Ancient Maya Essay

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Ancient Maya Essay

Matthew Pitcher
Mrs Meligrana
Ancient Civilizations
June 8th, 2011


The Ancient Mayan civilization stands out from other ancient civilizations and is great because of its outstanding achievements and developments. The Mayans are still known to this day for their exceptional architecture, medical discoveries, astronomy, and military tactics which were very successful. In this essay I will explain what the Mayans have achieved to make themselves considered great, why they are great, and why they overcome many of the other ancient civilizations.

Mayan astronomy has been considered one of the most complex of mankind. Of all the world's ancient calendar systems, the Maya and other Mesoamerica systems are the most complex, and accurate. Calculations of the 260-day and the 365-day Maya cycles is almost exactly equal to the actual solar year in the tropics, with only a 19-minute margin of error, which is almost scary to see how precise they were. Mayan Astronomers used shadow casting devices, and observations to trace the movements of the sun. the stars and planets in order to observe, calculate and record this information in their chronicles, as they call it . From these observations, the Maya developed calendars to keep track of celestial movements and time. Something never seen before by any other civilization in history, truly amazing, and we still use the 365 day calendar today. Another reason why Maya is great is because of their form of numbers and arithmetic’s, the first civilization to constitute math and numbers in everyday life. 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. These three symbols were used in many different combinations, to keep track of calendar events both past...
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