APUSH Summer Work
September 1, 2014
The Mayans were an extremely advanced Mesoamerican civilization. They were located near modern day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico,1 on the Yucatan Peninsula.2They were skilled in art and architecture. This is evident by the many pyramids they constructed. 3
This civilization also utilized a great deal of technology. They built magnificent cities with huge stone temples and pyramids. They also developed an advanced system of writing, mathematics and astronomy, which they used to calculate an accurate calendar.1 Another example of how the Mayans were advanced is their agricultural technology. For example, they used the slash and burn method on their crops in order to clear plots of land and fertilize the soil.2
Mayans used certain building techniques which is a part of what makes their civilization unique as well as successful. Because there were such large supplies of limestone and flint available, plaster and cement was easily produced. This allowed the Mayans to build impressive temples and stepped pyramids. Flat roofs made of cedar beams overlaid with mortar were also common in this area, along with murals often displaying religious figures in vibrant colors.1 Certain cities were particularly famous for this typical Mayan architecture. One of these cities is Tikal. It was the largest city in the empire, home to over 100,000 people. There were eight pyramids built in the city.2
This civilization also had its own interesting religious beliefs. The Mayans were polytheistic and worshipped hundreds of gods, each of whom played a different role in the creation of the earth. The religion seems to have been made up of thirteen heavens and nine underworlds ruled by the nine lords of the nights, whose names are not known. Of all of the gods worshipped in this civilization, the sky god was the most important to the Mayans. The god of the sky was also the most...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document