadiums we have
today.
People came to town
to shop, to worship,
and to cheer at the
ball games.
Two of the largest cities were
• Tikal (tee-KAHL), located
in the present-day country
of Guatemala
• Copan (ko-PAHN), located
in the present-day country
of Honduras
QUESTION: What were
three things you could find
in every Maya city?
Mayan Inventions
 Developed hieroglyphic writing similar to
Egyptians.
Mayan Glyphs
sky
king
house
child
city
Built
observatories
to study the
heavens
 Created calendars
based on the
movements of the sun.
 Ritual calendar of 260
days, with 13 months of
20 days.
 Solar calendar of 365
days in 18 months of 20
days plus 5 “bad days”.
 Long count calendar
which began in 3114 BCE
and will end on Dec. 21,
2012.
Used underground food
storage
Invented a number system that
included zero
Answer #s 1-5 below.
Art/Architecture/Entertainment
• Large Pyramids
dominated
buildings
• Art reflected kings
and warriors at
war
• Game like soccer
popular
entertainment
Mayan
Geography
Natural Barriers
Highlands of modern day
Guatemala
Hot coastal plain along the
Pacific Coast
the tropical rain forest of the
Yucatan Peninsula.
These natural barriers helped
to protect the Maya
civilization for 1300 years.
Mayan Education
• The Maya studied art,
mathematics, architecture, drama,
medicine, and music.
Mayan Military
Fought to capture slaves rather
than territory.
Kings and nobles participated in
warfare
Captured elites sacrificed,
commoners enslaved.
End of the Maya
For some reason the city was
abandoned around 1300.
If the Spanish had not made it
policy to kill all the Mayan Priests
and burn all their books when they
arrived in Mexico, we would have
more answers!