The Mayan Calendar

The Mayan Calendar was very accurate for such an ancient civilization. The Maya could predict when the sun would set, what time of day it was, and even when there would be an eclipse. They ended up being only 4 days off from our current time. They even predicted the world would end in 2012 sometime in December. The Mayans could, using their calendar predict when the days would be shortest, longest and so on. They could also use this calendar to know when eclipses and such had happened hundreds of years ago. Most interesting is that they did this without computers.


Mayan Architecture

The Mayans had very elaborate architecture but it did not start out that way. The started with a simple temple. The structures were so tightly built that centuries later it was impossible to slip a piece of paper in between the stones.

They added on to their structures and made them more elaborate.

htm Ancient Maya Tools – Stone Working.thinkquest. Farming & Domestic Use • Jul 7. .This shows the progression of a Mayan Temple. The completion of such projects is testament to the ingenuity of the Maya. sandstone and fine-grained volcanic stone. 1. Ric Mayan tools were predominantly made from stone. 7. and no metal tools until the last centuries before the Spanish Conquest. Small chisels were used by Mayan sculptors for finer carving. all of which could be worked with the use of more resistant stone tools. .6..” Mayan stone tools. 2010 • Tony Dunnell Pyramid in Chacchoben. As the years passed they added to the top of the structure.4. the Maya “had no wheel for pottery. According to historian Lynn V. The main materials used in monumental construction were limestone. therefore. http://library. As the civilization declined. Foster. massive temples and outstanding works of art. Stone chisels and scrapers of various sizes were used to shape and add detail to the stone work. Built Using Mayan Tools .org/5891/mayan_technology. the structure started to diminish. no pack animals or carts for transport.Dan D. a civilization whose lack of technology did not hinder their sense of creative ambition. The Maya civilization is known for its spectacular cities. from building projects to farming and hunting. a fact that makes the construction achievements of the ancient Maya civilization all the more impressive. Mayan Stone Working Tools Mayan settlements. The basic structure 2. 5. were predominant in all areas of Mayan life. The structure in ruins after the decline of the Mayan civilization. temples and palaces were made largely from shaped stone blocks.

suite101. the Maya suspended a stone weight from a string.Stone hammer heads were attached to hardwood shafts for breaking and shaping large stone blocks. Jay K. http://www. or plummet. ISBN 0521822459. Johnson. “Most domestic tasks at Maya sites were performed using local chert flake tools. Oxford University Press.” Flakes of chert or flint provided the Maya with adequate blades for both tools and weapons. Lynn V. a form of volcanic glass. Metal tools were uncommon but they were used.” Mayan Tools for Domestic Use Basic . Obsidian blades were highly valued throughout Mesoamerica for their incredibly sharp cutting edges. was an important tool in Mayan construction. was a particularly desirable. by George H. Foster. Trigger. agriculture. Large trees were felled with axes. 2002. Smaller hammerstones. The corn was placed upon a flat stone grinding surface known as a metate. The stone axe head was affixed to a hardwood shaft. tools that were also used as Mayan weapons of war. According to historian Jay K. However. ISBN 0306451980. perhaps not at all. made from flint or bone. Trigger – Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study. Sources: Bruce G. the Maya used “simple wooden digging sticks to till the soil and plant crops. 1996. Johnson – "Lithic Analysis and Questions of Cultural Complexity". more advanced metal tools such as bronze or steel hatchets were rarely used by the Maya. According to historian Bruce G. In order to create a vertical reference point. Chapter 6 of Stone Tools: Theoretical Insights into Human Prehistory.” A primitive hoe was also used (a flat stone head attached to a wooden shaft) but the Maya lacked tools “capable of turning over soil impregnated with deeply rooted grass. Ancient Maya Tools Made from Metal The ancient Maya civilization did have access to limited metal resources. Foster – Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World. Once an area had been cleared for cultivation. The use of metal was limited to basic items such as small copper blades and simple fishing hooks. 2003. The plumb-bob. ISBN 0195183630. alternative. the Maya made use of blades fashioned from various materials. were used for rounding and smoothing softer stones used for monuments and sculptures. As stated by Lynn V. Odell. but less common. normally made from flint or basalt. were used domestically for butchering animal carcasses and preparing skins for use as clothing. Mayan Farming Tools The Maya practiced swidden. particularly in the later Post-Classic period before the arrival of the Spanish. The reference point was then used to aid the placement of finished stones within any given building project. Mayan metal tools were not sophisticated by any means. the Maya used primitive tools to prepare and farm their land. For more precise cutting. Plenum Press. Cambridge University Press. The Maya ground their corn with implements similar to the mortar and pestle. ed. or slash-and-burn. Obsidian. It was then ground by hand using a cylindrical stone grinding tool known as a mano.

