The Mayans lived in what is today Mexico, North America, and lived in both the highlands and lowlands of Mesoamerica. It was a very mountainous region, with many minerals in the soil, and a dry, cool, climate. The villages that were located in the highlands are where southern Guatemala is today, and the villages that were located in the lowlands are where northern Guatemala, Belize, and the Yucatán Peninsula are today. It was very hot and dry in the lowlands.
The Mayans began their civilization in 2000 B.C. There were city-states that were ruled by kings, as well as priests. Their society was very war-like, and there was always constant war.To leaders, gold was not important. The main leaders were kings and priests. These leaders performed religious ceremonies and rituals.
The hot, humid rainforest made good soil for farming, and farming led to cities with trade, surplus, and new divisions of labor. War contributed to trade and tribute. The Mayans produced maize, beans, squash, chili peppers, avocados, pineapples, and cacao. To them, maize was the most important crop. They used slash and burn agriculture in the rainforest, which was cutting down the...
They had a sun god, a death god, a war god, a rain god, a moon god, and a maize god, which were included in more than 160 different gods, which were mostly represented by animals, implying an anthropomorphic religion. Corn was very important in Mayan culture. To the Mayans, the jaguar was a sacred animal, and they were very nature-oriented as well as polytheistic. They made important sacrifices of both animals and humans daily, and had an important ball game that had what we think a religious meaning. To communicate with the gods, the Mayans had to open a part of their body and bleed out openly from their veins. Compared to the Egyptians, they viewed death and the afterlife as a dark, foul, evil...
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