The Maya civilization (/ˈmaɪə/) was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
The designation Maya comes from the ancient Yucatan city of Mayapan, the last capital of a Mayan Kingdom in the Post-Classic Period. The Maya people refer to themselves by ethnicity and language bonds such as Quiche in the south or Yucatec in the north (though there are many others).
High-status Mayan mothers attempted to induce strabismus (crossed eyes ) by hanging balls in front of babies’ noses, in honor of Kinich Ahau, the cross -eyed sun god. They would also strap boards to the foreheads of noble infants to encourage flattening, as an enduring sign of high status.
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They developed a written language of hieroglyphs and invented the mathematical concept of zero. With their expertise in astronomy and mathematics, the Maya developed a complex and accurate calendar system.
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .
Although much of the Maya life was spent doing hard work, they did enjoy entertainment as well. A lot of their entertainment was centered around religious ceremonies. They played music, danced, and played games such as the Maya ball game.
The Maya have lived in Central America for many centuries. They are one of the many Precolumbian native peoples of Mesoamerica. In the past and today they occupy Guatemala, adjacent portions of Chiapas and Tabasco, the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and the western edges of Honduras and Salvador.
The Maya believed that when people died, they entered the Underworld through a cave or a cenote. When kings died, they followed the path linked to the cosmic movement of the sun and fell into the Underworld; but, because they possessed supernatural powers, they were reborn into the Sky World and became gods.
Pulque is an alcoholic drink which was first drunk by the Maya , Aztecs, Huastecs and other cultures in ancient Mesoamerica. Similar to beer, it is made from the fermented juice or sap of the maguey plant (Agave americana). The drink had its own personified goddess and was featured in episodes of Mesoamerican mythology.
Where did the Maya live? Mayan civilization occupied much of the northwestern part of the isthmus of Central America, from Chiapas and Yucatán, now part of southern Mexico , through Guatemala , Honduras , Belize , and El Salvador and into Nicaragua. Maya people still live in the same region today.
“The Yucatan Maya are fairly short in stature and relatively thick-bodied. They have rather long arms and small hands and feet. The average height of the men is 5 feet 1 inch and of the women, 4 feet 8 inches .”