Here are the 10 most noteworthy achievements of the ancient Maya civilization in different fields such as space science, arithmetic, design, building, and writing: Astronomy . Ball Courts. Chocolate. Law and Order. Mathematics . Maya Art. The Maya Calendar. Mayan Writing System.
The Maya today number about six million people, making them the largest single block of indigenous peoples north of Peru. Some of the largest Maya groups are found in Mexico, the most important of these being the Yucatecs ( 300,000 ), the Tzotzil ( 120,000 ) and the Tzeltal ( 80,000 ).
Jungle-piercing lidar surveys over ancient Maya sites give scientists the most extensive maps of lowland Maya civilization to date. A team of 18 researchers has now mapped more than 61,000 structures in the Maya lowlands.
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”.
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.
The ancient Maya civilization was formed by members of this group, and today’s Maya are generally descended from people who lived within that historical civilization. Today they inhabit southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras.
The Incas , an American Indian people, were originally a small tribe in the southern highlands of Peru. Roads, walls, and irrigation works constructed by the Incas are still in use today. Spanish conquerors captured the Inca emperor in 1532 and began to break up the empire.
The Maya have lived in Central America for many centuries. They are one of the many Precolumbian native peoples of Mesoamerica . In the past and today they occupy Guatemala, adjacent portions of Chiapas and Tabasco, the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and the western edges of Honduras and Salvador.
Tikal Temple IV
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 .
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.
Virtually all the Mayan cities were connected by causeways wide enough to suggest that they were heavily trafficked and used for trade and other forms of regional interaction. These highways were elevated to allow easy passage even during rainy seasons.
In the 1840s, John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood studied Maya civilization with the best technology the 19th century had to offer: compelling words and captivating artwork captured during a jungle expedition.