Ancient Mayan People-Location
The ancient Mayan people known as Maya first established their cities in the rainforest, where they played games that went on for days. Many scientists think that all of the people in ancient Mesoamerica, and North America, were descendants of the people who migrated across the land bridge between Asia and North America during the last great ice age.
The Ancient Mayan lived in the Yucatán around 2600 B.C. Today, this area is southern Mexico, Guatemala, northern Belize and western Honduras. They were famous for their knowledge on stars. They were also skilled as potters and weavers.
Ancient Mayan People-Inventions
Scholars have agreed from time to time that Maya were the most advanced of all Mesoamerican cultures. The idea of time always fascinated them which led them to develop different calendars.
They chewed gums, filed their teeth and raised bees without stingers. They also built pyramids like Egyptians, which were adorned with elaborate architectural details and murals. These pyramids were built by them without using metal tools.
They also had big houses and palaces for rich people and many small houses and huts for poor people. There were markets in the city. A Maya market would have looked something like a Flea Market does today. They traded and sold food, jewelry, pottery, weapons, tools, clothing, and many other things in their markets.
Ancient Mayan People-Social Structure
There was a distinct class system in ancient Maya times. Between the ruling class and the farmer/laborer, there must have been educated nobility who were scribes, artists and architects.
Evidence of their skill and innovation remains in works of stone, stucco, jade, bone, pottery, obsidian and flint. There is no evidence of priesthood and it is likely that priestly duties were performed by the ruler. Therefore, the Ancient Maya had a class society. At the top were the nobles and priests. Their middle class was made up of warriors, craftsmen and traders. The farmers, workers and slaves were at the bottom.
The ancient Maya were not empire builders. Instead, they formed independent polities. Their common culture, calendar, mythology and spiritual view of the world united them as Maya - True People, Halach Winik. Each polity was ruled by it's own dynastic nobility.
Mayan People Facts
Throughout centuries of trials and tribulations, the Maya people have withstood the ravages of natural and manmade disasters. Along the way they have had to modify their religious and political systems as needed to survive. And yet, through it all, the Maya have retained a culture that is both unique and admirable.
The Maya settlers cultivated jungle-growing breadnut, avocados, papayas and other fruits in addition to Maize.
The Ancient Mayans were a very religious people. Mayan actions were based on rituals and ceremonies. The Maya had many different gods. They also had rituals. One of those rituals was human sacrifice. The Mayan Kings were considered to be direct descendants of the Mayan Gods.
Division of Mayan Religion
Mayan religion was divided into three parts with earth as one part, the level above the earth as another part, and the level below the earth as the third part. The level above the earth was like the Christian heaven and the level below the earth was like the Christian's hell.
The Mayas wove beautiful fabrics and designed musical instruments like horns, drums and castanets. They also carved huge statues. Archaeologists can tell a great deal about the ancient Maya from their wonderful pottery and clay figures.
More info on- Mayan Civilization