Today, only three or four Maya codices remain. Three of them are named for the European cities where they are kept—Dresden, Paris, and Madrid. The authenticity of a fourth book called the Grolier Codex, now in Mexico City, is still disputed.
The four surviving Maya codices mostly contain information about Maya astronomy, astrology, religion, rituals, and Gods.
Mayan books are known as codices . These were made from the soft inner bark of trees, in particular the fig tree. Codices were written or painted with fine brushes onto long strips of bark paper that were folded like screens. They often used drawings (or pictograms) to represent objects and ideas.
Mysterious Decline of the Maya One by one, the Classic cities in the southern lowlands were abandoned, and by A.D. 900, Maya civilization in that region had collapsed. Finally, some catastrophic environmental change–like an extremely long, intense period of drought–may have wiped out the Classic Maya civilization .
Several Spanish expeditions followed in 1517 and 1519, making landfall on various parts of the Yucatán coast. The Spanish conquest of the Maya was a prolonged affair; the Maya kingdoms resisted integration into the Spanish Empire with such tenacity that their defeat took almost two centuries.
The Ancient Mayans developed the science of astronomy, calendar systems, and hieroglyphic writing. They were also known for creating elaborate ceremonial architecture, such as pyramids, temples, palaces, and observatories. The Maya were skilled weavers and potters.
The people who are known as the ‘ Aztecs ‘ and ‘ Maya ‘ live in Mexico and Central America today, and lived in the same areas in the past. Unlike the Aztecs , the Maya were never an empire. The Maya world was made up of many city-states, although some city-states became more powerful than others.
Mayan Art is characterized by stone sculptures, architecture, ceramics, wood carving, and wall painting which are some of its most celebrated forms. They rendered these works with nothing but stone tools and wooden mallets. Mayan artisans were also skilled makers of pottery.
During the Classic era, the Mayas built a system of kingdoms and small empires. Because of their isolation from the great powers of the time oversea, the Mayans had a significant lack of technology. They had no draft animals (including horses or oxen), pulleys, wheel-based transportation, or any metal tools.
Simple yet delicious handmade corn tortillas, which are made with ground corn masa and cooked on a wood-fired oven or a traditional comal, have been a diet staple for centuries for the indigenous Maya . Corn tortillas make a hearty addition to meals ranging from roasted meats and vegetables to basic rice and beans.
The Mayan Pantheon: Gods and Goddesses Itzamna . Itzamna is a creator god, one of the gods involved in creating human beings and father of the Bacabs, who upheld the corners of the world. Yum Kaax. A nature god, Yum Kaax is the god of wild plants and animals, the god of the woods. Maize God. Hunab Ku. Kinich Ahau. Ix Chel. Chaac. Kukulkan.
The Mayan religion was Polytheist, and they worshiped more than 165 Gods. The Gods were human-like. The Gods were born, grew up and died. The Mayan religion believed that most peoples souls’ were vanquished to spend their afterlives in the underworld.
For the Maya , who did not have metal tools, obsidian (or volcanic glass ) was highly valued because of its sharp edges for use as cutting instruments. The shift in trade might have involved more than obsidian.