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.
Civilizations like the Olmec, Maya , Aztec and Inca all built pyramids to house their deities, as well as to bury their kings. In many of their great city-states, temple- pyramids formed the center of public life and were the site of holy rituals, including human sacrifice.
Like many Maya buildings, Maya temples were built of stone, with platforms on the top where wooden and thatch structures could be built . Temples tended to be pyramids, with steep stone steps leading to the top, where important ceremonies and sacrifices took place.
The Mayans worshiped nature gods, (especially god of sun, rain and corn), a priestly class, the importance of astronomy and astrology, rituals of human sacrifice, and building elaborate pyramidal temples. Sacrifice was conducted using blood-letting performed by the community, but run by a priest.
For reasons that are still unknown, most of the Maya centers went into decline during later centuries and were eventually abandoned leaving only the Mayan ruins. There are several possible reasons for their downfall including soil exhaustion, water loss and erosion.
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 Mayan religion was Polytheist , and they worshiped more than 165 Gods. The Gods were human-like. The Gods were born, grew up and died.
Maya stelae were worked with stone chisels and probably with wooden mallets. Hammerstones were fashioned from flint and basalt and were used for shaping the softer rocks used to make stelae, while fine detail was completed with smaller chisels.
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.
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.
Mayan Animals The Black Howler Monkey . The Jaguar . Rattlesnakes. Armadillo . Bats. Deer. Rabbit. Ducks.
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.