The five levels of the Mayan social pyramid are the ruler, nobles, artisans and merchants, peasants, and finally slaves.
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.
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 noble class of was the smallest of any of the the Maya social classes , but they were far more wealthy and powerful. Basically, the nobles were people who had royal blood but were not the king. They performed some of the most important Maya jobs.
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 .
Maya society was rigidly divided between nobles, commoners, serfs, and slaves. The noble class was complex and specialized.
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.
While there is little evidence of monarchies in early Maya cities, the Classic period saw the rise of one legendary revered king. The rule of K’inich Janaab ‘ Pakal the Great , or Janaab’ Pakal I , of the Late-classic city of Palenque was one of great acclaim.
Maya astronomer-priests looked to the heavens for guidance. They used observatories , shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun, the stars and planets in order to observe, calculate and record this information in their chronicles, or “codices”.
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. Gods would do other human like activity that was deemed acceptable behavior.
Maya nobles lived in large houses built of stone in the center of Maya cities. Men and women of the noble class wore fancy clothes and elaborate jewelry. Their diet was much the same as other classes, but they would have eaten more meat. They drank chocolate and an alcoholic beverage known as blache.
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.
The Aztec civilization was also highly developed socially, intellectually and artistically. It was a highly structured society with a strict caste system; at the top were nobles, while at the bottom were serfs, indentured servants and enslaved workers.