The upper caste was composed of rulers, nobles and priests. The middle caste were businessmen, merchants and soldiers. The lower caste was made up of farmers and slaves. Priests: The most powerful people in the ancient Maya Empire were not the ruling families; the most powerful were the priests.
The five levels of the Mayan social pyramid are the ruler, nobles, artisans and merchants, peasants, and finally slaves.
The Maya social classes consisted of, Ahua (the king), nobles, priests, merchants, artisans, and slaves. The Mayan civilization was one of the most famous and mysterious Mesoamerican civilization.
The class structure can limit what people did . Since people were born in to what class they were in, they can only obtain certain jobs. List the three main periods of Mayan Civilization and include the years each covered.
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 Mayans religion involved several aspects of nature, astronomy and rituals. Most Gods represented a form in nature, for example, Sun God , Kinih Ahous, or Maize God , Yum Kaax . The Mayans were known for their calenders and astronomical buildings. These were used during their religious rituals.
The Maya had a system of serfdom and slavery . However, unwanted orphan children became slaves and were sometimes sacrificed during religious rituals. Slaves were usually sacrificed when their owners died so that they could continue in their service after death.
Mysterious Decline of the Maya From the late eighth through the end of the ninth century, something unknown happened to shake the Maya civilization to its foundations. One by one, the Classic cities in the southern lowlands were abandoned, and by A.D. 900, Maya civilization in that region had collapsed.
K’inich Janaab Pakal
Pyramids were used not only as temples and focal points for Maya religious practices where offerings were made to the gods but also as gigantic tombs for deceased rulers, their partners, sacrificial victims, and precious goods.
Different parts of a city were often linked by causeways. Architecturally, city buildings included palaces, pyramid-temples, ceremonial ballcourts, and structures specially aligned for astronomical observation. The Maya elite were literate, and developed a complex system of hieroglyphic writing.
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.
The Spanish conquistadores arrived in the early 1500s and the last independent Mayan city, Nojpeten (in present-day Guatemala), fell to Spanish troops in 1697. The ancient cities were largely forgotten until the 19th century, when their ruins started to be uncovered by explorers and archeologists.
Maya cities were not planned out in detail like the cities of the Aztecs. They tended to grow out from the center over time. The center complexes, however, do appear to be planned with buildings often built in alignment to the sun. Each city was home to the local king who lived in a palace within the city .