Mayan Art is characterized by stone sculptures, architecture, ceramics , wood carving , and wall painting which are some of its most celebrated forms. Mayan artists were exceptionally skilled at stone sculpture and stonework. Many Mayan buildings feature stone carvings that were frequently based upon their religion.
Maya script, also known as Maya glyphs, was the writing system of the Maya civilization of Mesoamerica and is the only Mesoamerican writing system that has been substantially deciphered. The earliest inscriptions found which are identifiably Maya date to the 3rd century BCE in San Bartolo, Guatemala.
Maya ceramics are an important art form. The Maya created their pottery without the use of a potter’s wheel. They decorated their pottery with elaborate designs and scenes. Archeologists are able to learn a lot about different periods and cities of the Maya through the scenes painted or carved into their pottery.
A Maya city from the Classic Period usually consisted of a series of stepped platforms topped by masonry structures, ranging from great temple-pyramids and palaces to individual house mounds. These structures were in turn arranged around broad plazas or courtyards.
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.
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 .
Diego de Landa
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.
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. Roughly 40 percent of Guatemalans are of Mayan descent.
Most Maya today observe a religion composed of ancient Maya ideas, animism and Catholicism. Some Maya still believe, for example, that their village is the ceremonial centre of a world supported at its four corners by gods. When one of these gods shifts his burden, they believe, it causes an earthquake.
In the southeast, Copán was the most important city. Palenque and Yaxchilán were the most powerful cities in the Usumacinta region. In the north of the Maya area, Coba was the most important Maya capital.
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).
The ancient Maya never used coins as money . Instead, like many early civilizations, they were thought to mostly barter, trading items such as tobacco, maize, and clothing.