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.
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.
Three major achievements of the Mayan civilization were in architecture, astronomy and math. The Maya people were great builders who constructed roads, great cities and temples. Mayan cities had magnificent palaces, monuments with intricate designs and temple pyramids that are still evident today.
Called Aguada Fénix, this previously unknown Maya site in Tabasco, Mexico, was built between 1,000 BC and 800 BC. The huge elevated platform stands 10 to 15 meters above the surrounding area with nine causeways extending from the platform.
Like many Maya buildings, Maya temples were built of stone, with platforms on the top where wooden and thatch structures could be built. Temples tended to be pyramids, with steep stone steps leading to the top, where important ceremonies and sacrifices took place.
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.
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.
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 .
Read more: 7 of Mexico’s best ruins, and how you can see them. Tulum , Mexico. Tulum , Mexico. Copan, Honduras. Copan, Honduras. Tikal, Guatemala. Tikal, Guatemala. Xunantunich, Belize. Xunantunich, Belize. Palenque, Mexico. Palenque, Mexico.
Diego de Landa
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 Mayans invented chocolate insofar as they were the first civilization to make a beverage from the beans of the cacao tree.
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.