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Describe the cultural contributions of the Mayans?

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aaaa60 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 18, 2010 at 12:21 PM via web

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Describe the cultural contributions of the Mayans?

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted February 18, 2010 at 1:08 PM (Answer #1)

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The Mayan people in Yucatan, Guatemala produced the highest achievements of the classical era. They adopted many ideas and practices from Teotihuacán, built temples, palaces, observatories, overcame barren soil through irrigation and terracing, grew squash, chili peppers, maize, produced and traded metalwork, cotton cloth, chipped stone tools, and had a media of exchange for trade included cocoa beans, polished beads, salt, cloth.

Mayan society was rigidly stratified, governed by hereditary priest-king, and considered descendant of sun god. Merchants and craftsmen were highly privileged. Religion permeated all aspects of life. Some human sacrifices tookplace though. Law and taxation had religious purposes. Education was to train priests. Mayans were more ritualistic than scientific.

The most important achievements were a writing system, calendar, sophisticated mathematics based on 20, magnificent art, architecture: sculpture, mural painting, and fine crafts: weaving, ceramics, and jewelry.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:34 PM (Answer #2)

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Maya were native American people inhabiting central America and southern Mexico region. Their civilization reached its most glorious period from about 250 A.D to 900 A.D. They founded great cities and made remarkable progress in fields of arts and sciences.

Maya people produced excellent architecture, paintings, pottery and sculpture. They built tall pyramids of limestone, With temples on top of pyramids. They also built buildings with ornamental decorations and brightly coloured murals on walls depicting scenes of battles and festivals. Rulers and high officials lived in such buildings.

Maya people made painted pottery and sculptures made from clay and carved out of big stones. Come of these sculptures, carved with portraits of rulers were over 9 meters tall.

Cultural advances of Maya include development of mathematics and astronomy. They made tables which predicted eclipses and movements of planet Venus.

Maya people worshipped many gods and goddesses, and celebrated many religious festivals, which played an important part in their lives. They had a well developed system of government. Also they engaged in trade with people in distant regions, to get goods they did not produce or were not available in their region in exchange for other goods.

Maya people grew maize, beans and gourd, avocados, chili peppers and sweet potatoes. They cooked their food in variety of ways. Tortillas made by them is now eaten with relish by many people as a fancy food. Maya people also made an alcoholic drink called balche. This drink was sweetened with honey and spiced with bark.

Farmers dug canal to drain out swampy lands,and built raised farmlands using unearthed soil. They also raised turkeys and honey bees in their farms.

Maya people wove cloth from cotton and other fibres. The rich people wore embroidered clothing and jewellery made of green jade and shells.

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