Maya civilization is not only distinguished by the well-developed ancient writing system, but also has incredible artistic, architectural and astronomical systems and mathematical systems. Although archaeologists are always trying to discover, there are still many mysteries surrounding one of humanity’s most brilliant civilizations.
Interesting facts about Mayan civilization
The Mayans originated in Mesoamerica, today’s Central America. This region is located between Mexico and South America, home to many cultures, including Aztec, Olmec, Teotihuacan and Toltec. The Mayans lived in what is today Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and southern Mexico.
13. Spicy chocolate
There are many people who still don’t know where the chocolate comes from. It was revealed that the cacao beans were discovered by the Mayans themselves and they were the early consumers of chocolate drinks. For them, chocolate is like a drink containing spiritual signs and they believe it is Kon’s drink – the rain god. The Maya often add chili and cornstarch to create a thick drink and foam.
12. The Maya created rubber
Although rubber is considered to be an invention of this modern era, the ancient Maya actually had the technique to refine rubber about 3,000 years ago. They do so by taking sap from rubber trees combined with some juice from other trees.
Then, they also changed the ratio between the components to create different layers of rubber and they used rubber to make rubber balls often used in their sport. The Maya are quite clever when they think of a good way, right?
11. The deformed skull is fashionable
The Maya have their own ideas for physical beauty, one of which is a flat and sloping forehead. They do not give children the opportunity to shape themselves, but instead force young children by tying boards to their heads to reshape the skull.
It is unthinkable to do what, in the process of tying the boards, how do children with brain or skull fractures do? It sounds scary, but it’s not necessarily impossible.
10. The Mayans today
Although this civilization has declined, there are still about 7 million Mayans living on the ancestral area of their fathers and preserving many heritage of ancient culture. Many of them are quite integrated with the modern culture of the countries where they reside, but many continue to maintain their own cultural identity, as well as use their own language as the primary language. Maya’s most populous population currently resides in several Mexican states including Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Chiapas, along with Central American countries including Belize, Guatemala and western Honduras and El Salvador. Languages today use many words derived from the Mayan language, such as “shark” (shark), “cocoa” (cocoa).
9. Strabismus children
The Maya always want to create children with unusual and unnatural characteristics . For example, the Mayans used boards to press the baby’s head at an early age to flatten the forehead. This custom is very common among Maya. Another strange practice is that they let the objects dangle before the eyes of the newborn to bring the two pupils to one point (squinting eyes) permanently. Maya children are often named after the day they were born. Every day of the year has its own name for boys and girls.
8. Good doctor
Mayan cures are a complex combination of thought, body, religion, etiquette and science. Most importantly, only a few well-trained physicians can practice medicine. These wizards combine both spiritual and natural worlds. They have many advanced healing methods, such as stitching wounds with human hair, bone bundles, prosthetic dentures made of jade and soldering teeth with iron pyrites.
7. Until now blood donation
The Mayans sacrificed blood for religious and medical purposes, but little is known that this practice is maintained to this day. However, modern Mayans no longer sacrifice human blood, but instead take chicken blood instead. In addition to blood sacrifices, the Mayans passed on many other practices such as praying, burning copan incense, dancing, partying, and drinking alcohol in traditional ceremonies.
6. Pain relievers
The Mayans regularly used hallucinogenic drugs in religious ceremonies, but they also used daily to relieve pain. Cacti, cysts, some fungi, tobacco, and some species to produce alcohol … are used to extract painkillers. In addition, ceramics and sculptures show that the Mayans used the indentation method for rapid abortion.
5. Soccer field
Playing football is a favorite sport of pre-Colombus people. This game has many different versions, and a version of the ulama game still exists in some parts of the area to this day. The sports ground is a public space used in many aristocratic cultural events and religious activities, such as music performances, festivals, and sports. A number of skulls were found near the courtyard area, so some speculated that the Maya used skulls and skulls.
4. Sauna room
One of the important baptisms for ancient Mayans was a sauna for sweating. Much like today’s sauna, the Mayan sauna is built from many rocks, and the ceiling has only a small hole. Water is poured down hot stones in the room to create steam, causing the body to sweat to purify. Mayans prefer this method of bathing because they feel refreshed and cleaner.
3. The last Mayan state lasted until the 17th century
The island city of Tayasal was an independent Maya kingdom until 1697. A few Spanish missionaries still visit this place and preach to the last Itza king. The Kingdom of Itza has been under the yoke of Spain since March 1697.
2. Many mysteries have not been solved yet
No expert is really sure of the downfall of the Maya civilization.
Mayan civilization declined in the 8th and 9th centuries. Overpopulation, foreign invasion, peasant rebellion, the collapse of key trade routes, drought … are all things that have can cause great civilization to decline.
1. Maya Calendar – a great civilization achievement
The Mayans paid close attention to the record of human history. Although not the first people to devise a calendar, they also created 4 separate calendar systems for individual periods. Depending on the needs, the Maya use several different types of calendars or combine two types of calendars to record an event. The Mayans used the Tzolk’in, Haab, round and Long Count calendars.
Developed with other Central American civilizations, the Mayans used vigesimal and pentatonic systems. The quartile is based on the comparison of the number of fingers per hand, while the decimal is the total number of fingers and toes. In Quiche, the word for index 20 is huvinak, meaning “whole body”.
In addition, the Maya developed the concept of “zero” in 357, about 900 years earlier than Europe. The ancient text shows that the Mayans, in need of work, added hundreds of millions and the large number of days required an accurate way to do them. The calculation results of astronomy in a space and long time are extremely accurate; maps of the movements of the Moon and planets with an accuracy equal to or far beyond that of other civilizations observing the universe with the naked eye.
According to the Mayan calendar, the length of a year is 365 days, the time the Earth rotates around the Sun. This calculation is much more accurate than many calendars used by Europe at that time (the Gregorian calendar).
The Long Count calendar is based on a solar year with 365 days. One solar year is divided into 18 months, with 20 days each month (using a 20-base counting system), and the remaining five days are added at the end of the year. The days of the month shall be inscribed with numerals from 0 to 19 before the month’s name (0 to 4 for the missing month, at the end of the year there will be 5 days).
According to this calendar, the years continued without stopping, there was no leap year. As a result, the calendar will be skewed back to a date within 4 years. Compared to the modern Gregorian calendar, approximately 3,257 years has an error of almost one day.
A Mayan Long Count calendar cycle lasts 5,125.36 years – called a Great Cycle.
When matched with the modern Gregorian calendar, the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. According to the Mayan calendar and writing, December 21, 2012 was written as 220.127.116.11.0, signaling the end of the Great Cycle.
However, scholars and locals say this landmark has nothing to do with apocalypse, just like the New Year’s Eve of the year. No Mayan writing or documentary predicts the end of the world when the Great Cycle ends.