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.
The Maya carved stone portraits of their rulers as memorials. There is an especially strong tradition of painting and sculpture in Mayan culture . Often sculpture was painted with distinctive dyes and techniques characteristic of the Maya . Much Mayan art was commissioned by rulers to accompany them to the Underworld.
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.
Thereby, art renders the human situation—origin, existence, death, and afterlife—comprehensible through visual representations. As a stimulus for creativity and culture, religion is the spiritual impulse that conjoins humanity with divinity through spiritual experience, ceremony, and mythology.
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.
Diego de Landa
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Like many Mesoamerican pyramids , each was constructed around a core of rubble held in place by retaining walls. The walls were then faced with adobe bricks, and then covered with limestone. The base of the Pyramid of the Sun measures 730 feet per side, with five stepped terraces reaching a height of some 200 feet.