Maya Powerpoint

Mayan Civilization
By: Claire B., Paris D., Caitlin H., Kirstin N.,
Kensie S., Sammy T.
The Highlands (south)
 Forested mountains/
 Some mountains
were active
 Rich volcanic soilvery easy for things
to grow.
 Cool climate with
distinct wet and dry
The Lowlands (north)
The northern half was
dry and flat.
The southern was wetter
and greener.
A dense rain forest
covered the land.
Lots of tall trees/
numerous wildlife
Settlement Struggles
• The soil on the rain
forest floor made it
difficult to grow crops.
• Hot steamy climate.
• Enormous amount of
rainfall-up to 80in.per
• The Mayas relied on
a farming technique
called slash- and-burn
agriculture. This
technique produced
enough food to feed
the Mayas.
The Lost Cities
In 1839 John L. Stephens and
Frederick Catherwood discovered
numerous Mayan ruins buried underneath
thick jungle growth. (This jungle growth
made it difficult to locate the ruins.)
Mayan Periods
Pre Classic Mayans
Classic Mayans
Lasted from 1800 B.C to A.D 250.
The Mayas developed the skills that brought their civilization to its peak
during this time.
Lasted from A.D 250 to A.D 900.
The Mayan built numerous cities during this time.
Rich, vibrant culture
Complex societies developed
Post-Classic Mayans
Lasted from A.D 900 to A.D 1520
The civilization fell into ruin during this time due to
 Warfare, food shortages, and natural disasters
• The Mayans were very religious
people who worshiped many Gods
• (Most of) The Gods represented
natural phenomena. (e.g.- rain, snow,
• Blood sacrifices/ human sacrifices
were important rituals to the Mayans
• Many festivals were held throughout
the year
Warfare and Family Life
• Family life
Most were peasant farmers
Men worked the field, women did household jobs
Extended family lived in a cluster of houses
Would attend a ballgame or a festival for entertainment
• Warfare
– Went to war to take captives, and to control trade routes and
to take land from neighbors
– Also formed alliances to increase power
Astronomy- plotted positions of the sun
and moon and used the long count to
see eclipses. Made 365 day calendar.
Math- had an advanced number system,
understood zero, and it was flexible
enough to multiply and divide
Writing- Most advanced in ancient the
Americas, carved and painted writing. It
was based on hieroglyphs
Architecture- best known for
architecture. Built roads to connect the
city. Built them in large stone blocks.
Pyramids were 100s of feet in the air
with temples at the top.
Visual arts- buildings were elaborately
decorated with sculptures inside and out.
Created fine jewelry. Had impressive
stone pillars called Stelas.