The Mayan Civilization Outline

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The Mayan Civilization
By Muhammad Mustafa

Topic I: The Mayans

I. Early Settlements
a. By 1500 B.C., Mayans settled in villages, farmed, and traded. 1. They built temples in villages by 500 B.C., became cities.

II. Social Structure
a. Most of them lived in city-states, and formed social structures. 1. King were at the top, then noble class of priests, leading warriors, 2. Then merchants and artisans, then farmers,
3. At the bottom were slaves, most of them were prisoners of war.

III. Skilled Farmers
a. Farmers grew beans, corn, squash, sweet potatoes, maize, and avocados. 1. Farmers built irrigation system.
2. Dug canals to carry water.
3. Used rich soil from canal beds to raise up fields.
4. They built terraces, so they could farm on hillsides.
5. They raised turkeys and kept honeybees.
6. They traded salt, honey, jaguar pelts for jade, and cocoa beans. 7. Cocoa beans were used as money.

IV. Master Builders
a. Built Pyramids at the center of most of their cities
b. Atop pyramids were the temples where priests conducted religion ceremonies. c. The Maya build magnificent cities.

V. Houses & Clothing
a. Built houses on poles to keep dry when rivers flooded, wore normal clothes. Lived in one-room houses. Only visited cities to attend religion ceremonies or to trade goods. b. Nobles lived in stone palaces, wore beautiful clothes.

VI. Religion
a. Polytheistic, worshipped many gods.
1. Supreme god was lord of fire.
2. Had gods of sun, death, war, coin, rain.
3. Had a goddess of moon.
4. Gods also controlled other forces of nature.
b. Sacrificed animals, plants, jade, and sometimes humans to gods. c. Played ritual ball game on big courts, which was believed to bring rains

VII. Art
a. Art was linked to religion.
1. Art was created for religious ceremonies.
2. Tropical climate caused wooden art to rot long ago....
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