October 18, 2011
* Which of the three Mesoamerican civilizations is most significant? Explain. The most significant Mesoamerican civilization is the Mayans. The Mayans are the most important for many different reasons. They were a very intelligent civilization and their inventions and discoveries are what set them apart from the other Mesoamerican civilizations. The Mayans civilization was the most significant for multiple reasons. They were the only Mesoamerican civilization that had a written language. It was called Maya Script or Maya hieroglyphs. It is currently the only Mesoamerican writing system that has substantially been deciphered. Not only did they have their own system of writing, they were very clever mathematicians. They had a counting system that was represented by only a dot, a bar, and a symbol for zero. The Mayans were some of the only people to understand the meaning of the zero. This was a huge step in mathematics. Another major discovery was the calendar. The Mayans were most interested in astronomy. They made an astronomical observatory that consisted of 3 windows at the top to determine when the fall and spring equinox, 365 steps to resemble the 365 days on the calendar and a serpent head at the bottom of the stairs. On March 21st the body of the serpent would appear to slither down the pyramid and point towards their water supply. The Mayans were gifted people who made a substantial impact on their time. With their writing, mathematics, and their astronomy as only some of their greatest accomplishments, this proves that the Mayans were the most significant Mesoamerican civilization.