Maya: The Great Empire ∇ Mesoamerican Civilization
In 2012 the world was going to end. The message had begun to spread since 1966 when researcher Michael D. Coe misinterpreted one of the Mayan calendars. In fact, the Maya world, the Amerindians Empire, had been rocked 500 years ago.
Crowds of people gather agitated around the holy dike near Chichen Itza, located in today’s Mexico. They all came to witness the human sacrifice planned for that day. They looking with enthusiasm how the long rope comprises the body of each victim, and at the same time how the smoke does not rise from the altar once the bonded people have been thrown into the abyss.death screams echoed along the walls of limestone while bodies collapse in deep waters and green. The audience takes a few steps backward away from the house. Now people can only hope that the gods have been reconciled.
Nobody knows exactly how rituals horrors unfolding until at least the tenth century.To the dredging of a gentile, which in Spanish is called Cenote Sagrado, were found pottery, stone objects and human bones that proved that the sacrifice had taken place there. It is also known that the Mayan people, impregnated by the religious spirit, also used bleeding, including reproductive organs, which the Spaniards considered to be repulsive and ended when they arrived in the sixteenth century.
The term Maya refers to the population groups in the region that today includes Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. The populations in this area spoke the same language, and to one point shared the same culture, although each Mayan tribe had its own traditions. The Mayan Empire lasted for several thousand years and covered around 80 cities. The most imposing of these were Tikal in Guatemala and Palenque in Mexico, led by kings with divine status.
The Maya population lived mostly in agriculture. Harvests like corn and beans were for the poorest. Many people were literate and enjoyed an advanced writing system, but they were particularly appreciated for math and astronomy knowledge. Astronomy and religion were, in fact, two facets of the same phenomenon, since it was believed that the heavenly bodies were deities that inflated the lives of men.
To pacify the gods and maintain balance in the universe, the Mayans made regular sacrifices. Just as in the Aztecs, the priests split the victim’s heart into a bloody ritual, but often the victims were drowned in special wells. Even the ball game, called pok-a-tok, also had ritual connotations. The survival of the players was related to the outcome of the game. The various sports have also been interpreted as a way for the Mayan tribes to resolve their conflicts by using balls instead of wars. The losers were sacrificed to the gods.
The rules are not very well known, but there were two teams of 2-7 stamps that struggled to catch the ball using their hips.points received the team that managed to place the ball through the circles placed vertically on the field. The ball was rubber and weighed almost as much as a melon. The wounds were the order of the day, and the players, who were mostly professional warriors, wore helmets and other armor. There have been traces of hundreds of land, the largest of which would have been at Chichen Itza.
Astronomical knowledge of the American Indians was not just about religion. Advanced mathematics required for calendar calculations was also used to calculate the values of various commodities. The system was thought that the Mayans could create any number using only three symbols: a point for 1, a horizontal line for 5, and another symbol for 0. The Mayans were, in fact, the first known civilization to have used the figure of 0.
The Mayan calendar system was a rather complicated one, consisting of a variety of calendars. The calendar that is much like the one we are using today is the one called HAAB, comprising 365 days, shows us that the American Indians were basically aware of the length of a solar year. The Tzolkin timetable was used for ritual issues, but the most controversial and fascinated by myths is the BAKTUN calendar, which included a period of 394, 26 years of the solarium.
According to a long-lived popular misunderstanding, the Mayans predicted the end in December 2012, at the end of the long cycle after the long countdown. But the point is only that it ends baktun 13 and begins baktun 14.
The Mayans are a civilization of almost 2,500 years, but the empire has flourished tremendously, especially after the year 250. Then the spectacular buildings and temples that still can be seen through the area began to rise. Around 770 the empire shakes from all its joints. The political and economic power of the royal elite is diminishing considerably in the lowland region, which today is Guatemala, Belize, and parts of the Yucatan Peninsula. Many have gone north, where the Mayan cities have continued to thrive for hundreds of years, including Chichen Itza.
The researchers did not agree on the reasons for the collapse of civilization. Some reasons may be internal dissensions and riots, but also external circumstances such as earthquakes, climate change or drought. The collapse could also be explained by the impoverishment of the land due to excessive exploitation. It has probably been a bunch of causes that have contributed to the collapse of a civilization of this magnitude.
The reason for the definitive collapse is easier to see and is somewhere in the 1500s. Earlier, while Constantinople fell to the Turks and Joan of Arc burned at Rouen, the Maya empire was wounded by a civil war. The result was the considerable weakening of the empire. When the Spaniards arrived at the beginning of the 16th century, the Mayans were barely able to do it. The Spaniards easily conquered the area and exploited the population to gain access to consistent natural resources.
Springs and spears of the American Indians had no effect on the Spanish cannon. Their empire quickly fell into the hands of the enemy, the locals were forced to adopt the new faith, to abandon their traditions. Their lives have collapsed, and infectious diseases have ravaged. For 170 years only Spaniards had to take possession of the Mayan lands. The last American outpost, Tayasal, in today’s Guatemala, was buried deep in the jungle, and the Spaniards did not get it until 1697.
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