The Mayan numeral system was the system to represent numbers and calendar dates in the Maya civilization. It was a vigesimal (base-20) positional numeral system. The numerals are made up of three symbols ; zero (shell shape, with the plastron uppermost), one (a dot) and five (a bar).
Around 2500 B.C. they started cultivating maize and abandoned a nomadic way of life to settle in villages surrounded by cornfields. The Maya created arable land by using a “slash-and-burn” technique to clear the forests. They planted maize and secondary crops such as beans , squash, and tobacco.
The One God
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.
Both Mayan men and women got tattoos , although men put off tattoos until they were married. Mayan women preferred delicate tattoos on their upper bodies although not on their breasts. Men got tattoos on their arms, legs, backs, hands and face. Getting a tattoo was painful.
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.
After assembling a record-setting 154 radiocarbon dates, the researchers have been able to develop a highly precise chronology that illuminates the patterns that led up to the two collapses that the Maya civilization experienced: the Preclassic collapse, in the second century A.D., and the more well-known Classic
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 .
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.
Itzamná Itzamná , ( Mayan : “Iguana House”) principal pre-Columbian Mayan deity, ruler of heaven, day, and night. He frequently appeared as four gods called Itzamnás, who encased the world.
The first recorded zero appeared in Mesopotamia around 3 B.C. The Mayans invented it independently circa 4 A.D. It was later devised in India in the mid-fifth century, spread to Cambodia near the end of the seventh century, and into China and the Islamic countries at the end of the eighth.
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.