Who ruled the society of the Maya?
The Mayans developed a hierarchical government ruled by kings and priests. They lived in independent city-states consisting of rural communities and large urban ceremonial centers. There were no standing armies, but warfare played an important role in religion, power and prestige.
Why did Mayans create a detailed writing system?
The Mayans create a detailed writing system because to keep track of political rulers. It is now thought that the codices and other Classic texts were written by scribes, usually members of the Maya priesthood, in a literary form of the Ch’olti’ language.
What did the Mayans use writing for?
The Maya used an advanced form of writing called hieroglyphics. In Mayan hieroglyphics, they used symbols (also called glyphs) to represent words, sounds, or objects. By putting several glyphs together the Maya wrote sentences and told stories. Only the wealthy Maya became priests and learned to read and write.
How did the Mayans use math?
The Maya used the vigesimal system for their calculations – a system based on 20 rather than 10. This means that instead of the 1, 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 of our mathematical system, the Maya used 1, 20, 400, 8,000 and 160,000. The system could thus be extended infinitely.
Did the Mayans have a concept of zero?
Six hundred years later and 12,000 miles from Babylon, the Mayans developed zero as a placeholder around A.D. 350 and used it to denote a placeholder in their elaborate calendar systems. Despite being highly skilled mathematicians, the Mayans never used zero in equations, however.
What problems do the Mayans face today?
Today, ethnic Mayas in central America and Mexico suffer from discrimination, exploitation and poverty. In Guatemala, where nearly half of the population is indigenous, descendants of the once-mighty ancient civilization have even fallen victims to genocide.
Did the Aztecs wear human skin?
Priests worshipped Xipe Totec by skinning human victims and then donning their skins. “The Aztec practice was to perform the sacrificial death in one or more places, but to ritually store the skins in another, after they had been worn by living humans for some days.
Why did Aztecs wear human skin?
Xipe Totec was venerated by the Toltecs and Aztecs. As a symbol of the new vegetation, Xipe Totec wore the skin of a human victim—the “new skin” that covered the Earth in the spring.
What is Quetzalcoatl the god of?
In Aztec times (14th through 16th centuries) Quetzalcóatl was revered as the patron of priests, the inventor of the calendar and of books, and the protector of goldsmiths and other craftsmen; he was also identified with the planet Venus.
Is Quetzalcoatl good or bad?
Quetzalcoatl, god of civilization, was identified with the planet Venus and with the wind; he represented the forces of good and light pitted against those of evil and darkness, which were championed by Tezcatlipoca.
What two animals did Quetzalcoatl look like?
Animals thought to represent Quetzalcoatl include resplendent quetzals, rattlesnakes (coatl meaning “serpent” in Nahuatl), crows, and macaws. In his form as Ehecatl he is the wind, and is represented by spider monkeys, ducks, and the wind itself.