The Maya also kept detailed records of the moon , although these do not seem to constitute a formal lunar calendar. With the aid of a forked stick, astronomer-priests used only the naked eye to take observations that allowed them to calculate the path of Venus and other celestial bodies.
The Mayans were careful observers of the sun , able to accurately predict eclipses and celestial cycles. Keeping track of the seasons for agricultural purposes was so important that buildings and settlements were designed to help follow the sun’s yearly cycles.
Sun : A Mayan symbol of ascension, clarity and awareness. Focus upon this symbol facilitates enlightenment. The sun was highly regarded by the Mayan civilization.
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. These were used during their religious rituals. Similar to the Egyptians, the Mayans built Pyramid like temples for religious reasons.
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They developed a written language of hieroglyphs and invented the mathematical concept of zero. With their expertise in astronomy and mathematics, the Maya developed a complex and accurate calendar system.
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.
Sun God Kinich Ahau The sun was of utmost importance to the ancient Maya . The Mayan sun god was Kinich Ahau.
In Mayan mythology, the jaguar was seen as the ruler of the Underworld, and as such, a symbol of the night sun and darkness. The jaguar is representative of power, ferocity, and valor; he is the embodiment of aggressiveness. For some, the jaguar represents the power to face one’s fears, or to confront one’s enemies.
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 .
The sun god occupied a central position in both Sumerian and Akkadian religion, but neither the Sumerian Utu nor the Semitic Shamash was included among the three highest gods of the pantheon. The sun was one of the most popular deities, however, among the Indo-European peoples and was a symbol of divine power to them.
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.
Do The Maya Still Exist ? 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.