2007 • Henry Ramsager Maya pyramid of Kukulkan in Chichen Itza ." that is. particularly when a new ruler came to power. Maya cities were often surrounded by dense jungle. making them ideal places from which to survey the surrounding jungle landscape. Today I'm in the Mood to Build a New Pyramid.Peter A. Ah. they typically dwelled in structures featuring mud or stone walls. These temples. for the simple reason that they had not been invented. Pyramids in Tikal and elsewhere typically have religious temples at their tops. Or. if not an actual adding on. which was hauled to the building sites from local quarries. In the city of Chichen Itza.Building Maya Pyramids and Temples Architectural Habits of the Mayas • Feb 8. known as "roof combs." occasionally functioned as observatories. That's a lot of touching up. two-sided hay roof. yes. A Little More on Top of My Pyramid. The temple walls were usually decorated with mural paintings. presumably because the proximity to heaven was that much closer. was added onto over a period of 1. . At least one of the structures in Tikal. lived. around which other lesser buildings would be erected over time. in all likelihood. Maya buildings were typically made from limestone. the common folk. one of the largest and most ancient Mayan cities. Closer to home. These walls were covered with wooden poles. Pulleys and wheels were. a thorough seasonal remodeling then could be expected. It required a very large work force. Did the "Little People" Have Somewhere to Live Too? As for how the "little people. How Is That Done Again? To build a Maya pyramid or other large structure was no easy task. The pyramids and temples were usually found in the city center. but no wheel. It was only when it was brought out and left in the sun that it hardened. the movements and whereabouts of the planet Venus as well as the movements of the earth and stars were the viewing favorites of the Maya observatory people. The ancient Maya civilization was advanced enough to have a written language. not used. on top of which rested a tilted. Bostrom What were Maya pyramids. at least in the Maya neck of the world. Please A consistent practice of the Mayans. While in its bed limestone was soft enough to be chipped at even by stone tools.500 years. temples and other structures built from? How were Maya buildings made? Why were religious temples on top of pyramids? Let us examine the record. was to add on to the tops of buildings.

the rather simple tools used by Mayan men and women to produce these textiles.snomnh. this is an extremely diverse group. http://www. Some Mayans live in the steamy jungles of the Yucatan peninsula. though inherently functional. the Maya. and are . tradition. others in the rugged highlands of Guatemala.html Mayan Costumes of Guatemala Guatemala is home to the descendants of one of the best-known ancient Mesoamerican The Fabric of Mayan Life An Exhibit of Textiles The Mayan peoples of Mexico and Central America form one of the largest indigenous populations in the Americas. The Pitzer Collection of Mayan textiles at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History demonstrates the diversity and beauty of this artistic. not in spite of. hieroglyphic writing system. The present-day Mayan people live in rural settings in the highlands and lowlands of Guatemala. This reputation persists because of. Kekchi. Ixil. and sophistication of their With over 4 million people who identify themselves as Mayan. Mayan cultural traditions persist to this day. The Mayan people are well-known for the beauty. The ancient Maya are known for their well-developed calendar.ou.suite101. One area in which Mayan culture is alive and well is its textile tradition. Though Mayan culture is often thought of in terms of its pre-Hispanic achievements.The roof comb would also have been a good place to survey the city so as to decide where yet more new buildings could be erected. Some Mayans speak Kaqchikel. http://www. or Chol. others speak Tzotzil. quality. and complex art and architecture.

several pieces sewn together into a tube. blankets. Shoulder bags are carried exclusively by men and are either tightly woven rectangular bags or open mesh bags. Huipils are among the most highly decorated of Mayan weavings. hair cords and headbands are also worn in various styles depending on village customs. they may be worn as single garments or as over-garments. and often feature complex brocaded patterns. Women may own many huipils. http://anthromuseum. shirt. and serves as a form of personal expression and ethnic identity.missouri. or a piece of fabric gathered at the waist. baby slings. Headdresses. shawls.known for the richness and variety of their textiles and garments. Decorative belts and sashes are often worn wrapped around the waist. The shirts and pants are European in style and are machine stitched. This online exhibit presents examples of Guatemalan costumes from the Museum’s ethnographic collections. scarves. Skirts are worn with the huipils and are usually made of treadle-loomed fabric. Dating primarily to the mid 20th century. The most distinctive garment worn by Mayan women is the huipil. a blouse usually made of two panels of cotton fabric woven on a backstrap loom and joined along the side selvedges with the seams worn vertically. from the Cakchiquel and Tzutujil Maya along the Pacific Ocean to the Ixil Maya in central Guatemala. thick wool and decorated with pockets. and sash. Shirts are often personalized by the addition of decorative. braids. Tzutes are all-purpose utility cloths used by both men and women. They may be used as head wraps. they may be worn as kilts or coverings. Mayan men’s basic costume consists of pants. They are often embroidered with animal or human motifs or with geometric designs. or used as kneeling mats or pads. and buttons. Pants are usually of knee or calf length. these items are representative of a number of different Mayan villages and cultural groups. or as a simple decoration over other garments. especially for Mayan women. Wool blankets are a part of men’s wardrobe that is used for a variety of purposes. They may be of one piece of wrapped fabric.shtml . with wide. some for everyday work and some for special occasions. straight legs. Outer garments may be either a traditional wool tunic or a European-style jacket of hard. They have no separate sleeve sections and may or may not be sewn up the sides. They are divided into fourteen different language/cultural groups. Dress has remained largely traditional. and an unfitted hand-woven collars.

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