The Maya writing system is considered by archaeologists to be the most sophisticated system ever developed in Mesoamerica. The Maya wrote using 800 individual signs or glyphs, paired in columns that read together from left to right and top to bottom.
The Maya – a powerful pre-Colombian civilization who reached their cultural zenith around 600-800 A.D. before falling into steep decline – were literate and had books , written in a complex language including pictograms, glyphs, and phonetic representations. A Maya book is referred to as a codex (plural: codices).
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.
There were many books in existence at the time of the Spanish conquest of Yucatán in the 16th century; most were destroyed by the Catholic priests. Many in Yucatán were ordered destroyed by Bishop Diego de Landa in July 1562.
Maya mathematics constituted the most sophisticated mathematical system ever developed in the Americas. The Maya counting system required only three symbols: a dot representing a value of one, a bar representing five, and a shell representing zero.
The Maya used an advanced form of writing called hieroglyphics. In Mayan hieroglyphics, they used symbols (also called glyphs) to represent words, sounds, or objects. By putting several glyphs together the Maya wrote sentences and told stories. Only the wealthy Maya became priests and learned to read and write .
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 .
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.
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The Mayans invented chocolate insofar as they were the first civilization to make a beverage from the beans of the cacao tree.
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.
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.